Time Management

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Get it right, first time, every time using the priority planning methodology!

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  • Welcome to the Study Skills podcast on time management. By the end of this podcast we want you to be able to: understand myths about time management; Identify your personal attitudes toward time management; Discuss key steps in planning and prioritising; Recognise internal and external time wasters; Utilise time management tools such as “to do” lists and timetables. We have many sayings about time and they make good points: Time is money – well, it is a valuable resource. As the historian, Edward Thompson, points out, before the industrial Revolution time passed but after the revolution time was spent. It had been transformed from something we experienced to a commodity which had to be earned and had a price. If you want time, you must make time - we need to allocate time according to our priorities. A job will fill all of the time allocated to it - poor planning and procrastination are time wasters. Have the time of your life - good time management will allow you to fulfil your personal & professional goals. Now let us turn to six myths of time management. The first myth is that with better time management, you can find new time during the day. No, everyone is limited to only 24 hours each day, you can allocate your time in such a way that allows you do other things. The second myth is that effective time management is the same for everyone. Not so, time management is unique for each person because each person has different priorities and goals. The third myth is that activity is good in itself. No, being busy is not the same as being effective, if time is spent on low priorities. Time management is a complex subject. The basic process has only five major steps. The fourth myth is that once you learn the basics of time management you automatically make better use of your time. No, you have to actually use time management techniques consistently. The fifth myth is that good time managers are born not made. No, some people seem to be more naturally organised, but everyone can learn to manage his or her time. The sixth and final myth is that time management is a complex subject. No, the basic process has only five major steps. Before we explore the five step time management technique, let us look at a few major areas of disruption to managing your time – time sealers. Time stealers take many forms. Here are a few examples: People talking when they should be working rather than talking as they are working. Most compulsive chatterboxes are unaware or their disturbance to others. A poor work environment can be very distracting. Ultimately, you should be working in your own purpose-designed space but this is not always possible. Make sure, as a matter of course that you are comfortable in your environment. The time it takes to get others to work and co-operate in a group environment can steal significant time. There is almost a library full of texts on working in groups, Belbin, Wenger and Handy may be good starting points. You should get up close and familiar with work in this area. The work of the social anthropologist Erving Goffman is also interesting on patterns of how humans conform to each others’ behaviour. Procrastination is a genuine time stealer for a lot of students. It’s putting things off! Sounds familiar? Poor planning also steals time. All tasks no matter how large or small should be planned and you should always have a backup plan. Proper planning prevents poor performance. Mental and physical exhaustion can, sometimes, steal almost all of your time. Varied work patterns, appropriate breaks, exercise, good diet and an adequate sleeping pattern can stop exhaustion stealing your time. Finally, here is the five point plan for effective management of your time: Step 1. Set your priorities. Yes, YOUR priorities. If they are not priority to you they will not be met. Include not only professional priorities but also personal priorities to help you create a satisfactory balance between work and life. Step 2. Determine your goals for each priority. What do you hope to achieve and for what purpose? Does this priority lead to an adjustment of other priorities? Step 3. Plan the key steps for attaining each goal. Set aims, objectives for achievement. Use SMART targets, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and targetted. Step 4. Allocate time appropriately for each step. Flow charts and Gant charts are very useful to use until you have the planning process firmly embedded in your practice. If you do not know what flow charts or Gant charts are you should find out NOW! Step 5. Totally ‘tool-up’ for time management. Get used to using diaries, planners, to do lists and prioritising. Try to thin logically and clearly on each and every step. Reflect on what you have achieved and adjust your plans as appropriate. Seek to be EFFECTIVE!
  • Time Management

    1. 1. Time Management
    2. 2. OVERVIEW We want you to:  Understand myths about time management  Identify your personal attitudes toward time management  Discuss key steps in planning/prioritising  Recognise internal/external time wasters  Utilise time management tools such as “to do” lists and timetables
    3. 3. Time, time, time… We have many sayings about time and they make good points:  TIME IS MONEY - it is a valuable resource  THERE’S NEVER ENOUGH TIME TO DO A JOB RIGHT, BUT ALWAYS TIME TO DO IT OVER - we should not rush through our work at the risk of error  IF YOU WANT TIME, YOU MUST MAKE TIME - we need to allocate time according to our priorities  A JOB WILL FILL ALL OF THE TIME ALLOCATED FOR IT - poor planning and procrastination are time wasters  HAVE THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE - good time management will allow you to fulfill your personal & professional goals
    4. 4. Myths of time management  With better time management, you can find new time during the day. Everyone is limited to only 24 hours each day.  Effective time management is the same for everyone. Time management is unique for each person because each person has different priorities and goals.  Activity is good in itself. Being busy is not the same as being effective, if time is spent on low priorities.
    5. 5. Myths of time management  Time management is a complex subject. The basic process has only five major steps.  Once you learn the basics of time management you automatically make better use of your time. You have to actually use time management techniques consistently.  Good time managers are born not made. Some people seem to be more naturally organised, but everyone can learn to manage his/her time.
    6. 6. Time Stealers Be aware of ways of wasting your time:  Talking  Not understanding the assignment  Poor work environment  Unclear goals  Trying to get other’s cooperation in group work
    7. 7. Time Wasters  Procrastination  Lack of planning  Lack of priorities  Indecision  Slow reading skills  Physical or mental exhaustion  Not being able to say “no”  Messy work areas  Low motivation  Others?
    8. 8. The Five Step Process 1. Set your own PRIORITIES 1. Personal Level 2. Professional Level 2. Determine your GOALS for each priority 3. PLAN the steps for attaining each goal 4. ALLOCATE time appropriately for each step 5. TOOL up for time management: Planners To Do Lists Priority Lists Assignment Lists

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