Successful Time Management for Dummies


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Time is a precious commodity. Each person has the same amount of time given to them to use productively or to waste. In Successful Time Management for Dummies, Dirk Zeller describes a broad variety of time management techniques and systems that can be used by people in different professional roles, as well as at home. Before delving into detailed techniques for better time management, it is useful to take a bigger picture look at time and its value. Zeller suggests taking a step back and considering one’s life goals. Clear goals create a sense of urgency which motivates people to accomplish more in less time. Zeller recommends identifying at least 50 goals to accomplish in the next ten years, then to isolate the three most important goals to achieve in the one year, three year, five year, and ten year timeframes.


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Successful Time Management for Dummies

  2. 3. FEATURES OF THE BOOK Although everyone has the same amount of time to use each day, some make better use of it than others. In Successful Time Management for Dummies , Dirk Zeller shows readers how to control their time more effectively and use time to their best advantage.
  3. 4. THE BIG IDEA In Successful Time Management for Dummies , Dirk Zeller describes a variety of time management techniques that can be used by people in different professional roles, as well as at home.
  4. 5. INTRODUCTION Time is a precious commodity . Each person has the same amount of time, 24 hours each day, to use productively or to waste. Many people believe that time management is one of the top reasons that individuals succeed or fail both professionally and in their personal lives.
  5. 6. STARTING WITH SIMPLE TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES The best time managers consider in depth the link between time management and their life goals. When a person understands his or her short, medium, or long-term goals, it helps shape the way time is then used as a result. Clear goals create a sense of urgency which motivates people to accomplish more in less time.
  6. 7. ESTABLISHING A TIME MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Time management can be challenging when a job requires a lot of travel. However, advanced planning can make business trips as productive as possible. Zeller recommends identifying the trip objectives before setting foot in a car or on a plane. He also suggests grouping trips together for a weeklong trip, rather than several small trips. Each day should be scheduled as tightly as possible. It is useful to book hotels based on convenience and services like Internet access, room service, and a business center. Try to pack efficiently by color coordinating clothing, using hotel toiletries, and investing in a small laptop and electronic reader.
  7. 8. HANDLING TIME MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES One of the greatest time management enemies is interruptions . Although physical barriers, such as office doors, are a good way to prevent interruptions, many modern offices simply have cubicles. In this environment, it is possible to create virtual barriers. Consider posting a sign outside the cubicle or verbally communicating schedule information to others. Since multitasking is not time efficient, it is important to block out time during which the phone, email, and other interruptions are off limits.
  8. 9. HANDLING TIME MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES Procrastination Another time management challenge is procrastination. The first step to overcoming procrastination is to understand the potential reasons for it. For example, people often believe they do not need to start a project if the deadline is far into the future. Other common reasons for procrastination occur because tasks are unpleasant or hard to accomplish, because people fear their work will not be well received, or the sheer desire for perfection.
  9. 10. HANDLING TIME MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES Communicating More Effectively Strategic communication is one way to get faster business results. Face-to-face meetings can be valuable, but they are costly. Not only must the attendees’ time be accounted for, but time must be spent for preparation, agenda design, and travel to the meeting. On the other hand, face-to face communication can be useful for solving problems, making decisions, sharing information, and handling controversial or confidential issues. In-person meetings are best suited for situations where voice tone or body language is important.
  10. 11. WORKING EFFICIENTLY WITH OTHERS Inefficient managers can come in two varieties – one that procrastinates and then dumps work on subordinates, or one that is a workaholic. With workaholic bosses, it is important to communicate reasonable expectations, establish boundaries around personal time, and know when to say no gracefully. Risk seeking managers are more likely to interrupt, provide short deadlines, and impose performance demands on employees.
  11. 12. WORKING EFFICIENTLY WITH OTHERS More Efficient Meetings with Co-Workers Meetings are inevitable in the business world. However, there are steps that can be taken to make them more efficient. The objective for the meeting must be set up front. The most productive meetings have between five and eight attendees. It is important to keep the size to as few people as necessary to accomplish the goal. An agenda should be distributed in advance. When attendees come prepared the value of the meeting increases.
  12. 13. WORKING EFFICIENTLY WITH OTHERS Collaborating with Business Associates Customer satisfaction and loyalty are more likely when business people meet regularly with their clients. Zeller evaluates business associates along two dimensions – he analyzes whether they are high maintenance and will require significant time investment, and he determines what their probable return will be. Investing time in a high maintenance customer is only worthwhile if they will bring a high return.
  13. 14. ZELLER’S TOP TEN LISTS <ul><li>Ten Habits That Promote Time Efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Start the day early . Since most people are more productive in the morning, Zeller recommends getting up a half hour to an hour earlier than usual. </li></ul><ul><li>2 . Plan for the next day . Allocate time each evening to set up for the next day. Planning should incorporate both personal and work obligations. </li></ul>
  14. 15. ZELLER’S TOP TEN LISTS <ul><li>Pay attention to health issues . Eat a healthy diet and have small frequent meals throughout the day to maintain energy. Exercise is also important. Scientific research proves that exercise stimulates chemicals that promote positive thoughts. Also be sure to get enough sleep each night. </li></ul><ul><li>Set aside downtime . Like children, adults also need unstructured blocks of time. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Plan meals for the week . Consider planning meals just once a week. This prevents wasting time each day deciding what to eat. </li></ul>
  15. 16. ZELLER’S TOP TEN LISTS <ul><li>Delegate almost ever ything . Determine which tasks are most important and then delegate everything else. </li></ul><ul><li>Say no more often . There are countless demands on people’s time. It is essential to protect work and pastimes from other less important tasks. Say no when asked to take on activities that do not align with your goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Always use a time management system . The best way to retain time management skills is to adopt a system for managing time. </li></ul>
  16. 17. ZELLER’S TOP TEN LISTS <ul><li>Simplify life . Owning and maintaining possessions is time consuming. Zeller recommends that people consider how their material items align with their goals. Objects that do not support one’s goals should be discarded. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin every day at zero . Leave mistakes, disappointments, and failures in the past. Things that happened yesterday need not affect the outcome of today. </li></ul>
  17. 18. ZELLER’S TOP TEN LISTS <ul><li>Ten Time Saving Technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Handheld digital voice recorders . These can be used to record notes and dictate correspondence. </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software . CRM software enables businesses to maintain client and prospect information in a database. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Finance software or internet banking . Online bill paying makes managing finances easier than ever. </li></ul>
  18. 19. ZELLER’S TOP TEN LISTS <ul><li>4. Phone and web conferencing solutions . Conference bridge lines are convenient for phone meetings, while online conferencing solutions can enhance presentations and meetings. </li></ul><ul><li>Wireless headsets . Wireless headsets are useful for people who spend a lot of time on the phone. They free one’s hands to take notes or walk around. </li></ul><ul><li>6. Mobile phones and text messaging . Text messages are another alternative for communicating quickly with people. </li></ul>
  19. 20. ZELLER’S TOP TEN LISTS <ul><li>Instant messaging . Instant messaging is very useful in the workplace when people are in different locations. </li></ul><ul><li>E-book readers . These enable users to carry hundreds of digital books in a small, portable device. </li></ul><ul><li>GPS systems . These systems are ideal for people who travel for their jobs. </li></ul><ul><li>Digital video recorders . DVRs allow people to record television shows and then watch them at their convenience. They also allow viewers to fast forward through commercials. </li></ul>
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