Managing Time and Successful Delegation
The following model was discussed for use in deciding what needs to be done:
Important and urgent
Important but not urgent
Urgent but not important
Not urgent and not important
Discussion included information on procrastination, delegation how, when and why, and project management.
Real World: Risk Taking, Decision Making, Problem Solving
One systematic approach was discussed in detail it included the following steps:
- Assess reality
- Clarify goals
- Define the problem
- Gather data and analyze
- Generate alternatives
- Implement best solutions
- Follow up and evaluate
We had quizzes and assessments for all kinds of topics including: learning styles, communication style, meeting participant style, right brain/left brain orientations, how well do I delegate, and aptitude for becoming a mentor.
Ideas and factoids presented:
The Basic of Time Management
- Time is a unique resource. Everyone has the same amount daily
- It cannot be accumulated
- You cannot turn it on or off
- It cannot be replaced
- It has to spend at the rate of sixty seconds every minute
Some of Today’s Facts
- Average working times over the last decade have increased by 20% and leisure time decreased by 32%
- 43% of people find it difficult to delegate
- Now 75% work more than 40 hours each week
- 81% suffer stress at least once per week
- A manager on average spends 3 hours each day on interruptions
- One in eight telephone calls gets repeated because something was forgotten
- The average manager spends 3 hours each week looking for things on that desk. A manager’s desk holds 36 hours of work. They spend 11 hours a week in meetings.
Ideas to Control Procrastination
- Change your attitude
- Decide to do the most unpleasant job of the day first
- Break the job down into small tasks
- Commit yourself by telling someone you’re going to do the job
- Set your deadline
- Reward yourself at stages through the job
- Remove/avoid your escape/distracters – for e.g. socializing
- Schedule start times for jobs
- Stick to high priority jobs
- List the advantages of not doing the job, and the advantages of doing it, and compare the two lists.
- Consider the consequences of procrastination
- Do one job at a time
- Ask ‘what is the best use of my time now?’
- Do your thinking on paper. You will make quicker and better decisions if you write down the pros and cons of a line of action. This doesn’t take time, it saves time!
- Use a “slush” file – have a specific place to put all papers which are not important enough to file permanently but which you feel uncomfortable about throwing away just yet.
- In handling correspondence, consider answering routine letters and memos on the original, running them through the office copier for your own records and returning the original to the sender
- If long periods of sitting make you lethargic, arrange two working levels so you can do some of your work standing up.
- If you find it difficult to get any “quiet time,” try to arrive at the office before anyone else to gain uninterrupted time for planning and other tasks.
- Get at least 20 minute of programmed exercise every day, and throughout the day use every opportunity to walk, stand, climb stairs, bend over, etc. This not only promotes health but also increases “prime time” by reducing fatigue.
- Avoid clutter. Keep everything you are not working on out of your immediate working area and out of sight, if possible. Always tidy up your desk and work area before leaving the office.
- Set up a desk date file (sometimes called a future file, a suspense file or tickler file) to provide an automatic method of bringing papers to your attention on specific dates in the future.
- Never do errands on impulse. Plan your route carefully, handling as many errands as possible each time.
- Make maximum use of catalogs when shopping either for personal items or office supplies
- “Let your fingers do the walking.” Before running errands, phone to compare prices, determine availability, etc.
- Plan each night what you are going to wear the next day, and lay it out ahead of time.
- Hire someone to do yardwork, housework and other routine home chores where possible. Don’t get hung up on the “do it yourself” syndrome.
- Use window envelopes where appropriate for correspondence, saving the time of a second typing of the name and address.
- Have your phone and driver’s license numbers, as well as your name and address, printed on personal checks.
- Plan your televiewing a week ahead, so that you will be mores selective in what you watch. Never turn on a TV set just “to see what’s on.”
- Hire specialists to handle things you could do yourself but probably not as quickly or as well.
- Learn to read routine material more rapidly. Don’t “backtrack,” compulsively rereading phrases before going on.
- Write a memo to yourself for future reference whenever you have completed a difficult task which is going to recur. You will benefit more from an experience if you have made a written record of your mistakes and of the lessons learned.
- If you are always “putting out fires,” ask yourself after each crisis: (a) Why did it occur? (b) What can be done to prevent its recurrence? And (c) If it does recur, how can I handle it better next time?
- Ask yourself Townsend’s question a hundred times a day: “Is what I am doing, or about to do, moving me toward my objectives?”
- Purchase, rent or borrow from your library cassette tapes on time management, self-motivation and similar subjects, as well as any that are available tin your professional fields, and listen to them whenever you are traveling in your car.
- Carry a cassette recorder when traveling or making calls. It is the most convenient way of making detailed notes following a phone conversation or while driving or flying.
- Don’t be afraid to give yourself time frequently to relax, to meditate or even to “goof off.” But do so as result of a conscious decision so that you can relax completely. Don’t drift into periods of dawdling, when you are half-working, half-resting.
- Consider moving closer to your place of work. This is a big step, but if you saved only 15 minutes on commuting time each way, you would gain an additional three weeks of working (or playing) time per year!
- Rewrite and reprioritize your goals and activities at least every three months. The world changes, we change and so must our goals.
- Work on only one item at a time.
- Buy paperback books, remove a chapter at a time and read it during your waiting times
- Expect others to succeed; it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Don’t over-control others. It is frustrating for them and time-consuming for you.