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Time Management Program


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The process of this “Time Management Program” (TMP) begins with time management Questionnaire (TMQ) which is used to for self-assessing one’s time management skills. Then, it gives four specific time management attitudes that are to be cultivated in the personalities of college and university students. And it ends with a “Simplified Time Management Practices,” that includes the use of a planner and activity log.

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Time Management Program

  1. 1. Time Management Program (TMP) I. Time Management Test 1. Questionnaire Download Before exploring the subject of time management, it would be useful andinformative for us to know our status in the skills of time management. One way to assessour status in time management is to use a Self-Scoring Time Management Questionnaire.You can download a Time Management Program Questionnaire from Slideshare at: 2. Questionnaire Details The Time Management Program Questionnaire is divided into two parts: 1) X 36 ItemSelf-Scoring Questions; 2) X 6 categories (Goals, Attitude, Scheduling, Prioritization, ActionPlans, Multitasking) to which the X 36 question items have been categorized; and 3) Thescoring which shows the choice of time management skills is based on a continuum of Veryoften to Not At All. The highest score would show either positive or negative preferred orunpreferred time management skills. II. Time Attitudes Development Time attitudes play an important role in time management. What is an attitude? Anattitude can be a positive or negative perception of a person, thing, event or an experience.It is subjective and is formed out of our learned or unlearned experiences, that may changewhen confronted with new knowledge or experiences. In relation to time management, ourattitude affects our thinking, feelings and responses about time, its value and how it oughtto be managed. There are four specific time attitudes that we should focus on as itcommonly affects most persons. 1. Attitude towards time costing Benjamin Franklin was one the first man to realize the money value of time when hewrote, “Time is Money.” Why do professionals charge their services according to time?
  2. 2. Their reason is that their time is equally as valuable as their knowledge and expertise.Therefore, they consider their time should be calculated in money value along with theirknowledge and expertise. How much money value do we attribute to our time? If we havean attitude like that of professionals in valuing time on par with money, we are believers intime costing. Each hour we give to somebody, to an event or to something, it is an hour ofour lives deducted from our total average life expectancy. Isn’t that precious? Isn’t thatactually more than the value of money? Therefore, it is imperative that we have a timecosting attitude that cannot be negotiated, explained away or under-valued. Our time isequal to our money which is equal to our life (Time = Money = Life). For college anduniversities students to understand and adopt time costing attitudes early in their liveswould enrich them character-wise and materially later in life. 2. Attitude about managing interruptions If we inculcate time costing attitudes in our personalities, we would also want todevelop an attitude in managing interruptions. They come in many forms: unexpectedevents, uninvited guests, irrelevant messages, calls or unproductive small talks. They side-track us from our tasks and cause delays in our schedules. Ultimately, interruptions arerobbers of time. It is impossible to avoid interruptions, but is possible to reduceunwarranted, irrelevant and unproductive interruptions. We should develop an attitude formanaging interruptions that are simple and effective. We should identify unwarranted,irrelevant or unproductive interruptions and provide the least time allocation for them eachday. We should be assertive in attempting to keep interruptions within the allocated timeframe through diplomacy. Remember that interruptions robs our time (Time – Interruptions= Time Lost). College and universities students have many interruptions that sidetrack themfrom effective academic performances. Adopting an attitude in managing interruptions,would assist them in allocating more time for academic pursuits, which is what reallymatters as students. 3. Attitude of anti-procrastination Procrastination is delaying for tomorrow what can be done today. It can be due toour personality that goes by the feelings and mood. It can be due to the lack of an attitudefor time costing. It may be caused by a lack of knowledge or skill in prioritization. Whateverthe reason, procrastination leads us to major on minors and minor on majors in our dailyroutines. Procrastination is a lost of priority that is unable to discern between urgency andcomplacency. In order to form anti-procrastination attitude, we should consistently identifyprocrastinations as it happens and act against it immediately. College and universitiesstudents who adopt an anti-procrastination attitude early in life would be effective timemanagers and professionals later in life.
  3. 3. 4. Attitude towards delegation We know that delegation is assigning our responsibility and authority to somebodyelse while retaining the accountability for it. The purposes could be to relieve us from anoverloaded burden or that somebody else could do the job better. But many times, even if itwas possible, we refuse to delegate. Why? Do you know that one of the outstandingnegative traits of workaholics is their inability or refusal to delegate? Why? Several reasonscan explain for this behaviour. We may refuse to delegate because we think that we are theonly one who competent in the particular task. We may be afraid that others might thinkthat we are incompetent. We may refuse to delegate because we might be afraid of losingour credit and glory to another. We might not want to let another person to be perceived asbetter than us. We may refuse to delegate because we are control freaks, who like to graband hold on to everything, so that we are assured of power and control over people andevents. Whatever the reasons for non-delegation, an attitude for delegation is a must intime management. By delegating we are: 1) Relieving ourselves from overload, to be able tofocus on more important or urgent tasks; 2) We are portraying our professional maturity inthe ability to share and work in a team without negative feelings like envy or jealousy; 3) Weare sharing in the growth and development of others who in return could be our futureresources. 4) Leveraging our human networks and resources to assist in completing a giventask. Delegation portrays our skill in leveraging human resources for optimum timemanagement (Delegation + Human Resources = Optimum Time Management). The besttime managers are excellent practitioners of delegation. College and universities studentswho learn to delegate while learning would become efficient practitioners of delegationwhen they start working. Since attitudes affects thinking, feeling and behaviour, having positive attitudesleads to effective practices in time management. Thus, college or university students whowish to excel in time management must inculcate and develop positive attitudes, namely, intime costing, managing interruptions, anti-procrastination and delegation. Next, having seenthe four important attitudes that are prerequisites in time management, we can now look atthe “Simplified Time Management Practices.” III. Simplified Time Management Practices. It must be noted that, there are many different kinds of time management practices,utilizing different terms, for different purposes but most of which have certain commoncore components in them. This article is an attempt to simplify and synergize the core
  4. 4. components of time management practices. I label it as the “Simplified Time ManagementPractices” to be used for college and university students. In this proposed time managementpractices, I would be covering two areas. They are: 1) Smart Time Goals Settings; and 2)Time Scheduling. 1. Smart Time Goals Settings A mnemonic term “SMART” (Doran, 1981) that is used in project management hasbeen borrowed to be utilized in time goal setting. The “SMART” principles used in projectmanagement are equally useful in time management. We shall now see in detail how theprinciples of “SMART” are utilized in time goal setting. The term “SMART” is interpreted as: i. S for Specific time goals In order to establish specific time goals, we have to employ the six useful questions: Who, What, Where, When, Which, and Why as reflective tools. Here is how the six questions can be used in the “SMART” principles. Who will benefit from specific time goal setting? Answer, anyone who is in interested in time management. ii. M for Measurable time goals What are the expected outcomes of the time goals? For example, a college student expected outcomes will be to finish his study courses within a certain time framework or to ensure his success at obtaining a certain grade level in a test or examination. The time goal must be measurable in terms of realistic events. iii. A for Attainable time goals Which areas of weakness in time management skills does a student want to improve and excel? Which areas of strengths in time management skills does a student want to take advantage of to promote his/her profile? So, in setting time goals, a student should consider his or her weaknesses and strengths. The time goals to improve weaknesses might take longer than when it is used to promote strengths. In setting time goals either to improve weaknesses or promote strengths, attainable time goal purposes must set. Why are attainable time goal purposes important?
  5. 5. A time goal without an attainable purpose would be like an untrained blind person running and falling all over the place due to their blindness and to their untrained inability to navigate physically in daily living. A student must have an attainable purpose for his time goal. A purpose is different from an expected outcome. An attainable purpose is to give direction and assurance in time goal setting, while expected outcomes are hopes for certain results which might or might not happen. But time goals with attainable purposes, have higher probabilities of achieving expected outcomes. Attainable purposes are those that match existing resources and skills of a student, with the requirements and demands of/for the process in attaining his/her time goal purposes. iv. R for Relevant time goals Where are the time goals to be utilized? The venue or environment where the time goals will be operational must be specified. The time-tables and schedules of a college would be different from the time-tables and schedules of a factory. In order for a student to have effective time goals, he/she must match it in timing with the college time-tables and schedules. For example, if it is a semester system, his/her goal to finish a semester course in a trimester time frame or vice-versa would be illogical. The time goals must be relevant to the environment or venue in which it is utilized. For example, who is the beneficiary of the time management program? If it is a college student, then the time goals should be tailored in that context. You cannot use the time goals of a retiree or a CEO of a multinational company for a college student. A retiree might have too much time and would not be in a hurry, while a CEO might be pressed for time and is always in a hurry to get things done. So, the time goals must be relevant to the beneficiary of the time management program. v. T for Time frame-minded time goals When will the time goals begin and end? Any time goals must have both of these time frames. A student must know when he intends his goal to begin and end. It would decide between an apathetic time behavior and an urgent time behavior. A failure to have time goals, that does not have a start and end time frames, would lead to a never ending story of confusion and loss of time direction. As we have covered the areas of “Time Attitudes Development” and “SMART TIMEGOALS SETTING”, we can now look at the “Simplified Time Management Practices.” Why
  6. 6. simplified? It has to be simplified because of relevancy, as discussed earlier in the principleof “Relevant time goals.” The time management needs of college or university students aredifferent than that of an office, industrial or organizational environment. In view of thisreason, I would like to propose the following simplified time management practices. 2. Time Scheduling Time management for college or university students should begin with the practiceof scheduling. What is scheduling? Scheduling is planning for the optimum use of availabletime. There are two things to be noted. Firstly, you must know what your available time isand secondly, you must actively plan to use it in an optimum manner. To carry out theseactivities, you can use two tools: Planner and Activity Log. i. Planner The planner is a panoramic record of all assignments, activities and anything whether public or private that concerns you. The following are guidelines in using a planner. • Decide on the type of planner you want to use. Nowadays we have planners in hard-copy, electronic and even web-based formats. Electronic formats are found even in mobile phones. Choose the format that you find most comfortable to work with and can have immediate access anywhere and anytime. • Label your planner with a name of your liking but ensure it is relevant for the subject of time management. • Start with a yearly planner that gives a panoramic view of the entire year. Include holidays both national and private. Include the yearly schedule of your college or university. Include any other yearly information that ought to be there. • Next, include a trimester time table or schedule of all your classes, courses and any other activities related to you study.
  7. 7. • Next, include all homework, assignments, and projects related to your courses or classes by year, month, week and day. Ensure that all due dates are clearly mentioned. • Next, include all your personal activities, appointments or events by year, month, week and day. Ensure that all dates are clearly mentioned. • You can colour code or diagrammatize your information and entries. Try to use abbreviations that you can remember and interpret. • Allow space for new unexpected entries that may occur. • Always carry your planner with you. You should now be able to see all your activities, whether study-related orprivate matters at a glance. Your planner is ready for use. ii. Activity Logs The activity log will be your record on your smart time goals settings, to dolist, action plans and multitasking. In short, the activity log is where you actuallyrecord all details, processes and results of your time planning based on the planner. a. SMART Goal Setting As I have already covered the details of SMART goal setting, I will not go into it here. However, all planning in the activity log should begin with statements of SMART goals for each assignment or activity found in the planner.
  8. 8. b. To do Lists Next, based on your planner, you should begin prioritization of yourassignments or activities and anything else, by reducing them to manageabletasks in the sequence of year, month, week and day in the activity log. Thefollowing is a guide to preparing “To do list.” • Refer to your assignments or activities in your planner by any coding system you are comfortable with or have knowledge about. • Break down the assignments or activities into manageable tasks that you can complete in 1 to 3 hours. • You can have as many tasks as you want to complete a desired assignment or activity. • Write all tasks that you have to do in the sequence of year, month, week and day. • Leave spaces below each task for action plans that will have information on: start and end dates, start times and end times, notes, comments and status of action plan. • Assign priorities to the tasks by a ranking on a continuum of Very Urgent, Urgent, Not Urgent and Unimportant. c. Action Plans An action plan to carry out a task should have the followinginformation or components that might be needed to complete the tasks. • Refer to the task by coding as in to do list.
  9. 9. • Have start dates and end dates. • Have start times and end times. • Note any cost involved. • Note any assistance of human resources that may be needed. • Note any equipment that may be needed. • Note any materials, tangible or intangible that may be needed. • Note any external or professional specialization that may be needed • Include status of action plan such as: In Progress, Pending, Completed and Unsuccessful • Note or comment on any details that needs attention. One important detail that can be recorded in this space is the reasons for the success or failure of a task or action plan. This would be the time management post-mortem notes or comments. d. Multitasking In carrying out the action plans, you must multitask wheneverpossible. The purpose of multitasking is more for effective use of the sametime to do more than one task without compromising or the quality of a task
  10. 10. or its action plans. One effective way to multitask without compromising or the quality of a task or its action plans is through delegation.Conclusion The process of this “Time Management Program” (TMP) begins with timemanagement Questionnaire (TMQ) which is used to for self-assessing one’s timemanagement skills. Then, it gives four specific time management attitudes that are to becultivated in the personalities of college and university students. And it ends with a“Simplified Time Management Practices,” that includes the use of a planner and activity log.