The need for time management cannot be overstressed. The technique of time management helps a person to identify his time wasters, and he learns how to cope with tricky situations. As the quantity of time is constant, the quality of time can always be improved upon, in order to obtain the maximum utilization of time. An important factor that needs emphasis here is that one has to consciously adapt and change oneself in order to be time effective. People do not generally realize that a majority of time wasters are a part of their behavior. For example, the inability to say No is a common trait in people who wish to please everyone and as a result end up doing other people’s jobs at the cost of their own.
As a matter of fact, as against, external time wasters over which little or no control can be exercised, internal time wasters are to a large extent in one’s control. Time management teaches one to manage oneself.
Planning for Effective Time Management:
Steps in planning effective time management
a) Identify the time problems
b) Setup priorities
The first step involved in the planning for effective time management is to identify the time problems. Being peculiar, to each one of us and tied to individual style, the identification of time problems can be a tricky proposition. It has to be done systematically and patiently. Identification of the problems will surely require the re-arrangement of the priorities.
Identifying the Time problems:
This can be done buy conducting a detailed study of the activities one performs during one’s time. His study has to be conducted over a period of time, say for a couple of weeks. Daily record of the activities will unfold a pattern of how one spends one’s time.
Once this has been done, these activities can be classified as productive, non-productive, avoidable etc. Further one can attempt to answer a few questions like:
1) Which visits were unnecessary?
2) Which telephone calls were necessary but could have been shorter?
3) Was the result commensurate with the meting time?
4) What steps could be taken to improve effectiveness?
Setting up Priorities:
Once the activity record has been prepared as mentioned in the previous step, has to make efforts to set the priorities. Often a self evident of desirable priorities emerges from the activities.
A couple of questions pertaining to the setting up of priorities are as follows:
1) Is one able to make the best use of one’s time?
2) Is one doing what one really wants to do with over time? Are these actions productive or non-productive?
There can be no general guidelines on how priorities should be assigned, as this is closely linked with the concerned personality, his style and his perception of the urgency and the importance. Therefore the way how priorities are set is not all that important. What holds importance here is what priorities are set.
It is common to blame others for the wastage of time. When seen in the organizational set up, we see that the executive is himself more responsible for misuse of time. It can happen because of the following facts:
1) Prefectionism: An executive has the nature of being a perfect person. Even routine letters of relatively lesser importance are corrected three of four times, which takes a lot of time.
2) Lack of planning: There may be the lack of planning of time. However, planning does not mean that situation and urgency should be ignored.
3) Working Habit: The working habit of the executive can also contribute to the waste of time.
4) Multiplication of papers: Another reason for the wastage of time is the multiplication of paper work. This means that the work is unnecessarily stretched to a large volume of paper work.
5) Visitors: Another reason for the wastage of time is the flow of visitors. Instead of meeting all the visitors himself, an executive has to decide which visitor is important for the organization and which is not. He can meet the important visitors personally and let his subordinates entertain the other visitors.