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What is Time Management?

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Posted 08 April 2013 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

Personal Development Courses

We offer both:
• Bespoke in-house training.
These can be tailored to your specific needs.
• Open training courses at locations near you.
You may find the following will help with the development of your time management skills training.

What is time management?
Time management is the art and science of organising yourself and your work in such a way as to allow you to add the most value in the least time and effort.
Time management is a measure of your personal effectiveness.

What are the fundamental principles of time management?
The fundamental principle is that there is an optimum method to do any task and that there is an optimum sequence of ordering tasks that will allow for maximum effectiveness.
The second fundamental principle of time management is the distinction between two kinds of work, busy work, and productive work.

What is the difference between ""busy work"" and ""productive work?""
1. Busy is a measure of your activity levels.
2. Productivity is a measure of your value added.

Your aim is to be productive not busy.
Your aim is to avoid being busy non-productive.

Have you ever had a busy but non-productive day, week, month, and year?
Is it possible to work for a year and make no profit? Yes.
Is it possible to work for a year and make a loss? Yes. For example 'Rogue trader': Former UBS banker Kweku Adoboli allegedly lost his bank $1.4 billion.

What are you paid for your busyness or your productivity? Your productivity
Is it possible to have a productive non-busy day? YES
Do you know people who earn more than you do and work less? YES

Would you agree that it must be possible to earn twice as much without working twice as long?
It must be because there are millions of people who are earning much more than we are, and they cannot be working any longer or harder than us.

So there must be another factor, other than the ability to work long and hard that accounts for the fact that some people are doing better, financially than we are.
What is that additional factor?
Answer: system.

Some people have set up systems that allow them to make more progress with less effort.
They are able to add more value to the market place in less time and with less effort.

The key to better time management is better Systemisation and organisation.
Are you a systematic, organised and disciplined person?
Is your organisation operating in ways that could correctly be described as:
Systematic, organised and disciplined?

If you are Systematic, organised and disciplined then you will be productive and you will be regarded as an effective time manager.
If you are unsystematic, disorganised, and ill disciplined, then you will not be very productive and everyone will laugh at your inability to manage your time.

1. Systematic: means that you are operating according to a logical sequence or method.
2. Organised: means that everything and everybody is in the right place at the right time.
3. Disciplined: means that you do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, even if you don't want to do it.

It is important to be systematic, organised and disciplined.

To apply the Pareto principle (80/20 Rule) to time management issues.
The 80/20 rule is recognition of the fact that not all things are equal.
Some things are more valuable than others.
Some things are a lot more valuable than others.

It is a mistake to do trivial things when there are more valuable things still to be done.

The vast majority of the value is contained in a minority of the tasks.
80% or more of the value is contained in 20% or fewer of the tasks.
80% of the tasks or more are of little consequence.
A small number of the tasks on your list make an enormous difference to the final outcome.

The time management implication is this:
Keep asking yourself the following question:
What are the few things that make the biggest difference to the final outcome?
What are the six things that if done really well would make the biggest difference?

Then when you have found the most important 20%, spend 80% of your time on the 20% that really matter.

In your job what six things make the biggest difference to your role?
If you run a cafe, what six things would you say make the biggest difference to your customer's satisfaction and desire to come back with a friend?
Which six things would most likely send packing, never to return?

Do an 80- 20 analysis on your job description and see what you discover.

What are the three common time wasters?

The three common time wasters are:

1. Low value chatting about trivial issues.
2. Avoidable errors due to lack of concentration.
3. Failure to operate according to a plan

How to beat the three most common time wasters

1. Low value chatting about trivial issues
Refuse to spend too much time chatting about low value issues.
Keep asking yourself this question: is this task a high value task or not?
If it is not, don't spend much time on it.
If it is a high value task then it is okay to spend time on it.

2. Avoidable errors due to lack of concentration
How much time money and effort are wasted each year on mopping up after errors that were caused my momentary lapses of concentration, or momentary carelessness or neglect?
The figure cannot be calculated because it is too large.
For example, a yesterday I booked myself into a hotel room and failed to select the correct day, and thus booked myself into a London hotel on the day of the booking, yesterday night.

I only realised my error when I later received a phone call from the hotel asking if I was coming.
So I lost money. And I had to repeat the task and do it properly the second time. And I had to spend a half hour explaining my error to the finance person.

The time management principle is this:

Concentrate fully on the one thing that you are on now.
Don't allow yourself to be so easily distracted, interrupted and mentally preoccupied.
Do it right the first time and do all you can to avoid avoidable errors.

3. Failure to operate according to a plan
Time management means this:
Operate according to a plan not your mood.

Many people do not operate according to a plan. Instead, they operate according to either;
Their mood in the moment
The momentary pressures

If they are in the mood then they do it. If they are not in the mood, then they don't do it. They put it off. They say, ""I won't do it now, because I'm not really in the mood, so I'll do it later"".

And many people operate according to momentary environmental pressures. If something happens then they respond to it. If nothing is happening then they read the newspaper or they chat amongst themselves.
There is no personal initiative.
Personal initiative is the act of making yourself do something before it needs to be done and before anyone else asks you to do it.

The time management principle here is this.
Act on your own personal initiative.
Act on your plan.
Don't act according to mood.
Don't let the environment dictate your actions.
Strive to impose your will onto the environment, not let the environment impose itself too much on you.

1. Plan ahead.
2. Act on your own initiative.

Time Management Training

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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