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SUCCESSFUL IDEAS SERIES

EFFICIENT TIME
Dr. Angela Muniz Aschbrenner

MANAGEMENT

SUCCESSFUL IDEAS SERIES

EFFICIENT TIME
Dr. Angela Muniz Aschbrenner

MANAGEMENT

Dr. Angela Aschbrenner, recipient of several distinguished national and international awards, has compiled 40 years of educational experience into several easy reading booklets. Dr. Aschbrenner holds two Ph.D.s specializing in educational leadership, earned solely on scholarships and a Delta Kappa Gamma grant. She currently serves as a consultant to ber previous school district in Southern California, the U.S. Department of Defense, the International Association of Secondary Principals, European Council of International Schools, and EAR COS. She presents international workshops on leadership, self-esteem, and motivation.

Copyright 1991 Dr. Angela Muniz Aschbrenner

All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright hereon may be reproduced or used in any form by any means-graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocoping, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems-without written permission of the publisher.

Dr. Angela Muniz Aschbrenner P.O. Box 1016 Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA USA 92007

EFFICIENT TIME

MANAGEMENT
Introduction. . . . . Managing Your Time. Shaping Your Workday.
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Creative Time Management "Do's" & "Don'ts". . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Myths of Time Management. . . . . . 14

Effectively Using the Tool of Delegation. . . . . 17 Take Time . . . Just For Today. . Time Savings. Tomorrow . . . Common Time Wasters Checklist . . Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Special Forms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

SUCCESSFUL IDEAS SERIES

Effective Time Management

Introduction
What is time? Whatever time is, we humans have internalized it so powerfully that it has taken on a meaning all its own. We run our lives by numbers on clocks and calendars that we ourselves have created. Have we become slaves to the clock and calendar? Stop for a moment and think about the uniqueness of "time." It's the one resource that is truly and strictly limited. Of all the major resources - money, people, commodities, knowledge - only time is irreplaceable. It is perishable, it cannot be stored. Yesterday's time is gone forever and cannot be regained. And there is no substitute for it. Time is the ultimate depletable resource. You can't increase time, store time, or stop time. All you can do is use it up whether you want to or not. Despite phone calls, visitors, meetings, T.V. programs, emergencies, or anything else that brings you to a halt, time races relentlessly on. Furthermore, everything requires time. There is nothing you can do - work, rest or play - that does not use time. What, then, can you do about time? How can you find enough time to accomplish everything you would like to? Learn to control the way you use time. The worksheets and checklists in this book contain hundreds of suggestions to help you identify and eliminate time-wasters from your schedule. Put these suggestions to use, and you will be able to accomplish more of your tasks in less time. Some of the forms and lists can be used on your computers.

How to Use This Book The hallmark of truly effective time managers is the way they protect and invest their time. But, unfortunately, most people do not manage time well. To gain control of your time, you will need to tackle time management in an orderly, step-by-step fashion. Skim quickly through the book to fmd the many factors that can waste time. Then use some of the forms at the back of the book and calculate the cost of your time. This simple exercise will motivate you to start your campaign against wasted time, giving yourself more time to enjoy doing what you would like to do. Begin by keeping an accurate log of all your activities for at least one week. Write each interruption or change of activity as it occurs so you don't forget to list anything. When your time log is complete, analyze it to determine the biggest drains on your time. The list of Common Time Wasters (in back of the book) will help you spot trouble areas. Each time you tackle a new time waster, reread the sections of this book that apply to it. Select the suggestions that are most appropriate to your situation. You can also adapt any of this information to your situation. To get the most use out of this booklet, do not write on the original
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Effective Time Management checklists and worksheets. Instead, make photocopies of the pages you need, and use your photocopies as worksheets. That way, the pages of the book will stay clean and fresh, ready to be reused whenever needed. Start every morning by saying this to your reflection in the mirror. This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or I can use it for good. What I do today is important because I'm exchanging a day out of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place that which I have traded. One that is to be gained not lost, good not evil, success not failure. And I should not regret the price I paid for it because the future is just a whole string of nows. Today will be what I choose to make it and I refuse to let anyone or anything upset today for me. I hope I've earned one more tomorrow by the way I've lived today!

The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power To tell just when the hands will stop On what day - or what hour Now is the only Time you have So live it with a will Don't wait until tomorrow The hands may then be still

Each day, silently affirm that you are the type ofperson with whom you would want to spend the rest ofyour life.

Effective Time Management

Managing Your TilDe


No one, not kings or beggars, has more than twenty-four (24) hours in a day. It's how you choose to utilize these twenty-four hours that makes the difference. "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail!" People don't lack time - they just don't use it effectively. People often complain, "I have so many things to do that I don't know and can't decide which one to do first!" The key to helping people manage their time is to provide them with the proper tools to better organize their materials and plan their activities efficiently. Organization is not just important to the proper and manageable functioning of a group, personal management of your time and the activities you use to fill up that time is vital to personal growth and success. Because of so many distractions, we are considered a nation of time wasters. Most people waste 80 percent of their time, even though they seem to be perpetually busy. By trying to do so many things that really don't matter, or reinventing the wheel by trying to initially do what others have already successfully solved, they lead cluttered lives. They then can't understand why there isn't any time left for them to do the things they would really like to do. The reason may be they haven't organized their time properly, yet sometimes that very thing may contribute to the problems, if a person is too organized (over-organized). What I mean is a person who is such a time nut, who is so preoccupied with saving time, that he sets an impossible schedule and doesn't take a moment to relax. He drives his associates half crazy with his efforts to save a few minutes. When you come right down to it, there's no such thing as lack of time. We must all live on 168 hours a week (or 24 hours a day). That's plenty of time to do everything we care to do. In life there are no extra innings. The fact is that your time and your life are inseparable; they are one and the same. Only you can decide by your values and priorities what the best utilization of your time (and life) can be. Remember you are unique; you're not your mother or your father, you are you! You were not put on this earth to live up to other's expectations, neither were they put on this earth to live up to your expectations; therefore, we each must decide for ourselves how much time organization we want in our lives. Some of us are morning people who function well in the A.M., while others function better in the evening hours. Once you've found your "Prime Time" (when you concentrate best and do your best work) be sure to fill it with prime NO.1 activities. Some people are disciplined and like a strict schedule, while others don'tfunction well under that stress. We each need to know ourselves well and plan accordingly. Yet, I do have to add, in my opinion, if you're wasting your time in an incompatible or unsatisfactory job or activity, I feel that you are wasting 3

Effective Time Management your life. I remember when I was quite young. I knew several old-timers who hated every day they entered the mill, and on their deathbed, they regretted not doing all the enjoyable things they never seemed to find the time to do. I vowed then and there to learn what the things were that I enjoyed doing and to make a living at it - so I've enjoyed my life and what I have been able to accomplish. So many people don't really know what they want to do with their (time) lives. They may have ideas or goals in their jobs or business areas, but are drifting along without priorities or goals in their personal lives. "Goals are dreams with deadlines." Once they have determined their goals, they can develop an action plan to obtain it. This creates its own energizing process. They fmd that all the things they've been accustomed to doing get compressed into less time, and they've become more efficient. It's not until they set priorities for their tota/lives that they begin to realize whether they are making the best use of their time. People don't lack time, they just don't use it effectively because they haven't learned to use it to the best advantage. We all need to set realistic goals. (I have a separate book on how to do this). Determine and follow our priorities, and we can't afford to waste any of our precious time feeling guilty when we fail to get everything done. There are some individuals who know what they would like to occur in their life, but they don't know how to go about reaching that goal. There are others who do know what they want and how to attain it, but they procrastinate for several reasons. Perhaps going after something that's important may involve doing things with which they are not familiar; haven't done before, or it involves changing a comfortable life style - which is not an easy thing to do. "Successful people are willing to do those things that others are not willing to do." Going out of your comfort zone involves risks that some people aren't willing to take, so they preoccupy themselves (their time) by doing other unimportant "busy work." Each of us needs to get control of our time and our actions. Procrastination is something most of us have experienced. Putting things off, waiting for a better moment, tomorrow, someday, one of these days procrastination will do only one thing for you - delay your accomplishments. The reasons we procrastinate are many. Perhaps the project looks too big, so we don't start. Instead of disciplining ourselves, we give in to immediate gratification. We give in to our weaknesses. It is easier to tum on the T. v., call a friend, look in the fridge, read the comics, complain about the project, look in the fridge again, eat, eat some more, and fmally, out of exhaustion, take a nap. It doesn't matter why we procrastinate, it does matter how we can avoid it. If you want to reach your goal by accomplishing a task, follow your plans,

not your moods. Some suggestions to beat procrastination include:


1. You can accomplish almost anything you want, no matter how large, as long as you break it into smaller pieces first. Breaking big efforts into a 4

Effective Time Management number of small efforts is critical; it relieves stress and helps to make the entire project manageable. 2. Don't put it off. "DO IT NOW!" (put Post-It notes with this message wherever you are sure to see them). 3. Use your daily "To Do List" and as you accomplish each task, give yourself an "A" as a measure of success. (Review your successes). 4. Surround yourself with positive thinkers who will support and encourage your efforts (perhaps make fun wagers with them as to when you will complete your goals). 5. Utilize your "Prime Time" when you perform your best. 6. Stop saying, "I have to." Instead say, "I choose to," and your attitude will change so you won't procrastinate. Alan Lakein, an authority on Time Management, in his workshops, asks his participants to write answers to these three questions: 1. What are your lifetime goals? 2. How would you like to spend the next five years? 3. How would you live if you knew that six months from now you would be struck dead by lightning? If you answer these questions honestly, they can be very powerful sometimes disturbing. Yet everyone is responsible for his/her own life and a person must be realistic and assess his/her capabilities and limitations in setting their realistic goals. Today may be the first day of the rest of your life, but what if today was the last day of your life?

Ways You Can Save Time


Here are time-saving suggestions based on a checklist Mr. Lakein has prepared for his own use: Try to fmd a new technique every day that will help you gain time. Plan your schedule the first thing in the morning, and get priorities for the day. Make a list and tick off the important items first. Have a light lunch so you don't get sleepy in the afternoon. Save up trivial matters for a three-hour session once a month. Consult your list of lifetime goals once a month, and revise them if necessary. Identify activities that you can do each day that will further your goals. Carry blank 3 x 5 index cards to jot down notes and ideas. Delegate everything you possibly can to others. Use specialists to help with special problems. Generate as little paper work as possible. Throwaway nonessential papers as soon as you've read them. Try not to work on weekends. Give yourself time off as a special reward when you've accomplished important tasks.

Effective Time Management Concentrate your efforts on only one thing at a time. Start with the most profitable parts of big projects. Focus on projects that you are convinced will provide you with the greatest long-term benefits. Try to handle each piece of paper only once. Answer most letters right on the letter itself. Skim books quickly, looking for ideas. Examine old habits for possible streamlining. Put "waiting time" to good use: Relax, read or do something else you wouldn't otherwise have done. Don't waste time regretting failures, or feeling guilty about what you don't get done. Remind yourself: ''There is always enough time for the important things." This Moment I may never see tomorrow; there's no written guarantee, And things that happened yesterday belong to history. I cannot predict the future, I cannot change the past. I have just the present moment; I must treat it as my last. I must use this moment wisely for it soon will pass away. And be lost to me forever as a part of yesterday. I must exercise compassion, help the fallen to their feet, be afriend unto the friendless, make an empty life complete. The unkind things I do today may never be undone. Andfriendships that I fail to win may nevermore be won, I may not have another chance on bended knee to pray, And thank God with humble heart for giving me this day.

Years ago, Horace Mann sat down and wrote a classified ad that has stood the test of time, "Lost: Somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever."

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I try to take one day at a time - but sometimes several days attack me at once. There is no power like the power of an idea whose time has come. Never be so busy that you haven't time to care.

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Every minute I am angry, I lose sixty seconds of happiness.

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Effective Time Management Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once.

Getting Organized This begins by knowing how you truly spend your time now, eliminating time wasters, and consolidating your available time into working blocks and organizing your working space. Keep ftles for projects with all information handy, free desktop space by attaching phone to the wall, phone book, Post-It notes, tape, pens, and all other necessities in their own slot in a top-drawer organizer. What about you? Do you know how you spend your time? If you don't keep a daily or weekly "time log" of some kind, the answer is probably "no." To most people it seems they spend too much time doing the unpleasant things and not enough time doing the pleasant things. (Time flies when you're having fun). Take a sheet of paper and from memory estimate how you spend your time representing your average day. Now, starting tomorrow morning keep a daily record of what you really do and how much time is spent on each activity. (Time Diary form in back of book). At the end of several weeks, summarize your "Time Diary," total the hours for each activity, and compare it to the first version which you did from memory. I guarantee that if you do this exercise, you will change the way you protect and invest your time. Do this at least twice a year to prevent you from drifting back into wasting your time on unimportant or unnecessary trivia. The next step in organizing your time is to fmd the ways you or others waste your time. Allowing the insistent demands of life, interruptions, meetings, distractions, procrastination, etc., to run unchecked is the surest way to negate all your planning and scheduJing efforts. Use the "Common Time Wasters Check List" in the back of the book and your solution forms and try to master your time wasters. The following list ofTime Savers should help: Common Time Savers Survey and analyze how you spend your time Provide for regular quiet time for prioritizing and planning Keep pen and paper or small tape recorder handy (for ideas, even in car) Determine what must be done in priority order Put everything in writing Do the most important task first Know your own limits and your peak performance time (utilize it) Systematically plan each day and each hour (yet allow for flexibility) Simplify your procedures, use phone instead of going in person, use Fax machine when possible Set specific goals- write them down
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Effective Time Management Avoid time-wasters Write out a "To-Do List" include any materials needed (Keep in one place) Read "To Do List" fIrst thing each morning Group similar duties together (Also common physical area) A void rush hour traffic, banks, lunch, etc. (Timing is crucial) Closely follow the schedule according to priorities Be aware of hours of operation - Credit Unions, Banks, restaurants, etc. Delegate as much as practical and possible (giving clear, complete information) Phone answering machine can screen your calls, use a timer by your phone. (limit calls) Do the job right "The First Time" Learn to speed-read, speed think, speed-work Practice "Brainstorming," problem-solving and decision-making Don't hold unnecessary meetings Do hold necessary ones (Well-planned) Concentrate on one-thing-at-a-time Handle paper once (develop a file to sort according to needs) Do not leave an assignment until it is completed Set deadlines and meet them (charts help) Learn how to best handle interruptions (distractions) Organize a detailed me system (That works for you) Keep a folder about yourself with all the pertinent information needed on applications such as copies of birth certificate, baptismal record, social security number, records of alljobs, education, letters of recommendation. Continually ask yourself, "How can I best use my time?" Double up on tasks that don't require your full concentration Be early for meetings and appointments (fully prepared) Be sensitive to the time, needs, and wants of others Enjoy what you do! (Enthusiasm is contagious) Upon completion, evaluate and reward yourself! Remember: You make the difference.

Effective Time Management

Shaping Your Workday


I'm sure you've heard. "not enough hours in a day" or "too much to do, no time to do it all." It's not surprising given the pressures of everyday living, that many let their days slip through their fingers, losing sight of the larger picture in the crunch of daily demands and interruptions. Try to avoid this by establishing selective control; refocus and harness the time you can control, and institute defensive measure to minimize the impact of the demands that you can't control. Start with the "What and When." This is the core of planning and scheduling whereby; you defme what you have to do and when you should be doing it. Then go to the "How" which consists of strategies for defending your schedule against interruptions, time-wasters, and procrastination, and for fmding the simplest, most efficient methods for doing what has to be done. Constantly thinking, how can I do this best in the least amount of time. Eliminate notes, lists, reminders on the backs of envelopes or on scraps of paper, which are mislaid and lost. An infinitely more efficient way of solving list overload is to condense those myriad jottings into a Master Calendar and two basic lists: a Comprehensive Master List and a specific Daily List. (Believe me, it is well worth the time and effort). The Master List is a single, continuous list, maintained perhaps in a spiral-bound or looseleaf notebook, of everything you have to do. (Always keep in the same place). Record every idea, assignment, call, project, task or errand (large or small; minor or important) as it arises. Beyond starring an occasional obvious priority, forget about categorizing or assigning priorities at this point. Make sure to include those "someday I'd like to" activities for which you never seem to have time. Use this Master List as a catch-all for every reminder. Distribution and scheduling are the keys to turning your Master List into a practical planning tool, therefore, a daily review of the list is in order: 1. Delete any tasks or ideas that upon later reflection seem unnecessary or overzealous. (Don't erase, just put a checkmark). 2. Break down large or complex tasks into smaller components or subtasks. 3. Datelines for each substask should be established (start date and deadline). 4. Redistribute all "referable" tasks making a note on your list and proper instructions to the delegatee. Put follow-up check date on calendar. 5 Schedule action dates for long-range or date-related projects and transfer them to calendar. 6. Select items that demand immediate attention. Rewrite them on a separate (different colored) piece of paper, which becomes a source for your specific daily "To Do" list. Review your Master List daily, checking off tasks that are completed,
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Effective Time Management adding new ones to be done and compile tomorrow's "Daily List." Save your lists for a couple of months for reference. Daily list items should be limited to what you can reasonably expect to complete in one day. Try to consolidate a number of small tasks. (Phone calls, writings, desk work). Remember to plan your day according to your personal prime time when you feel most alert, most capable of clear, concentrated thought. If you feel certain tasks seem to demand considerable time and energy without yielding much in the way of return, take a few minutes and answer these questions: Must the job be done at all? What would happen if it were cut? Can the job be delegated? As a whole? Parts? To whom? Is the time expenditure - your own and others - commensurate with the project's importance? If the time expenditure seems excessive, can the task be down scaled: Simplified, made less exhaustive, less detailed, etc. Try to acquire the habit of evaluating tasks in tenns of payoff. Think of time as a return on investment. Don't waste time regretting that you didn't do all on your list, just carry it over to the next day. If a task reappears on several Daily Lists, consider dropping, delegating, or postponing it. Your calendar is the nerve center of your time-management program. The familiar two-page desk calendar is quite popular in connection with a booklet pocket calendar and both are kept coordinated. Listing names and phone numbers in proper spaces right on the calendar and using stick-on notes (Post-It notes) has saved me the time of looking them up. For groups using calendars, the reusable, erasable laminated monthly calendars that you can post on walls and use different colored erasable inks can serve you well for long-tenn planning. (Also the new magnetized calendars). These very visible wall calendars are effective for reminding those involved of their assignments (use a different color pen for each person) and put a star on that person's name when the assignment is successfully completed. (In some schools, they even put a photograph of the person responsible for each project). School calendars are crucial in coordinating all the activities so there is no overlap. Everyone (staff, students, parents, community, etc.) should participate in the planning of the yearly calendar. Those involved within the school or any organization should be given the opportunity to select certain dates for their activities. If the person in charge of the master calendar would send a special request fonn to all advisors, then as the requests are received (first come - first serve) they are scheduled on the calendar. When the calendar is set (fmalized) copies can be sent to everyone, so everyone knows what is happening. Conflicts are inevitable, but these can be resolved and decisions can be made to balance the calendar so similar activities are spread throughout the year. Each person should have a pocket calendar with birthdays, activities, goals, etc., listed. Be sure to check the calendar often and plan accordingly.
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Effective Time Management Birthdays should be noted several days in advance so you will have proper time to buy a gift or send a card. I've found that it helps to rank each item on my Daily List as No.1, No. 2, or No.3 priority according to the following criteria: No. 1 's included immediate or critical "must-do" items; a task requiring special effort or concentration; a stressful task; and items with a current deadline. No. 2's were middle-range basics. And No 3 's included low-priority tasks or routine busywork. Putting a project that's on your mind on indefmite hold only creates anxiety, so get it out of the way as soon as possible. Try to divide your tasks into "public" and "private" activities and provide time for both. Determine your prime time and slot into it priority No.1 tasks. Inform everyone that it is vital to set this time aside to get important jobs done without being interrupted. Close your door and set your phone answering machine, then get to work. Try to have a certain area where all needed materials are handy. It would be great to start children as early as possible using these suggestions to improve their study habits which involves learning to eliminate avoidable distractions, thus formulating in them good time management. It would also help to start a personal folder, as soon as a person can, containing everything of importance needed when filling out an application, such as birth certificate, social security number, records of education, jobs held, experience honors and awards, plus all letters of recommendation, etc. This folder is invaluable so a person can include everything on the application. Remember, "you never get a second chance to make a good flIst impression!" and usually the application is thefirst impression. It can make a difference in getting that scholarship, job, promotion, or acceptance to a certain university. Effectiveness is doing the right job; knowing what to do and when to do it - investing your time for the greatest return. Efficiency is defined as doing the right job in the right way. Combining the two is the key to the time-management process. People procrastinate for all sorts of reasons: Some because they dislike or feel overwhelmed by the task at hand; others because they don't know where to start or how to handle it. Still others put things off because the fmal rush to meet a deadline is a kind of"high"; with adrenaline pumping and the mind racing. For some it is just a negative habit they've been allowed to develop since infants. But when procrastination begins to affect the quality of your work or life, it becomes a form of self-sabotage you can't afford. The solution involves rethinking your use of time: retraining yourself; unlearning counterproductive habits (behavior modification); developing a personal work style that's comfortable and functional, and finding the simplest, most economical way of doing things.
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Effective Time Management

Creative TilDe ManagelDent "Do's And Don'ts"


Attitude makes a difference - change, "I have to" to "I choose to." Meditate - think through thoroughly - make a decision. Be aware of your best concentrated thinking time. Make lists and prioritize all lists (what must be done first). Evaluate - recommend ways to improve - reward yourself. Reduce paperwork - handle each piece of paper that crosses your desk only once and at the same time. Decide what to do about the communication before you reach for anything else - write answer or action to be taken on the letter itself. Use fax. Discard communications that won't be looked at again. Use proper, quick forms for recurring situations. Keep a waste basket handy and follow the rule, "when in doubt, throw it out." Telephone tips - don't accept being put on hold unless the person you are trying to get is very hard to reach. Do leave a precise message, your name and phone number, when you can't reach the intended party. Make a list of topics to cover plus all needed information before making a call. Make notes during calls with all pertinent information so you won't have to call back always get name of person with whom you've spoken. Do establish a call hour as part of your routine, and use this time to make and receive the majority of your calls. Let everyone know when this is. For your own information, log the time, name, phone number, length and reason for each call for a period of a week or more. Besides a pad and pencil, use a timer by the phone. Use time-saving phone devices like touch tone, last number redial, memory dial for frequently called number, an answering machine, telephone charge card, cordless phone, cellular car phone, or even a modem to allow you to access research data bases or arrange computer conferences. Fax machines save time. Interruptions - shut your door when you want to concentrate. Put up a sign to announce the request for privacy. Except for emergencies, refuse visitors and phone calls during your quiet time. Don't keep extra chairs in your workplace, so visitors won't stay long. Diplomatically ask visitor to get right to the point. Keep conversation focused on issue at hand. Have meetings or conferences in other person's workplace so you can terminate and leave when you want. Try to eliminate all distractions. Reading - be selective about what you read. Read table of contents, introductions, chapter summaries or heading before deciding to read the entire book or article. Skim material quickly, pick out the main point in each 12

Effective Time Management paragraph. Usually, it will be in either the flrst or last sentence of the paragraph. Mark major points of important articles or reports with a highlighter. Reread only the highlighted material if you need to review key points. Files - set up your own system project ftles, keeping all related materials at your fmgertips. Color-code groups of ftles for easy identiflcation. Be sure that your classiflcation system allows you to identify ftled items quickly. Establish an "ideas" ftle. Use a computer to store and update frequently used ftles. Use a tape recorder to list ideas and important infonnation. Tape record meetings, reports, memos, phone calls, and listen or review while driving or waiting for appointments. Eliminate overlapping jobs, pointless work, outdated procedures, and any other time wasters. Read about, listen to, and implement time-saving tips. Activities - use phone instead of shopping. Know hours of operation to avoid closed periods. Avoid busy times in traffic, banks, shopping, et cetera. Double up on tasks when possible. Try to include physical exercise while doing tasks or waiting.

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Effective Time Management

Myths Of TilDe ManageIDent


Time flies, but it can be tamed efficiently. Of all managerial resources, time is the most discussed but least understood. No one has enough, yet everyone has all there is. So time is not our problem, but what we do with the limited supply we all have is. The following myths have been developed over a period of eight years of research, writing and lecturing in 15 countries on the subject of time management: 1. The myth of Activity: Managers who are the most active get the most done. Wrong. In viewing the work of their subordinates, managers tend to confuse activity with results. Insecure workers often work at energy levels inversely proportional to their certainty of direction and confidence of results. Activity, initially designed to achieve predetermined ends, ultimately becomes the end itself. 2. The myth of Decision Level: The higher the level at which a decision is made, the better. Wrong. There is a notion that people who are paid more money must make smarter decisions. Therefore, the more decisions made at the top, the better off the whole organization will be. However, the management principle of decision level holds that decisions should be made at the lowest possible level, with good judgment and availability of relevant facts. Among the justifications for this principle is the obvious fact that higher decisions cost more to make, while lower decisions are based on greater familiarity with the circumstances involved. 3. The myth of Delayed Decisions: Delay improves the quality ofdecisions. Wrong. Arriving at the point of decision, many managers instinctively delay or procrastinate to avoid the commitment which follows the fmal decision. This syndrome has been termed "paralysis of analysis" by seasoned observers. Often, the longer a difficult decision is delayed,the more difficult it becomes to make. Also, each delay lessens the time available for corrective action if it is wrong. 4. The Myth of Delegation: Delegation saves time, worry and responsibility. Wrong. In the end, effective delegation saves time, but initially it takes time for planning what should be delegated, selecting and training competent staff to accept respon14

Effective Time Management sibility,.communicating expectations, coaching and counseling for improved performance, involving the time in decisions affecting their work, and measuring the rewarding results of accomplished. Therefore, delegation fIrst requires time, and in the end saves time only if done effectively. Nor is it a shortcut to avoid worry and responsibility. This would be "abdication." Ultimate accountability rests permanently and unavoidably with the top manager, regardless of who performs the work, but the perfectionist or do-it-yourselfer who insists on doing himself what could have been done through others is wasting valuable time. Proper communication is the key here. People have a tendency to support that which they help decide or create. To be held accountable, authority needs to go along with delegated responsibility.

5. The Myth of Omnipotence: By "doing it yourself," tasks are achieved faster and better. Wrong. The fallacy in this reasoning is that by refusing to delegate the task to someone else, and taking the time to see that he knew how to do it right, the manager is insuring that the next time he will have no choice but to do it again, since no one else has learned how. 6. The Myth of the Overworked Executive: Many executives get illusions that they are indispensable. Wrong. Concluding that the enterprise couldn't survive without their continuous attention, they pass up vacations, work long days and weekends, and wonder why they aren't appreciated more. Their refusal to let others decide, brings mountains ofpaperwork to their desks; their preoccupation with detail further clutters their stacked desk. 7. The Myth of Efficiency: The most efficient manager is the most effective. Wrong. We know that to be efficient on the wrong task, or on the right task but at the wrong time, may be highly ineffective. What's the point in trying to do more cheaply what should not be done at all? Efficiency might be termed doing things right. Effectiveness, then would be doing the right things right, at the right time! 8. The Myth of Hard Work: The harder one works, the more he gets done. Wrong. The time management principle of planning has proven that every hour spent in effective planning saves three to four in execution and insures better results ... The key to the hard work syndrome: Wa-k smarter not harder . .. get more done in less time. Plan your work, then work your plan. 9. The Myth of the "Open Door": The "open door" policy improves a manager's effectiveness in dealing with his team. Wrong. Unfortunately, the "open door" has come to mean open at all times. But being "always available" is no guarantee of success as
15

Effective Time Management a manager. On the contrary, the "always available" manager finds it impossible to get his own work done, to think through to his own objectives and priorities, to concentrate on getting his own tasks accomplished, Effective managers are virtually unanimous in their condemnation of the "open door." They agree on the imperative need for planned unavailability whether achieved by a "quiet hour," a skillful secretary taking calls back, a hideaway ofsimply staying at home for a few hours ofconcentration without interruption.

10. The Myth of Problem - Identification: Identifying a problem is really the easy part ofproblem solving. Wrong. Much effort and time is wasted solving the wrong problems. By failure to
ascertain the real problem, managers inevitably waste time. Sometimes solutions to unclear problems lead to far more problems, wasting far more time.

11. The Myth of Time Saving: Many managerial shortcuts are time savers. Wrong. If we had no choice
but to spend time at a predetermined fixed rate, how can time be saved? Technically it cannot. No one can elect not to spend time nor to spend it at a different rate. Nonetheless, managers talk constantly of saving time - often in ways which are unwise managerially and ultimately cost more time. Cutting an important conversation short in the interests of meeting another deadline may leave a festering problem unresolved only to erupt in a later crisis. Hastening a decision without the critical facts has often returned to plague a hasty decision-maker. Initiating action prematurely on a project without thorough analysis of alternative courses may thus waste much time, effort and money in the end If you don't have time to do it right, asked one sage, when will you have time to do it over? "A stitch in time saves nine."

12. The myth of Time Shortage: No one has enough time. Wrong. The time shortage is an illusion resulting
generally from such forms of mismanagement as attempting too much in too little time, inability to say "no" to outside distraction, setting or accepting unrealistic time estimate, and confusing priorities by working on second things first.

It is the greatest ofall mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.
Sidney Smith

16

Effective Time Management

Effectively Using The Tool Of Delegation


Since sometimes you must get your work done through others, you will fmd that your effectiveness as a leader will increase if you understand and base your action on the following facts about delegation: 1. The best way to increase your effective authority is to delegate it. (To hoard it is to lose it). 2. Once you assign responsibility, be sure that you delegate the necessary authority with it. (Trust people until they become trustworthy). 3. Always work through channels. If you give a member or committee responsibility and authority, don't destroy your right to hold them accountable by unnecessarily interfering with the work. Save time by always having an uneven number of committee members to avoid a deadlock. 4. Delegate only if you have confidence that the member is capable of intelligently handling the power. 5. Assigning responsibility does not lessen your responsibility. It merely gives you a capacity to handle greater responsibilities. 6. Clearly defme the responsibilities assigned to each member and make this information known to others who work with them. Put it in writing and everyone gets a copy. 7. Once you have delegated, follow up to make sure the job is being accomplished. 8. If possible, delegate in such a way that members receive instruction from only one person, and are held accountable only to that person. 9. Never assign duties to a member solely because these duties are distasteful or unpleasant to you. 10. When you delegate authority over others to someone, be sure to back up these people when their authority is called into question. 11. Be quick to straighten out any complaints about an appointee overstepping assigned authority. 12. Let appointees know specifically what decisions they have authority to make. Have decisions made on the lowest possible organizational level. The delegation of authority is the means whereby you extend your influence and become capable of assuming greater and greater responsibility. Delegation is the foundation of organization ... It is one means of self-multiplication, thereby utilizing your time wisely.

17

Effective Time Management

Take TilDe
Take time to work - it is the price of success.

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Take time to think - it is the source ofpower. Take time to play-it is the secret ofperpetual youth

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Take time to read-it is thefoundation ofknowledge. Take time to worship - it is the highway ofreverence.

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Take time to pray - it is the greatest power on earth.

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Take time to help and enjoy friends - it is the source ofhappiness.

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Take time to love and be loved - it is the one sacrament oflife and a privilege ofthe gods. Take time to dream - it hitches the soul to the stars. Take time to laugh -laughter is the music ofthe soul. It is the singing that helps with life's loads. Take time to share -life is too short to be selfish. Take time to plan - it is the secret ofbeing able to have time to take time for things listed above.

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Put yourself in the job or project so completely that when the year is over, you won't regret a minute ofit.

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18

Youth is not a time of life; it is a state ofmind.

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Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Things that come to those who wait may be the things left by those who got there first.

Effective Time Management

Just For Today


lust for today I will try to live through this day only, and not set far-reaching goals to try to overcome all my problems at once. I know I can do something for 12 hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep it up for a lifetime lustfor today I will try to be happy. Abraham Lincoln said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." He was right. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me. I will chase them out of my mind and replace them with happy thoughts. lustfor today I will adjust myself to what is. I will face reality. I will try to change those things that I can change and accept those things I cannot change. lustfor today I will try to improve my mind. I will not be a mental loafer. I will force myself to read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration. lust for today I will do a good deed for somebody without letting him know it. (If he or she fmds out I did it, it won't count). lustfor today I will do something positive to improve my health. If I am a smoker,I'll make an honest effort to cut down. If I am overweight, I'll eat nothing I know is fattening. And I will force myself to exercise - even if it's only walking around the block or using the stairs instead of the elevator. lustfor today I will do something I've been putting off for a long time. I will finally write that letter, make that phone call, clean that closet or straighten out those dresser drawers. . lustfor today before I speak I'll ask myself, "Is it true?" "Is it kind?" And if the answer to either of those questions is negative, I won't say it. lustfor today I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, talk softly, act courteously, and not interrupt when someone else is talking. lust for today I will have a quiet half hour to relax alone. During this time, I will reflect on my behavior and will try to get a better perspective on my life. lust for today I will be unafraid. I will gather the courage to do what is right and take the responsibility for my own actions. I will expect nothing from the world, but I will realize that as I give to the world, the world will give to me.

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Effective Time Management

TilDe Savings
Age is mostly in your head, that's where you'll fmd the gray hair, the false teeth, the loss of memory, the hearing aid, the loss of memory, the failing eyesight. Oh, did I mention the loss of memory?

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If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

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Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Don't be unhappy and don't be blue, everybody else is a year older too. Diet; a plan for putting off until tomorrow what you put on today. Today is a gift you give me by your presence. That's why there is a tomorrow. So we don't have to do everything today.

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Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. The average person spends more time than one full year of his life in meetings. The best way to predict the future is to create it.

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TNT: Today, Not Tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I always need to put off until tomorrow what I should do today, because today I have to do what I put off yesterday. The one commodity in greatest demand and shortest supply is time.

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Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the things you have to do when it ought to be done, whether you want it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson he learns thoroughly.

20

Effective Time Management Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form!

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Many of us waste half our time wishing for things we could have if we didn't spend half our time wishing.

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The most moving moments of our life find us without proper words.

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Procrastination is the thief of time. Those who dare waste one hour of time have not discovered the value of life.

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You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.

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In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.

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Effective Time Management

TOInorrow
He was going to be all he wanted to be, tomorrow, no one should be kinder or braver than he, tomorrow. A friend who was troubled and weary, he knew who'd be glad of a lift, and who needed it, too. On him he would call and so what could he do, tomorrow. Each morning he stacked up all the letters he'd write, tomorrow, and thought of the folk he would ftll with delight, tomorrow. It was too bad, indeed, he was so busy today. And hadn't a minute to stop on his way. "More time I will give to others," he'd say, "tomorrow." The greatest of workers this man would have been, tomorrow; the world would have know him had he ever seen "tomorrow." But, in fact, he passed on and faded from view, and all he left here when living was through, was a mountain of things he intended to do, tomorrow. An old Chinese proverb: "The longest journey begins with but a single step. "

Yesterday is a cancelled check Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is ready cash. Use it. I will pass through this world but once; any good thing, therefore, that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it,for I shall not pass this way again.
S. Grellet

For yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision; but today, well-lived, makes every yesterday a dream ofhappiness, and every tomorrow a vision ofhope.

22

Effective Time Management

COIDIDon TilDe Wasters

Checklist
o o o o
o o o o o o o
Procrastination Accepting too many jobs at one time (trying to do too much) Blaming other people for mistakes (waste of time) Failure to set priorities and goals Changing priorities because of interruptions Conflicting commitments Daydreaming, distractions, lack of concentration No written policies, rules, guidelines Too much clutter (waste time looking for needed materials) Too much neatness (having disposed of future needed materials) Failure to delegate (an "only I can do it right" attitude) Failure to let other people work on their own Failure to share expectations. Too tired (not allowing time for proper rest) Inadequate planning Too few people involved, or too many Interruptions (you allow) No authority to carry out responsibilities Lack of clear goals and lack of information No concentration Missed appointments and late Not making decisions and poor timing No routine ways to handle routine problems (lack of organization) Low moral and poor attitude Managing by crisis Too many unneeded meeting; and poor meetings (no agenda,goals or reasons) Lost files and materials No daily plan and weekly plan Outdated methods Overlapping jobs Personal conflicts among members Personal insecurity Poor communications Poor filing systems Poor listening habits Too many personal activities 23

o o o o o o o o o o

o o o

o
o o o o

o o o o o

Effective Time Management

o o o o

o o

Too many people involved in decisions Unfmished work Unnecessary jobs to do Unimportant telephone calls (use secretary or answering machine to screen calls) Unnecessary long phone calls (use timer by phone) Writing letters, memo, reports that could be written by someone else Too much television (distractions)

Make Up your own: Interruption Log


Who Call Visit

Week of_ _ _ __ Length Purpose *Category

*Legitimate delegable follow-up inquiry procedural

24

Effective Time Management

Reviews
Tips for Managing your Life and Your Time to Achieve Success Write goals. Plan ahead with calendars. Get organized. Block interruptions. Handle decisions. delegate everything possible and practical. Measure achievement. Believe you can do better. Work faster and smarter. 1. Schedule quiet time for planning and setting priorities. (Let others know, you are not to be disturbed). 2. Begin with attainable goals, activities. Write them down. (Short and long term). 3. Decide what should be done, in what order. (prioritize tasks). 4. Survey your normal time schedule. Analyze it. a. Determine how much unassigned time you have. Use it more effectively. Be early for meetings and appointments. b. Recognize time wasters. Avoid them. Learn how best to deal with them. c. Group similar activities together - telephone, letters, errands, et cetera. (Use waiting time to do small tasks). d. Identify your most creative and productive time of the day and protect it. Make appointments yourself. Assign yourself objectives. e. Schedule breaks or changes in routine to avoid fatigue. (Exercise regularly). 5. Write out specific goals: Intellectual, physical, spiritual, social, family, fmancial, business, personal, et cetera. List activities to reach them. 6. Schedule blocks of time to make significant progress on the most important goals. (Reduce and avoid distractions, interruptions, go to the library, et cetera) a. Carry a list of "instant tasks" to be done. Take actions that are in alignment with your goals. b. Plan each day the evening before; write plans on a goal sheet. (Read it first thing next morning). c. Do the most important tasks first. 7. Use "To Do" lists-daily, weekly, and long term. List jobs as No.1, No.2, No.3 8. Do one thing at a time - resist detours. Follow the schedule. a. Break down large and unpleasant jobs into manageable units.Check progress towards goals periodically. b. Establish starting times, dates, review times, dates, completion times and deadlines. Do it right the first time.

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Effective Time Management 9. Plan for the unexpected. Don't schedule every minute of each day. Confille conflicts to issues, not personalities. Be flexible, give yourself relaxing time. 10. Learn when to say no (to the phone, to sale people, to friends). Don't hold unnecessary meetings. 11. Use sleeping time to let the subconscious work. (Keep paper and pen or tape recorder by the bed). Speed read, think and work. Get needed rest. 12. With proper training, delegate activities and assignments to associates and friends. Ask people for help and give personal recognition for their achievement. Establish quality channels of communication. "No one of us can accomplish as much as all of us." 13. Use follow-up systems. (Keep goals in focus). Utilize your calendar. 14. Commit yourself to others (as well as to yourself) to get things done by the deadline. Don't leave something until it is done. 15. Determine what things can appropriately be put off, ignored. (No. 3's) 16. Recognize the 80/20 principle. (80 percent of the work is accomplished by 20 percent of the workers). 17. Handle each piece of paper as few times as possible and limit the time spent with phone calls. Use a detailed filing system (that you can work with). Put documents in their proper place immediately instead of letting them pile up on a desk. 18. Make every second count. Set deadlines, and meet them. Combine jobs (i.e., straighten desk during phone calls, read notes while waiting). 19. Be sensitive to the time, needs and wants of others. 20. Concentrate on the best use of time, activity and goal selection right now. Do it! There are no extra innings in life - so utilize each moment. As you get older you realize how important each moment is. Have afantastic life!

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______________________________________ 0

Carried over from yesterday _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ O

THINGS TO DO TODAY - (Priority Planner)


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Brainstorming Ideas

Misc. Memos

Time Diary
Directions: Discover how you actually spend your time by recording your activities on the time log below. Whenever you change tasks or are intenupted, write a one or two word description of the new activity in the appropriate time slot. Keep the time chart for several weeks.
Toe
Woo
Thu
Fri

Sun
5:00 5:30 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 1\:00 1\:30 12:00 12:30 1:00 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:00

Moo

Sat

--

RelTIinders
TIIlNGS TO DO THIS MONTH MEETINGS TO HOLD TIDS MONTH

IMPORTANT TIDNGS TO REMEMBER

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