Plan What You Do, Manage Your Time – Time Management

Effective planning takes into consideration both the job/task and the time required to do it. You can put the following questions to yourself as an aid to planning:

1. Results: What is the objective on the whole? How do I intend to reach that objective? What are the various sectors of responsibility for the objective?

2. Tasks What do I have to do in order to reach my objective?

3. Areas of responsibility How closely is my task connected to my sector of responsibility?

4. Order of importance What is the right order of importance of the things I have to do that will enable me to carry out my task?

5. Use of time How much time do I need in order to carry out each task?

6. Timetable What time will I use to complete the task?

7. Flexibility How flexible should I be in carrying out unexpected tasks?

The first three questions focus on your areas of responsibility and the second three concern your use of time in planning. You will need to start a new practice for managing both groups.

Outline your current use of time. Draw up a plan to make your use of time more effective: calculate the time allocated to do the tasks set, and whilst you do it consider the use of time for planning. Be flexible, don’t ever plan any phase with no time to spare. Make allowances for unexpected matters that may crop up. Keep a list of tasks that do not have a specific time limit. If a meeting or a negotiation with a customer can be managed in a shorter time than you have reserved for it, you can use the time gained to take care of some of the items mentioned earlier. Remember to reserve some time for yourself as well.

Many people manage to make effective plans for using their time without realizing it. Day-to-day ‘Do it today’ – lists are a good place to start from. The next step forward in planning your use of time is to make a time-linked daily job list.

 

But you need different kinds of planning periods

You need: annual, monthly, weekly, and daily planning, as all phases will differ from each other to some extent.

An annual plan will be general in nature and will provide the guidelines, for example, the annual budget, training programme for the year, or marketing strategy, and so on.

The monthly plan is slightly more defined than the annual plan. It’s reviewed a month at a time and put under the magnifying glass, to check the things that have to be looked after during the following month. At the end of each month, plan the next month. The goal of the monthly plan is to realise the objectives for that particular month which should then lead to reaching the goals for the whole year.

The weekly plan is a liitle further defined. During this phase you take one week at a time, and again under the magnifying glass, define the tasks that have to be managed during the week. At the end of each week plan the programme for the following week. Draw up your plan in writing; recording first, all jobs and meetings that have been agreed on beforehand. Following that phase you should ask yourself how much time is still available and how will you use it. The goal of the weekly plan is to realise the objectives for that week which should then lead to achieving the goals for the whole month.

The daily plan, though, is the most important of all planning phases. This is the day where you can exert your influence. All the other planning phases will remain as an illusion if you can not keep to the plan you make for using this day. Don’t ever plan to fill your day completely; leave room for the unexpected matters that crop up and allow yourself some ‘flexible time’. During this time you could, for example, check the incoming post or make a summary of the previous meeting before going onto the next. Remember to reserve enough time for getting from one place to another.

I recommend that your time-linked plan should always be made in writing. It’s more than likely that you will be able to set course for the goals you have set for yourself if you have the plan written down in black and white. At the end of each phase make a plan for the next phase. Adopt a new way to plan the tasks for the following week before you leave work for the weekend. Make it a habit to plan the following day’s work before you leave work for the day.

MAKING DAILY PLANS

IS TURNING GOOD INTENTIONS

INTO ACTION

SUMMARY OF PLANNING

  • Plan both the tasks that have to be done and the time necessary to do them.
  • Develop the planning process by answering the following questions:
    What are my objectives? How do I intend to reach them?
    What do I have to do in order to reach my objectives?
    How closely is my objective linked to my areas of responsibility?
    What is the order of priority for the tasks at hand?
    How much time do I need in order to carry out each task?
    In what time will I carry out each task?
    How flexible should I be in carrying out unexpected jobs that crop up?
    A degree of flexibility helps in planning.
  • Make a written plan for all your use of time. At the end of each phase, make a plan for the next phase.
  • Make a new way to plan on Friday what you have to do the following week.
  • Make a habit of planning the following day’s work before you leave for the day. Make sure that when you prepare a ‘Do-it-today’ list that it complies with your tasks, in order of importance.
  • Set yourself a time limit and aim to keep to it.
  • Don’t  fill all the time available in your plan.
  • Make allowances for unexpected matters that may pop up.
Kategoria(t): Time Management | Kommentoi

Types of calendars – Time Management

Manual / hand-written calendar / paperback calendar

Most often people make entries in their calendars in ballpoint pen. These entries are then difficultto amend or remove and it also makes it difficult to wipe the entries out of mind. I recommend the following method to use your calendar

  • Develop your own symbols and characters so that you don’t have to fill the calendar with text.
  • Use a style of handwriting that is intelligible (even to you).
  • Among other entries such as meetings, business trips, and training events, include your your own plans.

 

Electronic calendars

The most commonly-used electronic calendars are Lotus Notes, Outlook, and First today also Google calendar. All electronic calendars have their own particular features but in general all function in the same way.

Personal time-management in an organization where there are many employees is never only just personal – it is collective. An electronic calendar is a very good device for improving collective time-management. It is, however, of no use at all if it’s not used by the whole organization.

Tips on the use of an electronic calendar.

  • Learn how to use your own electronic calendar
  • Develop your own codes / the organization’s common codes
  • Utilize color codes, if at all possible.
  • Also record in your electronic calendars your own codes or codes you have coordinated with others for your own plan.
  • By recording the times reserved in your plan for important tasks you can manage to realize your plan better and manage your time more effectively. Learn to politely say ‘No’. No matter whether your calendar is manual or electronic it cannot be regarded as an aid to planning if it remains simply as a book for reservations.

 

SUMMARY OF ORGANISATION OF TIME USE AND CALENDAR TECHNIQUES

  • Monitor what you do and analyze the time you use for it.
  • Record: what you do and when and why you are doing it.
  • Record in your calendar your own plans.
  • If the organization uses electronic calendars, set an example for how it can be used.

When using an electronic calendar:

  • Learn how to use your own electronic calendar.
  • Develop your own codes/ the common codes in use within the organization.
  • Utilize color codes where possible.
  • Record in your electronic calendars your own codes, or codes you have coordinated with others that are linked to your own plan.

When using a manual calendar:

  • Use a pencil.
  • Use characters and symbols to depict different events and operations.
  • Use handwriting or text that you can decipher.
  • In addition to recording meetings and negotiations, make a note of your own plans.

 

Next, let’s go into planning

‘Well planned is half done’ is a familiar expression. Even though we say this to ourselves, we don’t give a sufficient amount of time for planning. The reason often given for a lack of planning is there wasn’t enough time to plan. If you do not get as much things done as you would like to – turn to planning.

Kategoria(t): Time Management | Kommentoi

Organising and calendar techniques – Time Management

Do you really want to achieve better results? Do you know how you use your time? Most people think that they know how they use their time. Our own habits of how we work determine to a great extent our daily use of time. Those habits of ours prevent us from being effective. In order to achieve the better results you are aiming for, you will have to change your habits in how you use your time. Everything that we do during the day, even the smallest of tasks, are connected to time. In order to be able to improve the way you use your time, you have to understand where the time goes.

If you really want to develop your own use of time so that it is goal-focused, you will have to acknowledge how you use your time today. Make good use of your calenda. Monitor and record everything you do during the following two weeks (without feeling guilty). Write in your calendar everything you do inintervals of e.g. to 30 or 15 min. Don’t be at all critical of yourself in this phase. Allow your own definitions of your areas of responsibility to stand as they are. After two weeks, refer toyour definition of your sectors of responsibility and the A, B, C tasks, and compare if the tasks you have completed are connected to your responsibilities. If they are, all well and good, you have done the right things. If not, you have just two alternatives You have the wrong sectors of responsibility. or you have been doing something quite different ….?

Is your calendar only a appointment book or is it a tool for planning. If the calendar stays only as a appointment book a crucial element is missing – the planning par.  As a matter of fact it is not what kind of calendar you use – it is how you use it.

Next we’ll look at manual and electronic calendars.

Kategoria(t): Time Management | Kommentoi

Priority order of tasks – Time Management

Important issues help in the process of defining the objectives and priorities. They should be classified in order of importance. Of course those jobs that are urgent have to be handled immediately – right away. They should be closely connected to the objectives and goals. Define your own tasks in order of importance.

PRIORITY ORDER OF TASKS

A.  An important task takes you closer to the objective.

B.  Supports task A.

C . Necessary but doesn’t support the objectives.

Do we need D tasks ?

C tasks are short, rapid and don’t demand a great deal of focus. C tasks are not ‘on top of everything else in the day’s work’, because they are done when they are done.

A person who holds a managerial position should not have D tasks. If possible he should find a person, or persons, in the organization to whom these D tasks could be transferred.

Is there anybody in your organization who’s know how is in that level that you can delegate the D-task – will it improve his/her competence level or do you have to teach somebody how to complete your D – Task. And that is part of delegation – we come to that in the later articles.

SUMMARY OF ORDER OF IMPORTANCE

  • Draw up areas of responsibility for yourself. Go through those areas with your manager.
  • Define ABC tasks for each sector of responsibility.
  • Don’t allow C tasks to fill your day.
  • Regularly check your sectors: at least once a year or if/when alterations
  • Reserve time from morning hours to A Tasks (preferable from 10 – 12)

Next, we’ll have a look the use of calendar as a tool for Time Management.

Kategoria(t): Time Management | Kommentoi

Separate efficiency from being busy -Avoid rush hours at work – Time Management

I had decided to change my car. I went to visit different car dealers in search of the best alternative. In the showroom of one particular dealership, I wandered around looking at the cars in peace. The time was passing and I began to get a bit frustrated that nobody was paying any attention to me. Then from the other end of the showroom appeared a man in a white shirt and tie who seemed to be in a great hurry. I took him to be a salesman. He was rushing past me when I stopped him in order to get some kind of service. I asked him if he was busy. He answered: ‘I’m really very busy and I can’t serve you now. I am the sales manager here and I’m already late’ . I could no longer hide my annoyance, so I asked him where he was going in such a hurry and what was he late for. To this the sales manager answered: ‘I’m just going to a sales meeting in our company and I am late again. I’m really in a hurry now’.

From this example you can easily understand that the sales manager in question did not have the objective of selling, at least, one car each and every day foremost in mind. What is likely, though, is that this sales manager had the necessary requirements for membership to the stressed-out club, which are:

1. Always be the first to turn up at work. Forget everyone else.

2. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are the best times to work.…….then there is no-one to disturb you.

3. Don’t ever turn down a request to do something. Always answer.: Yes’

4. Accept all invitations to meetings, parties, and accept memberships to various clubs and   associations, and so on.

5. Any kind of relaxation is just a waste of time.

5. Don’t ever delegate responsibility to another; take on the whole responsibility yourself..

6. Remember that even though you’re already doing so many jobs, you are always ready to take on more.

Kategoria(t): Time Management | Kommentoi

Introduction to time management

We started this series of articles about Time management with some tips of importance of goals, individual as well as collective. In an organization the manager and the leader should make sure everybody knows what the whole organization is aiming at. Then it is the responsibility of individuals to match their goals into the goals of the organization. As a summary of goals both individual and collective could be:

  • Define what your objectives and goals are in the long term.
  • Keep your long term goal in your sight all the time.
  • Make short-term objectives, too. In many cases 3-month objectives or monthly
  • objectives are short-term enough, but at the same time long enough.
  • Define the objectives in writing.
  • Make them detailed, time-coordinated, realistic and include elements that help the decision-making process on daily level, and bring a degree of satisfaction

Let’s bring our attention to how to make our intentions into action. Let’s have a look how to use calendar and how to plan your work a little better. And how to keep up your priority order.

In principle, arranging the order of importance for work is easy. First set goals for yourself. Decide then what you have to do to achieve those goals. These are the tasks that come first in order of importance. Quite easy, isn’t it?

When you have become master of your use of time, setting those objectives becomes easier. You know what you have to do in order to achieve the set objectives. However, matters are not always as straightforward as they seem. Often people do the kind of jobs they like to do, or those that, just at that moment in time, seem to be interesting. By looking carefully at your own way to work, you’ll surely discover many ways to divide your time more effectively.

Kategoria(t): Time Management | Kommentoi

Time Management – Tips how to get more out of time and out of life

Every day we hear expressions that are in one way or another related to time. ‘How could I manage to get more hours out of the day?’ ‘What’s the time?’ ’How long will it take to do this job?’ This is the problem we face daily – there is simply too much to do in the time available to do it. The key to the dilemma of a lack of time is time-management. Time is the limiting factor – not the doing. Time itself is not of great significance. The significance is how we use that time. We could live in the past grumbling about it or dream about how things could be in the future. The only moment in our lives when we are actually able to do something is today – here and now. Time-management is managing oneself. How we would like to manage this particular moment in time. If we are not able to manage time, we are not capable of managing ourselves.

TIME
The development in communications and transportation has reduced the distance in time and place. It’s as if the world has shrunk, but the significance of time in social intercourse between people has increased. By means of the Internet and e-mail we are able to contact every part of the world in a flash. Time has taken on a whole new dimension. And with it the significance of the management of time is more important than ever before. We have to be able to arrange matters in priority order. Sometimes it seems that today everybody has to be available 24/7. People need to relax too. If you want to been in charge of your time – you need to say also NO – sometimes.
And sometimes you have to let go – in order to grow.
Whether it’s a question of our work or our private life time is always democratic. We all have 24 hours at our disposal.

HABITS
Habits, or the ways we are accustomed to doing things, are the corner stones of time-management. Good results are achieved by means of good habits. And bad results are the result of bad habits. Habits are formed from behavior that has been learned over the course of time. This behavior can be changed. Your habits govern the way you live your life, but you can give direction to those habits. Henry Ford once said: ‘Whether you think you can do something, or whether you think you cannot do something, in both cases you are right’. What do you think you can do to affect your way of working? People usually behave according to their beliefs. In order to become the master of your use of time you have to believe that you can exert your influence over it. To be able to change your ways, you first have to acknowledge what they are. Do your own habits assist or hinder you in achieving your objectives and goals? We have to be open and see if things can be done in a different way. Are we using the modern technology the right way? Can it be used more efficiently? And then again does every @mail has to be answered right away?

IT’S ALL ABOUT SETTING GOALS AND ATTITUDES
Before you can decide how to use your time you have to define what you want to do. You have to set your goals Some people are able to manage their lives and achieve set goals. Others on the other hand do not appear to have even made a start. We all have the opportunity for success – but why do only a few manage to succeed. Our attitudes have an effect on whether we succeed or fail. Our fears and trepidations together with our earlier experiences also influence the way we work and behave. There are people that tend to “to kill” all the new ideas.

ATTITUDES TO LIFE
Typical attitudes that we encounter are, for example: If you are of the opinion that some people always experience negative things whilst others experience only positive things, then your way of thinking is badly prejudiced. In actual fact very many people think to themselves only negative thoughts: I can’t do it, I’m too old/young, too late – too early, nothing can be done about it, this is my fate. It can be shown that successful people try to focus on the positive side of things. On the other hand, success only comes before work in the dictionary. A person who thinks in a positive way aims to plan the fashion how he will work in a positive way and sees in his mind’s eye his success. He is in control of the situation and is able to find solutions in the the most difficult of circumstances. It not always easy to be positive but if you can see the the situations you are presented with as positive opportunities instead of viewing them as a some kind of threat, the result will generally be positive.

TIME & ATTITUDES TO LIFE
Typical attitudes that we encounter are, for example:

POSITIVE – NEGATIVE
WINNER – LOSER
DEDICATED – OR ONLY INVOLVED

POSITIVE – NEGATIVE
If you are of the opinion that some people always experience negative things whilst others
experience only positive things, then your way of thinking is badly prejudiced. In actual fact very many people think to themselves only negative thoughts: I can’t do it, I’m too old/young, too late – too early, nothing can be done about it, this is my fate. It can be shown that successful people try to focus on the positive side of things. On the other hand, success only comes before work in the dictionary.
A person who thinks in a positive way aims to plan the fashion how he will work in a positive way and sees in his mind’s eye his success. He is in control of the situation and is able to find solutions in the most difficult of circumstances. It not always easy to be positive but if you can see the situations you are presented with as positive opportunities instead of viewing them as a some kind of threat, the result will generally be positive.

WINNER – LOSER
We are all born as winners, but unfortunately along the way we are faced with difficulties
and disappointments. Those unpleasant experiences have a tendency to accumulate with the consequence that they develop into the so-called loser syndrome. We all experience being winners in some situations and losers in others.

DEDICATED OR ONLY INVOLVED
Do you see yourself as dedicated or only involved. How does your dedication show? Are those who regularly work late in the evening more dedicated than those who work ‘normal hours’ and then go home? They are not because they are not managing to arrange their affairs in order of importance nor are they managing their own time.
The way in which you use your time tells you if you are managing your life or not. Do you want to be the master of your life? If so, ask yourself what kind of life you want to lead and what kind of person you want to be. You can only change your habits in the way you use your time by setting goals for yourself. Goals for what you want to be and what you want to do. According to psychologists, goals put you on the road to a happy and contented life. Many people don’t succeed because they have not focused on their objectives. They move from one task to the next and think to themselves that they can manage to get through the jobs at hand.

GOALS
People have to make various decisions on what has to be done every day. If the objectives are correctly defined they assist the individual in the day-to-day decision-making process. But first you have to define your goals. The corner stones of time-management are the goals and objectives. Decide first what the long-term objectives are. Focus on where you want to go. If you don’t know where you are heading who would know for you ? Before you can start making time bound plans how to use your time – you have to define your goals. Decide what you are aming at:

 

Time

 

OBJECTIVES –FOCUSED METHOD OF APPROACH
If you think of the ideal situation taken straight from the book of how an organization should be set up, the first thing to do is to establish the objectives of the whole organization. After that you define the departments/teams own particular objectives. Then follows the definition of the individual’s own personal goals and what individual tasks the person has to do to achieve those goals. The best way to do this is to coordinate with your supervisor during discussions on objectives/job development. By performing the correct tasks the achievement of the set goals are reached.
Focusing on the objectives and goals should form the basis of the way you work. The establishing of Objectives and foals and reaching those objectives should become a way of life to you. Don’t make even one phone call, arrange a meeting or meet one new person until you have thought over where you are heading. Ask yourself how the work you will do will assist you in achieving the goals set. You’ll notice that you’re getting lost in the jungle of ‘petty details’ if you fail to keep the set objectives foremost in mind.
By managing to develop a way of thinking that focuses on objectives and results, you have to decide where you are aiming for this year, this month, this week, today and now. Write down your goals.
The way in which you use your time tells you if you are managing your life or not. Do you want to be the master of your life? If so, ask yourself what kind of life you want to lead and what kind of person you want to be. You can only change your habits in the way you use your time by setting goals for yourself. Goals for what you want to be and what you want to do. According to psychologists, goals put you on the road to a happy and contented life. Many people don’t succeed because they have not focused on their objectives. They move from one task to the next and think to themselves that they can manage to get through
the jobs at hand.

LONG TERM AND SHORT TERM GOALS
Write down your goals. Write down your long term goals. Inform your organization of the long term goals. Then define your short term goals. I recommend to set quarterly goals. They are at the same time long enough and short enough to see the results of your action plans. If needed you can change the “course” of actions, in order to reach the overall annual goal. However, you have to inform the whole organization of the goals and together decide how you can reach them. After making the overall goals each individual needs to look what that means in their daily job. Everybody in the organization has to know what is expected of him / her. How his / her work is connected to the overall goal? How his / her performance is measured? What affect his / her activities has to the overall result?
When you set your goals you should divide them shorter periods. First set you annual goals and divide them into quarter goals and then into monthly goals.

Annual Goals

Then you should divide your monthly goals into weekly goals. The weekly goals should then include already tasks and activities that are set directly in your time planning.

And then after setting your organizational and personal goals it’s time to do some planning. After all time management is all about planning. How to make plans into action in daily level?

Kategoria(t): Time Management | Kommentoi