Managing time has become extremely significant for top management executives to balance their career growth, family and social life. In the era of cut throat competition all the organization have to work with less personnel and more productivity. Because of this change, all the top managers have work under heavy stress which causes their health, personal and social life. Under the circumstances they have to find out a way to manage their time very effectively.
Here are some suggestions and questions for introspection to review our way of working in office front and home front.
Some habits that causes problems.
Does anything of these thoughts that leaves you thinking?
. I am not sure how do to this
. I'll do the report next week
. I'll postpone the meeting
. I won't discuss this issue until next week.
. That job is just too big and twisting to look at now.
. What if I get it wrong?
Is this you?
. The report is difficult - what if it's not up to standard?
. The telephone keeps interrupting you
. You see too many unexpected visitors.
. You cannot seem to delegate effectively.
Make the most of your time - know its worth.
Here's what to do.
. Work out and write down where your time is going during the day.
. Identify where you can make savings and decide what you'd rather be doing with that time.
. Put your ambitions right of the top of your personal agenda.
. Set yourself realistic targets in your quest for change - goals that can be achieved gradually and then built on.
. Decide to change right now - there's no time like to present.
. Live the concept of 'opportunity cost' always looks at what you could be doing instead.
. Recognize the drain on your time caused by other people. Should you be more assertive?
Analyze why, when and how you tend to procrastinate. Once you can recognize the symptoms, you'll have something to work on. Overcome fear with positive thinking. Imagine yourself doing the job well and the benefits it will bring to you. Keep telling yourself 'I can do it'. If necessary use fear positively. Imagine the consequences of not getting the job done. Make a things-to-do list at the end of the day and use it as your agenda for the following day. Break tasks down into more manageable chunks wherever possible. As you start the day, pick off the easiest tasks first - crossing them off the list will spur on to tackle the monsters. Reward yourself for completing something exceedingly tedious. Having a bar of chocolate or a web surfing session to look forward to will motivate you to keep on plodding through the task at hand. Set deadlines for yourself and reinforce them by telling others when you will have that piece of work finished. Where possible, make a start immediately, even if you do not have every thing you may need to finish it. Set yourself realistic standards. Failure can be very demotivating.
Tips for beating procrastination.
. Visualize the task you are dreading as an opportunity - imagine the benefits to you of doing the job well.
. Set targets for when you will finish a job and broadcast this deadline to those around you.
. Promise yourself a reward for getting that dreaded job done.
. Make start as soon as you can. Do not allow yourself to delay because you don't yet have all the information or the tools to hand - think ahead and get whatever you need in advance.
Tips on successful delegation
. Delegate the right work - analyze every task you do and be certain that you are the person who should be doing it.
. Empower those around you - appreciate the talents of others, accept that they need new challenges and learn to trust their abilities.
. Select the right person for the job - someone that will see the new task as a worthwhile challenge.
. Don't give the impression that you are 'dumping' your work - present new tasks to people as a sign of your trust in their abilities. Make it positive!
. Give a full brief - spend time explaining the job in detail and ensure that your delegates know what to do right from the start.
. In the early stages, check their progress regularly - this will save you having to redo the job and save them the embarrassment of watching you freak out.
. Be demonstrative with your praise when a job is well done by your subordinates, it will make it easier to delegate in future and encourage them to accept.
. Above all, do not see it as a threat.
How to save time at work
Do not accept that those above you have a God-given right to involve you in their fire fighting by dumping work on you. Drag them back into the fray by asking them to choose what to drop from the list of tasks that can no longer be done during the working day. Try to control the length of telephone calls by setting time limits. Tell chatter addicts right at the start that you only have 5 minutes to spare, and to stick to what you've said.
Dissect the individual tasks you perform and identify any processes, which could be speeded up by using a device or some new software. Invest some time finding out what technology is available. It could well reward you with huge savings. Find out the capabilities of the equipments you have.
It is good practice to develop speed reading so you can quickly get the basic information. Whether it's a report or a memo you're writing, keep it brief and to the point. This is the only way to communicate effectively. Find things to do in dead time. For instance, you could easily spend the unavoidable gap between appointments reading reports or journals that you would otherwise waste quality time to read them.
Practice thinking positively. Repeat the following phrases to yourself until they become instinctive.
. This time I'll get it right
. How will I stop that happening again
. Next time I'll know what to expect
. I CAN do it.
Taming your telephone time
. Use an answer phone or voice mail when you do not want to be interrupted. If possible, delegate the job of answering to someone else. If you regularly find yourself taking messages for someone else, explain politely the costs in time this involves for you. Suggest they use answer phone or voice mail. Conversations with talkative people should always start by you defining how much time you can spare. Try to get them to do the speaking. Give only yes / no responses. Before making a call, set your own agenda and stick to it.
Dealing with 'visitors' on your terms
. If you do not want to be disturbed, shut the door or in an open plan office, face away from the point of access.
. If you are asked whether you're free and you are not, politely but firmly say so and set another time.
. Use body language - if some one comes in unexpectedly, stand up, look them in the eye and make it plain that now is not the right time. Do not give them an opportunity to sit down - remove extra chairs beforehand if you want.
. Say straight away that you're too busy, and that you'll come to them as soon as you can. It is easier to leave their workspace to get them out of yours.
Analyze the kind of things that hit your desk regularly and allocate ach to the correct category. Now look at your current workload. Have you a stack of Urgent / Important tasks piling up and threatening to overwhelm you? Get started on them right away.
Be ruthless; Use above system to categories every thing. If it's urgent / Non-important, make sure you have the time to tackle it today or delegate it. If it's non-urgent, / important, be aware of looking deadlines and plan a realistic start date and stick to it.
. Time is money. Make sure that you are giving value for money to yourself and your Company.
. Accept that there is only one change to achieve what you want in life so you'd better start now.
. Analyze your day to see where the time goes. Look for 'slack' which could be snatched back for you.
. Identify ways I which you would rather use your time.
. Make achievable resolutions to change the way you are going to spend your time.
Here's what to do.
Work out and write down where your time is going during the day. Identify where you can make savings and decide what you'd rather be doing with that time. Set yourself realistic targets in your quest for change - goals that can be achieved gradually and then built on. Decide to change right now - there's no time like to present. Live the concept of 'opportunity cost' always looks at what you could be doing instead. Recognize the drain on your time caused by other people. Should you be more assertive?
Tactics for downsizing meetings and the time you waste in them.
. Make every one aware of the cost of meetings. Take the hourly average salary of those attending, multiply it by the time spent annually at such events and calculate the total cost
. Chase the agenda to ensure it is set well before hand and circulated. The agenda should be stuck rigidly.
. Ensure that the meeting is properly chaired. If necessary, chair it yourself.
. Use new technology to avoid face-to-face meetings wherever possible. Can the same results be gained by teleconferencing/video conferencing?