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Time management programs succeed only if one commits to reaching a goal and sticks to that commitment. Experts can tell you how to save time, but you must supply the necessary discipline and give up some activities.
Supervisors who practice management by crisis have major time problems. They react rather than anticipate and plan. They spend excess time running around trying to resolve crises instead of preventing them.
Passive individuals have the same time problems as those who fail to delegate. They can’t turn down requests that consume their time, they struggle to keep up with their own work while allowing themselves to constantly diverted.
The best place to start a time management program is your personal work area where you can see results quickly. To avoid distractions, move your desk so that it does not face the door, or keep your door closed. Arrange filing cabinets and other furnishings to provide ready access to documents.
Try to handle each incoming item only once. Practice the 3D idea: Do, Delegate, or Discard. When you hesitate to discard, ask yourself “What is the worst thing that could happen if I do not have this?”
Enter tasks on a “to-do” list. Number the actions in order of importance and urgency, and go to work first on the most important item. Do not expect to accomplish everything on your list every day. Remake or update the list daily.
The greatest supervisory time saver of all is delegation. Every hour that someone else does something that you previously did is an hour of your time that is saved. Delegation is fundamental to any supervisor’s long-run success.