Time Management

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This presentation is about controlling the use of your most valuable and undervalued resource: YOUR TIME. If you find you are always rushing to meet deadlines, double booking meetings, constantly …

This presentation is about controlling the use of your most valuable and undervalued resource: YOUR TIME. If you find you are always rushing to meet deadlines, double booking meetings, constantly dealing with crises, see days slip away unproductively, take time to view some valuable time tips to help get your day, your life, in order.

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  • Introduce myself and background
  • Time Keeps on Ticking….But I’m sure you’ve experienced time in different ways …. Time flying Time dragging Which one of the people in this picture do you think is experiencing time as flying by? Who thinks time is dragging? So, let’s first test just how good we are at judging time. We’ve all experienced this. Let’s see how well you can judge time. (TEST) Ex.: Nursing assistants at St. Therese So … are you a good judge of time? Are you a good manager of time?
  • Got PTM? The absence of Personal Time Management is characterized by: Last minute rushes to meet dead-lines Meetings which are either double booked or achieve nothing Days that seem somehow to slip unproductively by Crises which loom unexpected from nowhere Time just seems to slip away Sound familiar? This sort of environment leads to an excessive amount of stress and the downgrading of personal performance . It’s not healthy and you can’t perform at your best when you don’t manage your time.
  • “ Those we label natural born leaders know how to leverage their time,” writes author Warren Blank in his book The 108 Skills of Natural Born Leaders (Amacom, 2001). Though most managers understand intellectually that time is their scarcest resource, few make the effort to gain a strategic perspective on how they spend their hours each week. Still fewer make a regular practice of keeping track of how the priorities they say are most important jibe with the way they actually spend their time. And Time is Tricky … Though we may agree with Warren’s comment, many of us do poorly not only in our management of time, but – in a more basic skill – our actual judgment of time. And even people skilled at managing their time, may sometimes be a poor judge of it…
  • The way we manage our time affects our stress levels and the way we manage our stress affects how well we manage our time. There is a vicious (or positive) little cycle set up there. Manage our time better and we probably will suffer lower levels of unhealthy stress. Manage our stress better and we probably will find we have more time to do the things we want and need to do. The purpose of good time management is not to turn us all into little robots that allow us to do nothing but work, work, work, getting an ever-increasing workload done in a shorter time only so we can get more done. Time management techniques have one purpose: To let us get control of our lives so we can make the choices we want. Do you want to have more time to focus on tasks at work? Do you want to be more organized at work? Do you want more time with your spouse or family? To volunteer at church? Where you spend your time is your choice. Using good principles of time management may allow you to make more of the choices you really want to make.
  • Today’s Workshop is about controlling the use of your most valuable (and undervalued) resource. YOUR TIME. We are going to look at some specific tips of effective time management; however, let's take a time­out for a minute first. The tips are important but try to keep two overriding principles in mind at all times: 1. Remember, there are only 168 hours. The idea of finding the time to do something; losing time; or making time - they are all nonsense terms. You have 168 hours a week and that's all. Everybody has the same number. Period. How you spend it is your choice. The people who get more things done don't have any special gift. They just make different choices. A person gets a call from his banker and says that an anonymous donor will deposit $86,400 pennies ($864.00) into their account every morning. The one provision is that they must spend it all in that day – nothing gets carried forward. Sound good? Could you spend all of it? Would you waste any of it? Remember each penny has to be spent. If spent wisely, that would be $315,360 in a year (or $316,224 if in a leap year.) From 12 midnight to 12 midnight the following day – 24 hours – is 86,400 seconds that you can’t carry forward. 315,360 second in a year. Time is valuable. Time doesn’t stop. It just keeps on ticking …
  • Time Management Benefits Long term Objectives don’t suffer from neglect There are many long term objectives that managers must achieve -- especially with regard to the development, support and motivation of work-teams. Long term objectives have the problem of being i mportant but not urgent ; they do not have deadlines, they are distant and remote. It’s all too easy to ignore them in favor of the urgent and immediate. Though the actual time spent in managing long term objectives is small, without deliberate planning it just doesn’t happen. But with good time management, we can learn how to strike a balance. The beauty of good time management is that a balance can be decided objectively (without influence from immediate deadlines) and – with your calendar in hand you can PLAN for it. Personnel Issues don’t get pushed aside You might decide that one hour a week should be devoted to personnel issues, so allocate a regular block of time to that activity. Then, barring a true emergency, this time should always applied to the same, designated purpose. Time may be allocated to staff development and training. So if one afternoon a month seems about right for staff development or a team meeting, then simply designate the second Thursday (say) of each month and you can always delegate the choice of speakers or topics. Time for planning, such as being prepared for meetings Be empowered to refuse excessive workloads or interruptions
  • But there are some benefits that might “spur” you on – ones that aren’t completely related to work time. ME TIME Once you’ve successfully developed some Time Management habits, it’s worth using some of that control to boost your own career. Some quiet weekend, you should sketch out your own long term objectives and plan a route to get to them. As you would any long term objective, allocate time to the necessary tasks and sub-tasks and don’t forget to monitor your progress. REMEMBER: If you do not plan where you want to go, you are unlikely to get there.
  • Time Management actually underpins many managerial skills such as: Effective Delegation Project Planning Eliminate wastage Monitor project progress Allocate resources appropriate to a task’s importance Ensure that long term projects are not neglected Plan each day efficiently Plan each week effectively …and to do so simply – that is -- with a little self-discipline. Like anything else, it’s a habit. And it may take a while to form it.
  • Many organizations are demanding ever-higher performance from their workforces. Your questionnaires show that may be part of the culture here… or it could just be a habit that gets started during a time of change, but then continues automatically – whether expected or not. People try to comply, but the usual method -- putting in longer hours – tends to backfire. In many cases, this can lead to exhausted, disengaged employees – even sickness. Or defectors moving on to healthier job environments. Longer days at the office don't work because time is a limited resource. But personal energy is renewable. By fostering some deceptively simple rituals you can regularly replenish and build resilience. These rituals include taking brief breaks at specific intervals, expressing appreciation to others, reducing interruptions, and spending more time on activities people do best and enjoy most. As managers, you can help your employees rejuvenate their personal energy, and – lest you think all this is a bit frivolous -- the benefits go straight to your bottom line. For example, take Wachovia Bank: Participants in an energy renewal program produced 13 percentage points greater year-to-year in revenues from loans than a control group did. And they exceeded the control group's gains in revenues from deposits by 20 percentage points. The Idea in Practice – from an article by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy that appeared in the Harvard Business Review :
  • Schwartz and McCarthy recommend these practices for renewing four dimensions of personal energy: Physical Energy Enhance your sleep by setting an earlier bedtime and reducing alcohol use. Reduce stress by engaging in cardiovascular activity at least three times a week and strength training at least once. Eat small meals and light snacks every three hours. Learn to notice signs of imminent energy flagging, including restlessness, yawning, hunger, and difficulty concentrating. Take brief but regular breaks, away from your desk, at 90- to 120-minute intervals throughout the day. Emotional Energy Defuse negative emotions--irritability, impatience, anxiety, insecurity--through deep abdominal breathing. Fuel positive emotions in yourself and others by regularly expressing appreciation to others in detailed, specific terms through notes, e-mails, calls, or conversations. Look at upsetting situations through new lenses. Ask, "What would the other person in this conflict say, and how might he be right?" OR "How will I likely view this situation in six months?" OR "How can I learn from this situation?" Mental Energy Reduce interruptions by performing high-concentration tasks away from phones and e-mail. Respond to voice mails and e-mails at designated times during the day. Every night, identify the most important challenge for the next day. Then make it your first priority in the morning. Spiritual Energy Identify your "sweet spot" activities--those that give you feelings of effectiveness and fulfillment. Find ways to do more of these. One executive who hated doing sales reports delegated them to someone who loved that activity. Allocate time to what you consider most important. Example: spend the last 20 minutes of your evening commute relaxing, so you can connect with your family once you're home. Live your core values. For instance, if consideration is important to you but you're perpetually late for meetings, practice intentionally showing up five minutes early for meetings. How Companies Can Help To support energy renewal rituals in your firm: Build "renewal rooms" where people can go to relax and refuel. Subsidize gym memberships. Encourage managers to gather employees for midday workouts. Suggest that people stop checking e-mails (especially during meetings.)
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier than you do now. If your day starts under great duress you have established the tone for the rest of the day. Getting sufficient sleep to provide for the early rising time is necessary. 2. Delegate as much as is reasonable. Too frequently we feel so important that we believe we are the only one who can do some tasks. This will only frustrate others (feeling you don’t see them as competent enough), and guarantee you will continue to add more to your workload. Teach others to assume responsibility for projects they are capable of doing. Remember, if you were sick and unable to do the work, the company would not stop operations. 3. Set some “sacred” morning time for specific uninterrupted periods. Though many of us want to offer an open-door policy to others needing our help or advice, it is unwise to teach others that you have no limits to their intrusions. It is critical to remain focused and efficient by setting times (i.e., 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.) as an open-door time period. Also, it is very helpful to request that interruptions are only made after clear efforts have been made to solve problems before asking for help. The process of teaching others to think through something first will often lead to them solving their own problems, or will provide a focused, and likely shorter, time demand on you. 4. Don’t answer the phone . This sounds terrible, however, if you can train others to answer the phone and collect the appropriate information, you can have some control over when to return the call and be prepared for discussing the issues relevant to the call. Often it helps to leave a voice message requesting them to provide information about their concerns and a time period that you make return phone calls (i.e. ” I am currently unavailable but will return you call between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.”). If possible have a “human” answer for you. People are frequently irritated by only having access to a machine. Nevertheless, studies show that for every interruption of less than 30 seconds it takes from 5-12 minutes of time to refocus on the task you were doing.
  • 5. Set time in the afternoon where your schedule is free for at least one hour . Interestingly, this time is usually taken up by the new and unexpected demands made earlier in the day. The value of knowing that you have saved time to catch up always gives a feeling of control and reduces the likelihood that you will always feel behind in your tasks. 6. Take time to be more than a “working machine.” Say hi and pay attention to others each day. This also contributes to a feeling of knowing more about others, feeling more in control, and effortlessly encourages commitment to you because you treat others with the concern and respect they deserve. Schedule this each day. This is as important as almost anything else you do. It will actually help manage your time by making others want to do a good job for you. 7. At the end of your day set 10 minutes for reflection on what has been accomplished, and what remains on your list for tomorrow (or in the future). Remember to always have a way to handle every item on your list. This make things feel more under control and reduces the stress, anxiety, and worry that exhausts us at the end of the day. 8. When leaving work, arrange for sufficient time to travel home . Communicate realistic expectations to others regarding when you will be getting home, versus being stressed about being late. Set similar time management strategies for your non-work life too. To manage time, reduce stress, and feel in more control, you must organize your time and expectations in such a way as to drive your life at a more comfortable pace, knowing and planning your time constructively and healthfully. Source: www.psychologyforbusiness.com
  • Activity Log! Activity logs are useful tools for auditing the way that you use your time. To keep an activity log, make a note of everything you do, and the time you take to do it. SHOW SAMPLE. But anything will do – a legal pad works great. Just start keeping track of how you spend your time. The idea is not just to write down your time, but to analyze it after one to two weeks. By analyzing your activity, you’ll be able to: Identify and eliminate time-wasting and low-yield jobs Review your use of time to find more efficient ways of working We’ll have more about keeping a log later, now it’s time for a break…
  • Slide: Time Waster Letting Go Exercise Getting rid of clutter is vital to staying fresh, controlling the baggage of the past is vital to controlling your future and your time. We’re going to take a break now…but it’s not without a task. Let’s see how good you are a “de-cluttering.” When you go back to your office space, I want you to look over your desk, or your brief case or your purse…any area you want to choose. I’d like you to bring back here anything that isn’t vital or some things you’ve perhaps been too lazy to throw out till now. You can bring back as much or as little as you want – but you must bring back something you’re willing to throw away. Slide: Time Waster Letting Go Exercise Getting rid of clutter is vital to staying fresh, controlling the baggage of the past is vital to controlling your future and your time. We’re going to take a break now…but it’s not without a task. Let’s see how good you are a “de-cluttering.” Purge your office. There's no need to hang onto all of that stuff that you either don't need or that doesn't work anymore. When you go back to your office space, I want you to look over your desk, or your brief case or your purse…any area you want to choose. I’d like you to bring back here anything that isn’t vital or some things you’ve perhaps been too lazy to throw out till now. Put what you’ve brought back in a pile here -- along with everyone else’s. Where individuals are reluctant to throw things away – ask them to identify the three oldest things in their bag, your desk drawer – whatever -- – justify their retention to the group. If they succeed they should be running the group.
  • Slide: Time Waster Letting Go Exercise Do a "spring cleaning" at least once a year. (Even if it's in the dead of winter.) Purge your office. There's no need to hang onto all of that stuff that you either don't need or that doesn't work anymore. Your employees will like working in a cleaner environment. Chances are they-and you-will be happier and more productive. And don't limit your efforts to the inside of your building. Take a look outside. Are there things that you could do to make it look nicer? You might even freshen things up with a new coat of paint or some potted plants. Entrepreneurial expert Ty Freyvogel once said: "I am a firm believer that our mental processes are influenced by our external environment. It's depressing to be surrounded by clutter. Clean up and everyone may enjoy a boost in energy and creativity." The collective “throwing away” of the junk can symbolize the look ahead theme and reinforce the need to de-clutter , to welcome change and not dwell on the past.
  • WORK WITH A CLEAN DESK People always say, "Out of sight, out of mind" but the reverse of that is true too. When it's in sight, it's in mind and we cannot help but be distracted. Studies have shown that a person working with a messy desk will spend, on average, 1-1/2 hours per day either being distracted by things in their view or looking for things. That's 7-1/2 hours per week! Keep the clutter before you at a minimum and you will have a more accurate focus on what you need to do to increase your daily productivity.
  • There are various sources of waste The most common are social: Telephone calls Friends or sales people dropping by Conversations around the coffee machine. It would be foolish to eliminate all non-work related activity (we all need a break) but if it's a choice between chatting to Harry in the afternoon and meeting the next pay-related deadline… well… Once again, your time log will show you if this is a problem and you might like to do something about it before your boss does . In your time log, look at each work activity and decide objectively how much time each was worth to you , and compare that with the time you actually spent on it. An afternoon spent polishing an internal memo into a Pulitzer prize winning piece of provocative prose is waste An hour spent debating the going away present of a colleague is waste A minute spent sorting out the paper-clips is waste (unless relaxation) This type of activity will be reduced naturally by managing your own time since you will not allocate time to the trivial. Specifically, if you have a task to do: Decide before hand how long it should take Work to that deadline Then move on to the next task What are some other sources of waste? Time is often wasted in changing between activities. For this reason it is useful to group similar tasks together to avoid the start-up delay of each. The time log will show you where these savings can be made. You may want then to initiate a routine which deals with these on a fixed but regular basis.
  • Doing the Work of Others A major impact upon your work can be the tendency to help others with theirs. But really…do you have the luxury of time to do that? In the spirit of an open and harmonious work environment it is obviously desirable that you should be willing to help out. But check your work log and decide how much time you spend on your own work and how much you spend on others – including stopping what you’re doing to answer another’s questions. For instance, if you spend a morning checking the grammar and spelling in the training material related to your last project, then that is waste. Your communications or H. R. department or secretaries should do the proof-reading…that is their job. They are better at it than you; you should deal at the technical level. Doing Subordinate’s Work Having considered what is complete waste, we now turn to what is merely inappropriate . Often it is simpler to do the job yourself. Dropping your own letters off at the post office ensures they leave on time Writing the missing summary in the latest progress report from your assistant is more pleasant than sending it back (and it lets you choose the emphasis). Large gains can be made by actually assigning secretarial duties to secretaries … I’ll bet they type a lot faster than you. And if you have a task which could be done by another, use the next occasion to start training him or her to do it instead of doing it yourself. You may need to spend some time monitoring the task, but far less that in doing it yourself. Oh, and your assistant should be told about the missing section and told how (and why ) to slant it.
  • Working with YOUR boss …Getting it right the first time How many times have you performed tasks that your supervisor or the committee you’re reporting back to either repeated or simply negated it or ignored it or redefined the task, too late. Making your SUPERVISOR or COMMITTEE more efficient is a very difficult task , but where it intrudes on your work and performance, take the bull by the horns and confront the issue . Managing your manager may seem a long way from Time Management but no one impacts upon your use of time more than your immediate superior. And decisions-by-committee can add untold hours to a project. If a task isn’t well-defined, get it clarified (Did you want a one page summary or a ten page report? Am I supposed to go to that meeting or is one person from our group enough?) Don’t quite understand what you’re supposed to deliver or why? Ask for the reasons and next time clarify these and similar points at the beginning. If the decision-maker or makers are difficult, try writing a small specification for each task before beginning it and get it agreed upon. While you can not tactfully hold another to this contract if they have a change of mind, it will at least cause him/her to consider the issues early on , before you waste your time on false assumptions.
  • Albert Einstein once said: “ Don’t commit to memory anything you can write down” I took that message to heart. Now if I lose a memo, I’m lost. But the meaning is simple: Make lists Start with a simple appointments list – a simple list of tasks that you need to carry out. Just jot down the tasks that face you – maybe just for the day, maybe for the week. If they are large, break them down into their component elements If these still seem large, break them down again
  • Most meetings are boring – that’s why people don’t want to go to them. To make everyone of your meetings shine, the first step is two-fold: DON’T HAVE THEM!! List your meetings generally and then cut your meetings in half. Take each one of those planned meetings and cut their time in half. You’ll be more effective, the attendees will be more engaged. THREE ALTERNATE WAYS TO COMMUNICATE – not always appropriate: Face-to-Face (Ten in Ten) Phone Conference Email – task and information, take action
  • Making Your Meetings Matter In a perfect world, when you call a meeting, everyone shows up on time, comes prepared, is not distracted by their PDA or laptop, and stays alert and engaged. But it’s not a perfect world. They blog, text message, chat, sleep?? Why? WHAT HAPPENS IN A MEETING DEPENDS ON YOU The attention span of an average adult is eight seconds! And yet, where do you see people eagerly sitting and engaging in two-hour sessions? Feature films, plays – why? Because they are interesting, have variety, change sets/views every few seconds to keep audience attention. But most business meetings are really just data dumps. It’s your responsibility to keep people engaged. The leader has to set an agenda, take responsibility for the meeting to keep people connected. Have a pre-distributed agenda Add content to make meetings interesting Encourage robust dialog, passion. Check to make sure participants are paying attention. Evaluate yourself – are you engaging? Video tape yourself. Engage those in the meeting by soliciting different points of view, dialogue, Watch body language to ensure your attendees are connecting with the content. You can direct and control meetings. Use eye-contact to “connect” to less talkative individuals. Ending a meeting: Have an action step – either for the group, or one or two End with a bang – a quote or a story
  • Slide: Keeping Time (How many use some sort of organized calendar, to do list, appointments on a Palm Pilot, etc. now.) A 1990 Gallup Poll Questionnaire asked: Do you make time-management lists or calendars to help you organize your time, or not?   YES about 52 percent NO about 49 percent The next stage of Personal Time Management is to start taking control of your time by writing down what you do all day … (This may be something you have found yourself wondering at times! And I’m sure others wonder as well!) You can get control of your day best through the simple act of writing – through the use of an appointment diary or calendar, a DayTimer or Franklin Covey.
  • STRESS TEST We’re all trying to beat the clock – for some of us, the clock is winning. And that causes undo stress. How are you doing? Take a few minutes to take the Stress Test in your folder. DISCUSS RESULTS
  • As suggested before the break, you can start with a simple appointments list – a simple list of the tasks that you need to carry out. Consolidating all the jobs that you have to do into one place: This could be a sheet or legal pad where you can have a complete list of all your known appointments for the foreseeable future Just jot down the tasks that you face Again, to review: If they are large, break them down into their component elements. If these still seem large, break them down again. Do this until you have listed everything that you have to do, with all tasks shown as manageable pieces of work . – OR – …
  • – OR --…you can make it even simpler, with what I call a “Daily To Do” list. A “Daily To Do List” is a more task-oriented list. It works well for those who have some appointments, some meeting, some phone calls to make, but they also have a whole lot of projects or tasks they work on and these take up the bulk of their time. Make sure that you put all of the tasks, meeting and appointments you have to do down on your list, so that you do not have the stress of trying to remember tasks that are “buzzing around” in your head. Phone meetings and conference calls Email “conversations” you need to have with key personnel in order to complete a project Tasks or projects that are deadline oriented or billable. Be sure to add your regular appointments or meetings (even if you remember them anyway) because the idea is to get a clear idea of what the heck it is that you do all day.
  • TO DO FROM MERRILLCOM Once you have created your list, in whatever format, run through the tasks and allocate priorities from A (very important) to F (unimportant). Where you have several tasks of the same priority, number them in order of priority (for example, “B2” may be the second most important B priority task). Base your assessment of priorities on two criteria: The urgency of the task and The importance of the task. Some little tasks can be urgent and must be done. For example, paying an electricity bill is a small task, but if you have reached the payment date, it is a task that needs to be completed; otherwise, your power may be cut off! Other tasks will be important and have a high value. Use your own judgment to prioritize your list. If too many tasks have a high priority, run through the list again and demote the less important ones. Once you have done this, rewrite the list in priority order.
  • TIME TIP To Do Lists are very personal, and different approaches to them are valid for different people at different times, and in different jobs. Paper lists, for example, are very portable and easy to change; however, they are laborious to write out and order. You may find that you prefer to keep your list on your computer, perhaps as an Excel spreadsheet or on To Do List software on your computer, combined with your Palm Pilot. If this suits the way you work, this will make it easier to keep the list and sort it into order. A hidden benefit of using To Do Lists properly is that by the end of the day, hopefully only relatively unimportant and non-urgent jobs should remain. This makes it much easier to go home on time with a clear conscience!
  • This involves the simple task of taking note of how you spend your time for a period of time (say a week). I say simple since all you have to do is create a table in Excel or simply on a yellow pad. Photocopy half-a-dozen copies and carry one around with you filling in a row every time you change activity. Just make a note of everything you do, and the time you take to do it, on the form. Activity logs are useful tools for auditing the way that you use your time. After a week or so, analyze it . By analyzing your activity log, you will be able to identify and eliminate time-wasting and low-yield jobs . The Activity Log also helps you to review your use of time so that you can find more efficient ways of working. We are not looking here to create new categories of work to enhance efficiency . We’re simply trying to eliminate time wasting in your current practice. The first step is a critical appraisal of how you spend your time and to question some of your habits. In your time log, identify periods of time which might have been better used .
  • A To “Did” List: Auditing your time. The fact that you’re here in this room – I hope – is that you value your time. But where does your time go? Have you ever done a Time Log to determine just how – specifically -- your time is spent? Here’s a sample of a Time Log … this one is for a Management Consultant. How to audit your time. Take out last week’s calendar, and evaluate it using your newly established time allocations for each category. This will give you a sense of how much adjustment will be necessary going forward. Record how you spend your time in a time-management log—for many, this very discipline is half the battle. Here's a sample time-management log from a consultant.
  • What To Do If You're Overloaded If you have too many tasks to do in too short a time, then work through the list and: See if there are any tasks that can be delegated to someone who is not as overloaded as you may be, and who can help you. Alternatively, negotiate with affected people to see it they are prepared to give more time. You should find that being able to show your To Do List helps in these negotiations. Now, be ruthless and eliminate the unnecessary. There may be committees where you can not productively contribute or where an assistant might be (better) able to participate. Make schedule changes: Change the type of meeting: There may be long lunches which could be better run as short conference calls. Schedule less time: There may be interviews which last three times as long as necessary because they are scheduled for a whole hour.
  • The most intimidating appointments aren’t actually appointments – they’re deadlines – usually involving the handover of deliverables. How do you handle deadlines? Do you leave the work until it’s too late? Is there commonly a final panic towards the end? Are the last few hectic hours often marred by errors?
  • For each appointment on your To Do List, consider what you need to do to make sure you get the job done on time. If you are going to a meeting where you will be asked to comment on some report, allocate time to read it so avoiding delays in the meeting and increasing your chances of making the right decision the first time. Consider what actions need to be done before AND what actions must be done to follow-up . Even if the latter is unclear before the event, you must still allocate time to review the outcome and to plan the resulting action. Simply mark in your To Do list the block of time necessary to do this and, when the time comes, do it. The basic idea is that your management of personal deadlines should be achieved with exactly the same techniques you would use in a large project: Check the specs - are you sure that you agree on what is to be delivered? Break the task down into smaller sections so you can estimate the time needed for each And monitor your progress Schedule reviews of your progress (e.g. after each sub-task) so that you can respond quickly to difficulties
  • Like most management ideas, this is common sense. You might think all this scheduling will do is show the lack of time for a project which has to get done anyway . If planning and time management show that the task can’t be done, then it will not be done. But by knowing at the start, you have a chance to do something about it. An impossible deadline affects everyone’s success. FOR EXAMPLE: As a marketer, ADVERTISING DEADLINE ON THURSDAY for a mailer. The client called us Monday. I knew it was going to be tight – but said okay. For an event for the Chamber. If we don’t do a good job, our customer won’t be satisfied – it could conceivably not get done at all -- and all because I agreed to do the impossible. The project planning tells you how much time is needed The time management tells you how much time is available. You can avoid this type of problem. Practicing the time management principles we’ve discussed. You’ll have a clear understanding of how you spend your time. If a new task is forced on you, you can estimate whether it is practical.
  • There are four ways to deal with impossible deadlines: Get the deadline extended Scream for more resources Get the deliverable redefined to something practical State the position clearly so that your boss ( and his/her boss) have fair warning If this simple approach seems unrealistic, consider the alternative. If you have an imposed, but unobtainable, deadline and you accept it; then the outcome is your assured failure. Of course, there is a fifth option: Scram, pull out all remaining hair, and run for the hills – or at least move on to an organization with realistic schedules.
  • Getting buy in. One defense tactic is to present your superior with a current list of your obligations indicating what impact the new task will have on these, and ask him/her to assign the priorities: "I can't do them all, which should I let go or delay?". Another tactic is to keep a data base of your time estimates and the actual time taken by each task. This will quickly develop into a source of valuable data and increase the accuracy of your planning predictions. There is no reason why you should respond only to externally imposed deadlines. The slightly shoddy product which you hand-over after the last minute rush (and normally have returned for correction the following week) could easily have been polished if only an extra day had been available - so move your personal deadline forward and allow yourself the luxury of leisured review before the product is shipped. Taking this a step further, the same sort of review might be applied to the product at each stage of its development so that errors and rework time are reduced. By allocating time to quality review, you save time in rework; and this is all part of project planning supported and monitored by your time management. Finally, for each activity you should estimate how much time it is worth and allocate only that amount. This critical appraisal may even suggest a different approach or method so that the time matches the task's importance. Beware of perfection, it takes too long - allocate time for "fitness for purpose", then stop.
  • Monitoring Staff Time Management also affects other people, especially your staff . Planning projects means not only sorting out your time but also the distribution of tasks. When you delegate work to other, it should be done in the same planned, monitored and reviewed way as your own scheduling. Any delegated task should be specified with an (agreed) end date. As a Manager, you are responsible for ensuring that the tasks allocated to your subordinates are completed successfully. So obviously, you should make sure that each task is has an actual deliverable – an end result. Otherwise it’s hard for the person assigned the job to know precisely what is to be done and when they’ve completed it. For instance, I’ve got some fairly new staff, and when I asked one of them to order printing for a client, I didn’t think to give a priority or deadline, to ask for confirmation or for an invoice when the order was shipped. -As a result, when the client called, the order hadn’t been placed yet, and I didn’t have the information they needed, and when the order did come in, there was no invoice, so I could in turn invoice the client. This was a new employee, and somewhat unusual – but if you have a lot of delegated tasks to keep track of, give deadlines, and ask for a memo when completed. If you agree the task for Tuesday, Wednesday should have an entry in your diary to check the deliverable. This simple device allows you to monitor progress and to initiate action as necessary.
  • Time tip!! TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR TIME We never GET the time for anything. We have to TAKE the time! An important part of time management is to cut out "time wasters” Unproductive meetings Calls from people trying to sell you things you don’t need Excessive reading, etc. Time wasters are often people who want your time, but have little to offer in return. Cutting out time wasting often involves taking charge and saying “No” to people.   If you do this rudely, you may get a reputation for arrogance. If you are abrasive to your co-workers, you can damage important working relationships. It pays to be as courteous as is practical in cutting time wasting. When in doubt, a little explanation is sure to help. But just say “no”.
  • 1. SPEND TIME PLANNING AND ORGANIZING. Using time to think and plan is time well-spent. In fact, if you fail to take time for planning, you are, in effect, planning to fail. Organize in a way that makes sense to you. If you need color and pictures, use a lot on your calendar or planning book. Some people need to have papers filed away; others get their creative energy from their piles. So forget the “shoulds” and organize your way. 2. SET GOALS. Goals give your life, and the way you spend your time, direction. When asked the secret to amassing such a fortune, one of the famous Hunt brothers from Texas replied: “First you've got to decide what you want.” Set goals that are specific, measurable, realistic and achievable. Your optimum goals are those which cause you to "stretch" but not "break" as you strive for achievement. Goals can give creative people a much-needed sense of direction. 3. PRIORITIZE. Use the 80-20 Rule originally stated by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who noted that 80 percent of the reward comes from 20 percent of the effort. The trick to prioritizing is to isolate and identify that valuable 20 percent. Once identified, prioritize time to concentrate your work on those items with the greatest reward. Prioritize by color, number or letter — whichever method makes the most sense to you. Flagging items with a deadline is another idea for helping you stick to your priorities. 4. USE YOUR TO DO LIST. We’ve already talked about To Do List, and combining a To Do list with a calendar or schedule or a “running” To Do list. Whatever method works is best for you. Don't be afraid to try a new system — you just might find one that works even better than your present one! 5. BE FLEXIBLE. Allow time for interruptions and distractions – as much as 50 percent or less of one’s time. With only 50 percent of your time planned, you will have the flexibility to handle interruptions and the unplanned "emergency.” When you expect to be interrupted, schedule routine tasks. Save (or make) larger blocks of time for your priorities. When interrupted, ask, “What is the most important thing I can be doing with my time right now?” to help you get back on track fast.
  • 6. CONSIDER YOUR BIOLOGICAL PRIME TIME. That’s the time of day when you are at your best. Are you a “morning person” a “night owl”" or a late afternoon “whiz?” I’ve always said any employer who paid me for time I worked before 10 a.m. was not getting their money’s worth. Knowing when your best time is and planning to use that time of day for your priorities (if possible) is effective time management. 7. DO THE RIGHT THING RIGHT. Peter Drucker: “Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right.” Doing the right thing is effectiveness; doing things right is efficiency. Focus first on effectiveness (identifying what is the right thing to do), then concentrate on efficiency (doing it right). 8. ELIMINATE THE URGENT. Urgent tasks have short-term consequences while important tasks are those with long-term, goal-related implications. Work toward reducing the urgent things you must do so you’ll have time for your important priorities. Flagging or highlighting items on your To Do list or attaching a deadline to each item may help keep important items from becoming urgent emergencies. 9. PRACTICE THE ART OF INTELLIGENT NEGLECT. Eliminate from your life trivial tasks or those tasks which do not have long-term consequences for you. Can you delegate or eliminate any of your To Do list? Work on those tasks which you alone can do.
  • 10. LEARN TO SAY “NO.” Such a small word — and so hard to say. Focusing on your goals may help. Blocking time for important, but often not scheduled, priorities such as family and friends can also help. But first you must be convinced that you and your priorities are important — that seems to be the hardest part in learning to say “no.” Once convinced of their importance, saying "no" to the unimportant in life gets easier. 11. REWARD YOURSELF. Even for small successes, celebrate achievement of goals. Promise yourself a reward for completing each task, or finishing the total job. Then keep your promise to yourself and indulge in your reward. Doing so will help you maintain the necessary balance in life between work and play. As Ann McGee-Cooper says, "If we learn to balance excellence in work with excellence in play, fun, and relaxation, our lives become happier, healthier, and a great deal more creative." 12. AVOID BEING A PERFECTIONIST. In the Malaysian culture, only the gods are considered capable of producing anything perfect. Whenever something is made, a flaw is left on purpose so the gods will not be offended. Yes, some things need to be closer to perfect than others, but perfectionism, paying unnecessary attention to detail, can be a form of procrastination. 13. MAKE A DECISION NOT TO PROCRASTINATE. Procrastination Another common source of waste stems from delaying work which is unpleasant by finding distractions which are less important or unproductive. This is a problem I’ve dealt with most of my life…as I’m sure do many of you. (example – ironing)
  • Procrastination Every minute of your life you make decisions. If you let yourself daydream for five minutes, that is a decision. Even if you decide not to decide, it is a decision. Important choices in our lives are usually made up of one or two early “original” decisions, and hundreds of little decisions thereafter. For example, you might have decided early in life never to suffer embarrassment. That decision could be supported by choices to procrastinate about any task that you think you could fail or look foolish. Many people have great difficulty in making any decision. This can be because they were blamed and criticized for choices they made as children. They decided very early to escape those consequences by leaving the decision making to others. Even though the early decision not to decide may have made sense as a dependent child, it becomes a liability to continue to use these “escape routes” as you develop into a helpless adult. Getting aware of these early “escape routes” can help us recognize when poor decisions are at work in our lives. We can then begin to discard them. Examples of earlier decisions that may be behind your current choice to procrastinate: Not to suffer more than a minimum amount of pain. Not to ever become really tired or work too hard. For everything to be easy. Nothing should be easy, but should be earned with hard work. Never to hurt anybody. Never to feel guilty, angry, or competitive. To be punished for having pleasure or fun. To be liked and accepted by everybody. Always to be taken care of. Always to ``look good.''
  • Ways to overcome procrastination Recognize the unpleasantness . Making a correct decision is often a little harder than making no decision at all. But if you concentrate on the greater unpleasantness of putting it off or doing it the easy way – if you look honestly at the cost and risks of delay – it’s likely to create enough mental energy for getting something done. What’s your payoff for taking the easy way? Something’s got to be in it for you or you wouldn’t do it. So – for example – do you avoid being anxious if you procrastinate. Do you not want to call attention to yourself ? Is having to face the possibility of failure what stops you? Sometimes just knowing why we are playing these mind games with ourselves is all it takes to help us put a stop to them. Exaggerate your resistant behaviors. Exaggerate and intensify whatever you are doing that is putting off the decision to begin a task. If you are staring at yourself in the bathroom mirror in the morning instead of getting to work, draw it out. Really study all your pores. Go over each quadrant of your face minutely. Keep it up until you are really bored, and getting to work seems much more exciting. Take responsibility for each delay. You are the one wasting your own precious time. And yet, how often do you blame someone else? As a kid – “ the dog ate my homework”? As an adult – “ my hard drive died.” They’re all just excuses when you get right down to it. So make a list of each procrastination or escape activity and note how long it took for you to “get over yourself” and get it done. Decide everything now. Include in the decision when you will set aside all escapes to begin the task. The rule of three.
  • Ways to overcome procrastination Prime yourself with lead-in tasks. Let yourself into the activity gradually with a small but related task. If you have to mow the lawn, decide to go as far as filling the gas tank on the mower, then wheeling it out to the edge of the lawn. If you have to write a grant, start by naming a folder and organizing all the sources and information you’ll need to write it. Example of article instead of 12 chapters of a book. Finish things, Avoid beginning a new task until you have completed every segment of your current task. The satisfaction of finishing a task is one of the greatest rewards in decision making. Make a big check off on your To Do list!! It feels great! Block off your escape routes , when you have a top priority item to do. These escape routes include: Schedule daydreaming for a later time Stop socializing, on the phone, at the water cooler or online Put away the books and the newspaper Put away tiny, unimportant tasks Don't run out for ice cream or other sudden indulgences Forget errands or sudden bursts of house cleaning Reduce television watching Throw away junk mail – unopened Stop perfectionism. Everyone makes mistakes. Remember the Malaysian culture — that only God is perfect. Assume that attitude and just get it done. Don't think about it. Just do it!
  • Time Management ACTION PLAN What actions can you take now to improve your management of time? Please take out your Action Plan for Time Management Skills. Take ___ Minutes to fill out your first sheet. COACHING PARTNERS: Break into groups of 2 – 3 to discuss. TM is common sense TM reveals problems and provides structure TM enables you to take control of your own time
  • Three Steps to Greater Productivity In practical terms, three simple steps will help you become more productive: understanding your current situation, identifying options and deciding what you are willing to do. Step 1 : Know your situation . Common threats to managing time include e-mail, people, lack of planning and chaotic workspaces. Determine which is causing you to lose the most time, and set it as your priority. Step 2: Define your options. When you identify options for action, you take control of the situation. If drop-by social visits are a major disruption, find friendly but firm ways to slow the parade. If the visits are work-related, talk to your colleagues about less-distracting ways to share information. And let people know that you are consciously trying to improve and seek their support. To control e-mail, consider checking it only at predetermined intervals. You can still be responsive, but will no longer be taken off task. If you have lost track of what you need to get done, create a task list and build a plan. Take five minutes each day to figure out what you need to accomplish. Step 3: Decide what you are willing to do. This comes down to your motivation to change. Set realistic goals, find people to support you and plan how you’ll hold yourself accountable and celebrate your future success.  Overcoming distractions results from countless in-the-moment decisions to stay focused. Recognize that you are developing new habits, enlist others to help and be ready to free up energy to get more things done well. “ All meaningful and lasting change starts first on the inside, and works its way out.” - Lou Tice Personal Time Management is just a systematic application of common sense strategies. It requires so little effort Yet it leads to effective use of time by focusing it on your chosen activities. Time Management doesn’t solve your problems – but it does reveal them, and gives you a way to apply and monitor solutions. And it gives you a way to take control of your own time - how you use it is then up to you. So what are you waiting for? “ You might have wasted yesterday! You may even be wasting today! But you haven’t yet wasted tomorrow… Remember, time is speeding away from you so don’t delay.”

Transcript

  • 1. Time Keeps on Ticking, Ticking … into the future Monday, April 12, 2010 Copyright© Cher Merrill 2008 A Personal Time Management Seminar by Cher Merrill Associated Industries
  • 2. PASSING TIME…
  • 3. GOT PTM? OR DO YOU HAVE…
    • Last minute rushes to meet deadlines
    • Double booked or worthless meetings
    • Days that slip by unproductively
    • Unexpected crises out of no where
    • Time slips away
  • 4. “ THOSE WE LABEL NATURAL BORN LEADERS KNOW HOW TO LEVERAGE THEIR TIME.” - Warren Blank “The 108 Skills of Natural Born Leaders” TIME KEEPS ON TICKING, TICKING…
  • 5. ONE PURPOSE: THE PURPOSE OF TIME MANAGEMENT TO LET US GET CONTROL OF OUR LIVES SO WE CAN MAKE THE CHOICES WE WANT
  • 6. TIME KEEPS ON TICKING…
    • Today is about controlling the use of your most valuable and undervalued resource:
    • YOUR TIME
  • 7. Time Management Benefits YOUR STAFF
    • Long term objectives don’t suffer
    • Time management allows balance and objectivity
    • Personnel time needs don’t get pushed aside (employee reviews, training, etc.)
    • Planning time
    • Empowerment
  • 8. Time Management Benefits YOU
    • “ ME” Time
    • Where do you want to go?
    • If you do not plan where you want to go, you are unlikely to get there
  • 9.
    • Less waste
    • Be prepared
    • Resist extreme workloads
    • Monitor progress
    • Allocate resources
    • Handle large projects
    • Plan effectively
    Time Management Benefits YOUR COMPANY
  • 10. Poor Time Management: An Energy & Dollar Drain
    • Poor TM can lead to:
    • Physical exhaustion
    • Disengagement
    • Illness
    • Loss of good employees
  • 11. Time Management: An Energy Renewal Resource
    • 4 dimensions of personal energy:
    • Physical
    • Emotional
    • Mental
    • Spiritual
  • 12. Eight Steps to Taking Control
    • Get up earlier
    • Delegate
    • “ Sacred” time
    • Set Unplugged times
  • 13. Eight Steps to Taking Control
    • Schedule for the unscheduled
    • Take 10 at 10
    • Take another 10
    • Give yourself travel time
  • 14. TIME TIP!!!
    • Keep an Activity Log
    • Break your responsibilities into categories
    • Ask what percentage each should be
    • Check it out with others
  • 15. Time Waster Letting Go Exercise
  • 16. Clutter Wastes Time "I am a firm believer that our mental processes are influenced by our external environment. It's depressing to be surrounded by clutter. Clean up and everyone may enjoy a boost in energy and creativity.“ -- Ty Freyvogel
  • 17. More Sources of Time Waste
    • WORK WITH A CLEAN DESK
    • Studies have shown people with messy desks spend, on average, 1-1/2 hours a day (a) being distracted or (b) looking for things
    • That’s 7-1/2 hours per week!
  • 18. More Sources of Time Waste
    • Telephone calls
    • Unplanned drop ins
    • Conversations around coffee machine
    • Instant messaging
    • Frivolous emails
    • Poorly planned meetings
  • 19. Other Ways We Waste Time
    • DOING THE WORK
    • OF OTHERS
    • Be willing to help out
    • But check your work log
      • How much time you spend on your own work?
      • How much you spend on others’ work?
  • 20. Other Ways We Waste Time
      • GET IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
      • Seek clarification
      • Learn the reasons for changes
      • Next time clarify similar points at the beginning
      • Write a small spec sheet for each task and get it agreed upon
  • 21. Other Ways We Waste Time
    • “ Don’t commit to memory anything you can write down.”
    • – Albert Einstein
    • If tasks are large, break them down into their component elements
    • If these still seem large, break them down again
  • 22. Making Your Meetings Matter
    • To make your meetings shine:
      • List meetings and cut in half
      • Take each one of those planned meetings and cut their time in half
    • 3 alternate way to communicate:
      • Face time
      • Phone Conference
      • Email
  • 23. Making Your Meetings Matter
    • You can direct and control meetings.
      • Have a pre-distributed agenda
      • Add content to make meetings interesting
      • Encourage robust dialog
      • Evaluate yourself
      • Solicit different p oints of view, dialogue
  • 24. Do You To Do? Gallup Poll, 1990: Do you make time-management lists or calendars to help you organize your time, or not? Reply Percentage Number Total of 1024 People Yes 51.92 864 No 48.08 800
  • 25. STRESS TEST
    • We’re all trying to beat the clock – for some of us, the clock is winning. And that causes undo stress.
    • How are you doing?
    • Take a few minutes to take the Stress Test in your folder.
  • 26. Appointment List: Starting Simple
    • A sheet or legal pad
    • List all known appointments for the foreseeable future
    • If large, break them down
    • If these still seem large, break them down again
    • Do this until you have all tasks as manageable pieces of work
  • 27. Daily TO DO
    • Task Oriented
    • Projects
    • Appointments
    • Other contacts:
      • Phone
      • Email
  • 28. The TO DO List Approach
    • Allocate priorities from A (very important) to C (not as important)
    • Base priorities on two criteria:
      • Task’s urgency
      • Task’s importance
  • 29. TIME TIP!!!
    • To Do Lists are very personal
    • Different approaches are valid
      • Paper Lists
      • List on computers
      • Palm Pilot
    • Must suit the way you work
      • It will make it easier to keep the list and sort it into order
  • 30. TIME TIP!!!
    • Taking note of how you spend your time for a period of time
    • Make a note of everything you do, and the time you take to do it
    The first step is to appraise how you spend your time and question habits.
  • 31. Auditing Your Time
  • 32. What to do if you’re overloaded
    • Delegate to another
    • Get more time
    • Eliminate the unnecessary
    • Make schedule changes
  • 33. Scheduling Projects
    • How do you handle deadlines?
      • Leave the work until it’s too late?
      • Is there usually a final panic toward the end?
      • Are the last few hectic hours often marred by errors?
  • 34. Scheduling Projects
    • For each appointment on Your To-Do List, consider what actions you might take to ensure that no time is wasted
    • Manage deadlines with the same techniques you use to manage projects
    • Monitor your progress
  • 35. Scheduling Projects
    • An impossible deadline affects not only your success but also that of others
    • Planning tells you how much time is needed
    • Time management tells you how much time is available
  • 36. Ways to deal with impossible deadlines
    • Get the deadline extended
    • Ask for more resources
    • Get the deliverable redefined to something practical
    • State the position clearly so that your boss has fair warning
    • Scram! Pull out all remaining hair and run for the hills!
  • 37. Getting buy in…
    • “I can’t do them all, which should I delay?”
    • Keep a database of time estimates and actual time tasks take
    • Move deadlines forward and allow time for proper work to be done
  • 38. Monitoring Staff
    • Delegated tasks should be given with deadlines and deliverable(s)
    • Have necessary information in your calendar or To Do
    • Monitor progress
    • Initiate action only if indicated because end date has passed
  • 39. TIME TIP!!!
    • TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR TIME
    • We never GET the time for anything.
    • We have to TAKE the time!
    • Take charge
    • Just say “no”
  • 40. Thirteen Ways to Put Time in a Bottle
    • Spend time planning and organizing
    • Set goals
    • Prioritize
    • Use a to do list
    • Be flexible
  • 41. Thirteen Ways to Put Time in a Bottle
    • Consider your biological prime time
    • Do the right thing right
    • Eliminate the urgent
    • Practice the art of intelligent neglect
  • 42. Thirteen Ways to Put Time in a Bottle
    • Avoid being a perfectionist
    • Reward Yourself
    • Learn to say “NO”
    • Make a decision not to procrastinate
  • 43. Wait a minute!
    • Procrastination is an escape route
    • Procrastination is a decision not to decide
    • Procrastination usually stems from early choices
  • 44. Ways to Overcome Procrastination
    • Recognize the unpleasantness
    • Identify your payoff
    • Exaggerate your resistant behaviors
    • Take responsibility for each delay
    • Decide everything now
  • 45. Ways to Overcome Procrastination
    • Prime yourself with lead-in tasks
    • Finish things
    • Block off your escape routes
    • Stop perfectionism
    • JUST DO IT!
  • 46. Time Management ACTION PLAN
    • What actions can you take now to improve your management of time ?
  • 47. “ All meaningful and lasting change starts first on the inside, and works its way out.” - Lou Tice TIME TIP!!!