Getting StartedTime management is a wide and diverse area, with different issues and challenges for each of us.There is no ‘one-size’ fits all solution to Time Management.It is important to learn the general principles of Time Management and then see how best they can be applied to our lives
Benefits of Managing Time Higher productivity and satisfaction Improvement of quality of work Implementation of important goals Conservation of Energy Less Stress, Better Health
Becoming Aware The first step towards any learning is to establish a baseline. Identify what aspect of your Time Management do you most want to work on.
Analyze the use of your time Keep a time-log to the nearest minute of everything you do over a typical working period of at least one day Include dealing with interruptions, travel and breaks. Highlight everything that was not planned, and make a note alongside anything that was of special note, good or bad. How many of the activities that you completed were planned for? How many activities did you invest time in but had not planned to do so? Where did you spend the most time, in planned or unplanned activities How many important activities did you get done?
The pickle jar theoryA professor taking a time management class gave the following illustration:“Imagine an empty pickle jar.Now, put some large rocks in it. Put in as many as you possibly can. Until you think it’s full. Now, I know you think it’s full, but put a couple more in anyway.Okay, you’ve got a full pickle jar that you can’t fit anything else into, right? Now, put some pebbles in. Put as many in as you can possibly fit, and raise your hand when you feel your jar is full. Now, take your full jar and take sand and, you guessed it, fill that jar until you can’t possibly fit anymore in, and then add some water.I am sure the significance of this little exercise hasn’t escaped any of you. Each of us has many large priorities in our life, represented by the large rocks. We also have things which we enjoy doing, such as the pebbles. We have other things we have to do, like the sand. And finally, we have things that simply clutter up our lives and get in everywhere: water.None of these are bad things. After all, we need the gamut of these objects—from large priorities to times of rest—in order to feel truly fulfilled. No Time Management theory should be without balance, and the Pickle Jar theory is all about balance. You make time for everything, and everything simply fits well where it is supposed to fit.”
Important v/s Urgent Urgent Not Urgent I II DO NOW PLAN TO DOImportant III IV REJECT RESIST AND Not AND CEASEImportant EXPLAIN
Quadrant 1 – Urgent and Important DO NOW emergencies, complaints and crisis issues demands from superiors or customers planned tasks or project work now due meetings and appointments reports and other submissions staff issues or needs problem resolution, fire- fighting, fixes
Dealing with the activities in Quadrant 1Subject to confirming the importance and the urgency of these tasks, these tasks need doing now.Prioritize tasks that fall into this category according to their relative urgency.If two or more tasks appear equally urgent, discuss and probe the actual requirements and deadlines with the task originators or with the people dependent on the task outcomes.Help the originators of these demands to re-assess the real urgency and priority of these tasks.
Dealing with the activities in Quadrant 1If helpful you should show your schedule to task originators in order to explain that you are prioritizing in a logical way, and to be as productive and effective as possible.Look for ways to break a task into two stages if its an unplanned demand - often a suitable initial holding response or acknowledgment, with a commitment to resolve or complete at a later date, will enable you to resume other planned tasks.
Quadrant 2 – Not Urgent But ImportantPLAN TO DO planning, preparation, scheduling research, investigation, designing, testing networking relationship building thinking, creating, modelling, designing systems and process development anticipation and prevention developing change, direction, strategy
Dealing with the activities in Quadrant 2 These tasks are most critical to success, and yet commonly are the most neglected. These activities include planning, strategic thinking, deciding direction and aims, etc., all crucial for success and development. You must plan time-slots for doing these tasks, and if necessary plan where you will do them free from interruptions. Break big tasks down into separate logical stages and plan time-slots for each stage.
Quadrant 3REJECT AND EXPLAIN trivial requests from others apparent emergencies ad-hoc interruptions and distractions misunderstandings appearing as complaints pointless routines or activities accumulated unresolved trivia bosss whims or tantrums Scrutinise and probe demands. Help originators to re-assess. Wherever possible reject and avoid these tasks sensitively and immediately.
Dealing with the activities in Quadrant 33 - REJECT (DIPLOMATICALLY) Scrutinise these demands ruthlessly, and help originators - even your boss and your senior managers - to re-assess the real importance of these tasks. Practice and develop your ability to explain and justify to task originators why you cannot do these tasks. Where possible reject and avoid these tasks immediately, informing and managing peoples expectations and sensitivities accordingly; explain why you cannot do these tasks and help the originator find another way of achieving what they need, which might involve delegation to another person, or re-shaping the demand to be more strategic, with a more sustainable solution. Look for causes of repeating demands in this area and seek to prevent re-occurrence. Educate and train others, including customers, suppliers, fellow staff and superiors, to identify long-term remedies, not just quick fixes. For significant repeating demands in this area, create a project to resolve cause, which will be a quadrant 2 task. Challenge habitual systems, processes, procedures and expectations
Quadrant 4RESIST AND CEASE comfort activities, computer games, net surfing, excessive cigarette breaks chat, gossip, social communications daydreaming, doodling, over-long breaks reading nonsense or irrelevant material unnecessary adjusting equipment etc. embellishment and over-production Habitual comforters not true tasks. Non- productive, de-motivational. Minimise or cease altogether. Plan to avoid them.
Dealing with the activities in Quadrant 44 - RESIST AND CEASE These activities are not tasks, they are habitual comforters which provide a refuge from the effort of discipline and proactivity. These activities affirm the same comfort- seeking tendencies in other people; a group or whole department all doing a lot of this quadrant 4 activity creates a non-productive and ineffective organizational culture. These activities have no positive outcomes, and are therefore demotivating. The best method for ceasing these activities, and for removing temptation to gravitate back to them, is to have a clear structure or schedule of tasks for each day, which you should create in quadrant 2.
Your Daily Time Matrix Maintain a diary of your daily time matrix for a minimum period of 7 days. Classify the activities that you have do into one of the 4 columns At the end of the week, find out which quadrant do you spend most of your time in What can you do to make it better
The “How to’s” of Time Management How To Use E-mail EffectivelyHow To Plan Your DayHow To Stop Procrastinating How To Say NoHow To Prepare For How To Prevent InterruptionsMeetings How To Get Cooperation fromHow To Delegate Other Departments
Tips to Tame Time Write down your long-term goals. Every day, divide your tasks into A, B and C priorities. Always start with a high priority "A" task, even if you can only accomplish a small part of it. Block off time for activities that are important. Stop spending time on trivia. Have the courage to say no. Always start meetings on time. Slow down. Avoid procrastination by completing unpleasant tasks first. Create time for balance in your life.
The bad news is… time flies.The good news is… youre thepilot."-- Michael Altshuler
Remember!! The keys to effective time managementis knowing where you want to go (objective) andknowing how to get there (planning)“Cheshire Puss” Alice began, “Would you tell me, please,which way I ought to go from here?”“That depends a good deal on where want to get to” said theCat“I don’t much care where…” said Alice“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go” said the Cat“… so long as I get somewhere” Alice added as anexplanation.“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walklong enough”