Tips for Controlling the Clock

Listed below is a compilation of time management goals. They have been organised into 10 categories to help in your planning.

You are encouraged to select from this list 8 or 10 goals that will be of the greatest help to you. Prioritise the list, ie vital, important, some value and complete waste of time, and write them on a piece of paper that is kept in your diary and/or office so that you can refer to it frequently.

As you prepare each daily action list, include at least one of the time management goals on your list.

Preoccupation ‐ Alertness/Energising

. Cultivate observation.

. Think with a pencil in hand

. Periodically remind yourself - think alertly.

. Do a job right the first time.

. Reduce preoccupation time.

. Locate energy losses.

. Release natural drives by doing what you enjoy.

. Establish and maintain a balanced exercise program.

. Be highly selective in what you read.

. Set up a systematic program for reading.

. Double your speed of reading.

. Read a book like a newspaper.

. Do one thing at a time.

. Use blank spaces in your time.

. Keep a writing pad directly accessible. Draw pictures and diagrams as you explain a point to visitors.

. Replace writing letters longhand with a dictating machine.

. Give letters into a dictating machine instead of directly to a secretary.

. Move your home closer to work, or work closer to home to reduce commuting time if applicable.

. Instead of bringing 2 or 3 individuals in from different parts of the country for a brief meeting, use the "conference call."

. When explaining an unfamiliar point, make comparisons.

. Be aware of when you are tapering off from peak levels of performance. At that point, shift to another vital priority.

. Be on time to meetings, appointments and scheduled events.

. Reduce the overlong visitor stay, ie explain to unscheduled visitors that you are available only for a limited time.

. Limit the length of telephone calls.

. Accumulate return telephone calls and contact them at a time when the chance of their going through is most likely.

. If you have a secretary, use her/him to screen incoming telephone calls and drop-in visitors.

. Establish a practice of having a colleague interrupt an excessively-long visit

. Establish an appropriate balance between vocational work and management work.

. Retire early and rise early.

. Get the necessary sleep each night, but no more than is necessary.

. Be sensitive to the vital priorities of others around you.

. Simplify, ie KISS principle (Keep it simple, stupid!!!!!)

Communication and Attitude

. Take 100% responsibility when sending or receiving messages to see that communication is secured.

. Ask others, "What can I do to help you make better use of your time?"

. Consistently use sincere positive reinforcers on others.

. Use positive reinforcers on yourself.

. Reduce the use of negative reinforcers on other people.

. Reduce the use of negative reinforcers on yourself.

Delegation ‐ Boss/Staff Relationship

. Earn the support of your boss.

. Enlarge your discretionary time by reducing the time that is imposed by staff and others.

. Instead of staff bringing you problems, have them bring you answers/suggestion/solutions.

. Analyse your performance by considering:

- what am I doing now that doesn't need to be done by me or anyone else?

- what am I doing that others can do?

Meetings

. Hold meetings standing up to make them shorter.

. Double preparation time for meetings and cut meeting times in half.

. Have only those people in the meeting who need to be there.

. Maintain a strict contract agreement as to when a meeting will start and end. End the meeting on or before the agreed time.

. Avoid holding a regularly scheduled meeting and see if it makes a difference.

. Use a carefully prepared agenda in all meetings.

. When in a meeting where your time is being wasted, ask the leader, "Is there any other contribution I can make to this meeting?"

. Discuss with the meeting leader in advance where you will be on the agenda and have them move you up if possible.

Physical Work Area, Organising

. Organise your office

. Organise papers into "vital, important, some value and complete waste of time" stacks.

. Clear your desk each afternoon before you leave work.

. Keep the desk completely clear of clutter. (Have on your desk only what you are working on)

. If possible, handle papers only once.

Planning, Daily

. Take more time for systematic planning each day.

. Prioritise an action list for each day, ie vital, important, some value and complete waste of time

. Keep long-range prioritised written goals in your diary and refer to them each time a daily action list or unassigned action list is prepared. There are 3 types:

- time-management goals

- personal goals with the company

- personal life goals

. Make a list of the comfort ideas, people, physical locations, reading, actions, food to which you gravitate that are inappropriate.

. Do at least 3 things daily which force you out of your comfort zone.

Planning, Long-Range

. By a specified date, write, refine and prioritise your unifying principles. Evaluate your personal performance in the context of these principles.

. Review the mission and goals of the company and department at designated times.

. Write, refine and prioritise personal goals with the company by a date.

. Refine your goals against a defined standard of excellent performance.

. Refine all written goals, making them achievable, specific and measurable.

. Specify long-range goals as far into the future as you can anticipate.

. Write personal goals with a balanced perspective so that they include professional, financial, physical/recreational, social, intellectual-cultural and spiritual needs and interests. Refine and prioritise these goals.

. Write sub-goals to the life goals by raising the question, "How can I cause each of these goals to eventuate?"

. Build continuity in goal planning by preparing monthly and weekly goals from long-range goals and the daily action list from all of these.

. Occasionally ask, "What is the greatest threat to my survival professionally, socially, spiritually, financially, intellectually and physically?"

How to Avoid Procrastination

. Write a prioritised daily action list under "to be done today"

. Refer to longer range goals when preparing the prioritised daily action list

. Break-up overwhelming "As" (top priorities) into workable chunks

. Make sure the "A1" task is accessible

. Chain yourself to the task until "A" is done

. Anticipate interruptions that divert you from "As"

. Turn the difficult task into a game

. Select the best time of the day for the type of work required

. Allow flexibility

. Commit to a deadline

. Use a personalised reward system

Set a deadline for each task.

. Prioritise an action list every day, seven days a week, in your diary.

. Chain yourself to the desk until the overwhelming vital priority is finished.

. Do the most vital tasks now!

. Use your secretary or others to reinforce your vital priorities.

. Turn the difficult task into a game.

. Select the best time of day for the type of work required.

. Allow some open space daily for flexibility.

. When you bog down, leave the project until your energies are renewed.

. Do the most difficult of the vital tasks first.

. Stay with the vital task until it is done.

. Don't sit on projects.

. Institute a personal quiet hour.

Results, Achieving with Goals

. Accept what you cannot change as a fact of life.

. Carry out goals that are achievable.

Time Wasters and Triviality, Reducing

. Say "no" when a request is not vital.

. Note and determine what routines might be changed to advantage.

. Reduce socialising time.

. Limit TV viewing to the "vital few."

 

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