Personal management skills are essential for effective people. Those who use these techniques routinely are the highest achievers in all walks of life, from business to sport to public service. The 80:20 Rule This rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, says that typically 80% of unfocused effort generates only 20% of results. The remaining 80% of results are acheived with only 20% of the effort. In this presentation, you will learn simple time management tips or techniques that can help you optimize your effort to ensure you concentrate as much of your time and energy as possible on the high payoff tasks .
At the end of this presentation, you shall know the following Time Management Tools :
Getting things done – Beating Procrastination
Finding out how you really spend your time: Activity Logs
Small scale planning – Action Plans
Tackling the right task first – Prioritize To Do Lists
Deciding what your personal priorities should be – Personal Goal Setting
Planning to make the best use of your time – Effective Scheduling
In this section, we start off with simple and practical techniques: Beating Procrastination and Activity Logs help you quickly eliminate the most common time wasters. Action Plans and Prioritize To Do Lists help you focus on the most important short term activities. Goal Setting and Scheduling help you gain complete control of the volume of work you do.
What is it? A basic definition of procrastination is putting off the things that you should be doing now. The big difference between success and failure in personal as well as in professional life lies in your ability to recognize procrastination reasons and expressions in their different forms, and to promptly take them under control!!!
Waiting for the right mood
Waiting for the right time
Step 1: Recognize the Causes of Procrastination What are the typical reasons why people procrastinate? Here are a few of the most common situations to consider in your anti-procrastination efforts. It could be as simple as: How to Overcome Procrastination
Lack of clear goals
Underestimating the difficulty of the tasks
Underestimating the time required to complete the tasks
Unclear standards for the task outcomes
Feeling as the tasks are imposed on you from the outside
Too ambiguous tasks
Step 1: Recognize the Causes of Procrastination Then look at the way you organize your work. You may notice other reasons for procrastination like: How to Overcome Procrastination
Underdeveloped decision making skills
Fear of failure or fear of success
Step 1: Recognize the Causes of Procrastination How to Overcome Procrastination And there are also many connections with:
You find the task unpleasant, or
You find the task overwhelming
Step 2: Work out WHY You’re Procrastinating How to Overcome Procrastination In the previous slides we discussed in detail the most common causes of procrastination. However, they can often be reduced to TWO MAIN REASONS:
Make up your own rewards.
Ask someone else to check on you. Peer pressure works!
Identify the unpleasant consequences of NOT doing the task.
Work out the cost of your time to your employer. You’re not delivering value for money if you’re not doing your tasks.
Step 3: Get Over It! How to Overcome Procrastination If you are putting something off because you just don’t like it or you can’t delegate the work to someone else, you need to find ways of motivating yourself. The following approaches can be helpful here:
Break the project into a set of smaller, more manageable tasks. You might find it helpful to create an action plan.
Start with some quick, small tasks if you can, even if these aren’t the logical first actions. You’ll feel that you are achieving things, and so perhaps the whole project won’t be so overwhelming after all.
Step 3: Get Over It! How to Overcome Procrastination If you’re putting off starting a project because you find it overwhelming, you need to take a different approach. Here are some tips:
you need to spot straight away that you are doing it;
then you need to identify WHY you are procrastinating, and
You need to take appropriate actions to overcome the block
Key Points: How to Overcome Procrastination To have a good chance of conquering procrastination, Part of the solution is to develop a good time management; organizational and personal effectiveness habits. This helps you establish the right priorities, and manage your time in such a way that you make the most of the opportunities open to you.
How long do you spend each day on unimportant things, such as those that really don’t contribute to your success at work?
Do you know how much time you’ve spent reading junk mail; taking to colleagues; making coffee, and eating lunch?
And how often have you thought, “I could achieve so much more if I just had another half hour each day?”
Please refer to the Activity Log that has been provided to you at the start of this presentation. It looks like this Now ask yourself: Time Activity description Duration Value (High, Medium or Low)
Activity logs help you analyze how you really spend your time. The first time you use this log may shock you to see the amount of time that you waste!!! Memory is a very poor guide when it comes to this, as it can be too easy to forget time spent on non-core tasks. Time Activity description Duration Value (High, Medium or Low)
Keep your activity log for several days to help you understand how you spend your time, and when you perform at your best.
Without modifying your behaviour any further than you have to, note down the things that you do as you do them on this tool.
Each time you change activities, whether opening mail. Working, making coffee, talking with colleagues or whatever, note down the time of the change.
Note how you feel, whether alert, flat, tired, energetic, etc. Do this periodically throughout the day. You may decide to integrate your activity with a stress diary.
How To use the Activity Logs Tool: Time Activity description Duration Value (High, Medium or Low)
Eliminate jobs that you’re employer shouldn’t be paying you to do. Such can be delegated to someone else in the organization, possible at a lower pay rate.
Schedule your most challenging task for the time of day hen your energy level is at its highest.
Learning from your log: Once you have logged your time for a few days, analyze your daily activity log. You may be alarmed to see the amount of time you spend on doing low value jobs. Your analysis should help you free up extra time in your day by applying one of the following actions to most activities:
Clarify your goal.
Can you get a visual picture of the expected outcome?
How can you see if you have reached your destinations?
What does it make your goal to be measureable?
What restraints do you have?
Write a list of actions.
Write down all actions you may need to take.
Take a sheet of paper and write more and more ideas.
Try not to judge or analyze your ideas.
How to Write an Action Plan : Now that you know how you spend your time at work, you need to develop an action plan. The following steps may be of much help to you:
Analyze, priorities, and prune. Look at your list of actions.
What are the absolutely necessary and effective steps to achieve your goal?
What action items can be dropped from the plan without significant consequences for the outcome? (Cross them out).
Organize your list into a plan. Decide on the order of your action steps.
What other steps should be completed before each action?
Look at your plan once again. Are there any ways to simplify it even more?
Monitor the execution of your plan and review the plan regularly.
How much have you progressed towards your goal by now?
What new information you have got? Use this information to further adjust and optimize your plan.
How to Write an Action Plan :
You remember to carry out all necessary tasks
You tackle the most important jobs first, and do not waste on trivial tasks.
You do not get stressed by a large number of unimportant jobs.
Prioritized To Do Lists are fundamentally important to efficient work. If you use To Do Lists, you will ensure that: A prioritized To Do List, similar to the one pictured here, has been provided for you. Use it to list all the tasks that you must carry out. Mark the importance of the task next to it, with priority A (very important) to F (unimportant). Now carry out the tasks at the top of the list first. These are the most important, most beneficial tasks to complete. Task Priority (A-F) A = Very Important F = Unimportant
State each goal as a positive statement : Express your goal positively – “Execute this technique well” is better than “Don’t make this stupid mistake.”
Be precise : Set aside a precise goal, putting in dates and times so that you can measure achievement.
Set priorities : When you have several goals, give each a priority. This will help you to avoid feeling overwhelmed by too many goals.
Goal Setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future --- or in our environment at Letstalk.com, ---your ideal department or team. The following are helpful tips:
Write goals down : This crystallizes them and gives the more force.
Set performance goals, not outcome goals : You should take care to set goals over which you have as much control as possible. If you base your goals on personal performance, then you can keep control over the achievement of your goals and draw satisfaction from them.
Set realistic goals : It is important to set goals that you can achieve.
A useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic:
S - Specific
M - Measureable
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Time-bound
Deciding what is important for you to achieve not only in your personal but in your professional life as well.
Separating what is important from what is irrelevant, or a distraction.
Motivating yourself; and
Building your self-confidence, based on successful achievement of goals.
Key Points : Goal setting is an important method of:
Understand what you can realistically achieve with your time;
Plan to make the best use of the time available;
Leave enough time for things you absolutely must do;
Preserve contingency time to handle “the unexpected,” and
Minimize stress by avoiding over-commitment to yourselves and other.
Plan Your Time. Make Time for Yourself Scheduling is the process by which you look at the time available to you. By using schedule properly, you can:
Identify the time you have available.
Block in the essential tasks you must carry to succeed in your ob.
Schedule in high priority urgent tasks and vital house-keeping activities.
Block in appropriate contingency time to handle unpredictable interruptions.
In the time that remains, schedule activities that address your priorities and personal goals.
Key Points By scheduling effectively, you can both reduce stress and maximize your effectiveness. This makes it one of the most important time management skills you can use. Effective scheduling is a five-step process:
The main topics on this training material are based on articles found on the following websites: www.mindtools.com www.time-management-guide.com www.studygs.net This training material has been put together solely for the purpose of providing continuing education for the managers and supervisors of Letstalk.com and not for the infringement of copyright laws. Some of the wordings from the original articles have been slightly altered to reflect the work environment at Letstalk.com. GPC Training and Development