The idea of time management has been in existence for more than 100 years. Unfortunately the term “Time management” creates a false impression of what a person is able to do. Time can’t be managed, time is uncontrollable we can only manage ourselves and our use of time
Time management is actually self management. Its interesting that the skills we need to manage others are the same skills we need to manage ourselves: the ability to plan, delegate, organise, direct and control
Below, we examine time management issues in more detail
1. Shifting priorities and crisis management. Management guru Peter Drucker says that “crisis management is actually the form of management preferred by most managers” The irony is that actions taken prior to the crisis could have prevented the fire in the first place.
2. The telephone. Have you ever had one of those days when you thought your true calling was in Telemarketing. The telephone-our greatest communication tool can be our biggest enemy to effectiveness if you don’t know how to control its hold over you.
3.Lack of priorities/objectives. This probably the biggest/ most important time waster. It affects all we do both professionally and personally. Those who accomplish the most in a day know exactly what they want to accomplish. Unfortunately too many of us think that goals and objectives are yearly things and not daily considerations. This results in too much time spent on the minor things and not on the things which are important to our work/lives
4. Attempting too much. Many people today feel that they have to accomplish everything yesterday and don’t give themselves enough time to do things properly. This leads only to half finished projects and no feeling of achievement.
5.Drop in visitors. The five deadliest words that rob your time are “Have you got a minute”. Everyone’s the culprit-colleagues., the boss, your peers. Knowing how to deal with interruptions is one of the best skills you can learn .
6.Ineffective delegation. Good delegation is considered a key skill in both managers and leaders. The best managers have an ability to delegate work to staff and ensure it is done correctly. This is probably the best way of building a teams moral and reducing your workload at the same time. The general rule is -this; if one of your staff can do it 80% as well as you can, then delegate it.
7. The cluttered desk. When you have finished reading this article look at your desk. If you can see less than 80% of it then you are probably suffering from ‘desk stress’. The most effective people work from clear desks.
8.Procrastination. The biggest thief of time; not decision making but decision avoidance. By reducing the amount of procrastinating you do you can substantially increase the amount of active time available to you.
9. The inability to say “no!”. The general rule is; if people can dump their work or problems on to your shoulders they will do it . Some of the most stressed people around lack the skill to ‘just say no’ for fear of upsetting people.
10. Meetings. Studies have shown that the average manager spends about 17 hours a week in meetings and about 6 hours in the planning time and untold hours in the follow up. I recently spoke to an executive who has had in the last 3 months 250 meetings It is widely acknowledged that about as much of a third of the time spent in meetings is wasted due to poor meeting management and lack of planning If you remember your goal is to increase your self management, these are the best ways to achieve this;