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Time Management and Personal Effectiveness

Time management and personal effectiveness

Time management training

I recently received the following note from a business leader.

"We need to look at doing some time management training because many of our people are employed based on their technical knowledge and skills:

They are technical experts and on the technical level, our people are very good, but in their role, as time managers there are major flaws:

  1. Some people give deadlines and just hope that they can achieve them.
  2. Others give optimistic deadlines they think they can achieve, but cannot.
  3. Others won't commit to a deadline for fear that they won't achieve it.
  4. Others operate according to Parkinson's Law (work tends to expand to fit the time allotted to do it).
  5. Others are good time managers, but this is the set with the smallest number of members.

Can you help?"

Answer: yes
Time management training is a method of organising, prioritising and planning so that you are doing more productive work per hour:
i.e. you stop allowing your own bad habits, or other peoples bad habits or poor systems to waste your time.

Please note that those people who are working in a systematic, organised and planned way: are measurably more productive than an equally gifted person who is operating in an UN-systematic, DIS-organised and chaotic way.

Time management course objectives

To learn the difference between being "busy" and "productive"
Busy is a measure of ACTIVITY

Productive is a measure of ACHIEVEMENT

  • You can never be too productive
  • You can easily become too busy
  • You are paid for your productivity (achievement)
  • You are not paid for your busyness (activity)

Your greatest enemy is.............
Busy but Non-productive day

Your greatest friend is............
The productive non-busy day

To apply the Pareto principle (80/20 Rule) to time management issues

The Pareto principle states that
80% or more of the effects are caused by 20% or less of the cause

Examples of 80/20 thinking
80% or more of the burglaries are caused by 20% or less of the population.
80% or more of the value of a newspaper is contained in 20% or less of its content.
80% or more of the traffic on 20% or less of the road network.
80% or more of the trouble in a business caused by 20% or less of its employees.
80% or more of your valuable to the business is contained in 20% or less of what you actually do.

The trick is to identify those six things that make nearly all the difference and concentrate on those few things

Key question: Where is the 80/20 split?

Where is the 80/20 split? In this document; what are the six things that make nearly all the difference and then I will concentrate on those six things.
Where is the 80/20 split? In this conversation; "What are the six things that make nearly all the difference and then I will concentrate on those six things".
Where is the 80/20 split? In this problem set; "What are the six causes that make nearly all the problem and then I will concentrate on those six things".

Prioritise using matrices

You should make decisions on paper
In your meetings don't let people just talk
Think on paper!

Why should you think on paper?

You should think on paper more often because "standard normal thought processes" and "standard normal conversational technique" is too inefficient for a work context.
Normal conversation suffers from the following deficiencies:

Normal conversations:

  1. Often go on for too long.
  2. Often drift off topic.
  3. Get hung up on minors issues.
  4. May be too easily dominated by the strong personality (who happens to be wrong).
  5. May not hear the contributions from the more introverted person who happens to be right.
  6. Are remembered differently by each person who attended.
  7. Can be entirely forgotten by some people who, when at the meeting, were feeling distracted or too tired.
  8. Many key terms are not defined clearly and therefore people talk at cross purposes.
  9. Sometimes, certain personalities fight for political or social dominance at the expense of the quality of the deliberations.

Therefore, normal conversation technique is too inefficient for your business context.

Use decision matrices to make decisions

There are three types of decision

  1. Yes or no (Should we or should we not?)
  2. Which one / what kind?
  3. What is the correct order or sequence?

Learn to use all three types

How to beat the three most common time wasters

The three most common time wasters are

  1. Other people
  2. Your own bad habits
  3. Poor systems

Who are the two people who waste your time at work

  • How does each one do it
  • What can you do to limit the negative impact on your productivity?

What are the two bad habits that you have had for years and that waste your time at work

  • How does each one do it?
  • What can you do to limit their negative impact on your productivity?

What are the two poor office systems that you have that waste your time at work

  • How does each one do it?
  • What can you do to limit their negative impact on your productivity?

How to delegate in the right way for the right reasons

Delegation is the act of entrusting a task to another.

The reasons for delegating are

  1. To free you up for more productive tasks
  2. To balance the load across the team
  3. To train others
  4. To ensure that the right person is doing the task

Delegate tasks according to the SMART model

S means specific description of the task.
M means that you agree how the task performance will be measured.
A means achievable; that the person doing the task has the skills.
R means realistic; that the person has no constraints that would present the completion on the task.
T means time deadline: that the deadline for task completion is agreed and is rationally derived.

Your homework is .................

  1. To do the most valuable thing
  2. To add as much value to as many people as possible per day

In order to do that you need to

  • To learn the difference between being "busy" and "productive"
  • Understand the significance of the Pareto principle; that 80% or more of the effects are caused by 20% or less of the causes
  • Think on paper!
  • Prioritise using matrices
  • Beat the three most common time wasters

The three most common time wasters are:

  1. Other people
  2. Your own bad habits
  3. Poor systems

Delegate in the right way for the right reasons using SMART

Your mission should you decide to accept it is............

Develop your personal effectiveness and add more value in the same amount of time.

For more information about time management and personal effectiveness training visit the Corporate Coach Group website

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Time Management Training

Most people feel they need help with time management. How can you get more done in the same amount of time? How can you stop other people wasting your time? If you want to know how, then click here to find out more about our time management training course.

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Further Reading in Time Management

  • Time Management: Prioritization
    Time Management and Prioritising Time management training is important to you. Time management is the rejection of the idea that it is okay to go through the day, merely responding to events, as they occur. Time management training rejects the idea that your days should be spent in reaction, at the...
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  • The 80 20 Rule - Pareto Principle, Explained
    The 80 / 20 rule is often called the Pareto principle, after its discoverer, Vilfredo Pareto. The 80 /20 rule originally stated that 80% (or more), of the wealth in any economy is owned by 20% (or less) of the population.
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  • Time management question - How can I better manage my time?
    How can I manage my time better? Most people need to be better at time management. Why? Because they find there is always too much to do in the time available. So, there are many people that need to learn to prioritise and concentrate only on the most important and urgent...
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  • Ten Time Management Mistakes
    Do you want to be better organised, get more done each day, have more time for yourself, or just feel more in control of your life? Take a look at these ten common time management mistakes and see if you can improve any bad habits you may have.
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  • Time Management Training: Rational Planning
    Are you a logical person? Do you run on reason or emotions? Effective action relies on your ability to think and act rationally, to judge things correctly and to treat every person and every problem, according to reason.
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