MTD Training Successful Time Management Download free books at Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 2 MTD Training Successful Time Management Download free ebooks at bookboon.com 3 Successful Time Management © 2010 MTD Training & Ventus Publishing ApS ISBN 978-87-7681-662-9 Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 4 Contents Contents Preface 7 1. Introduction 9 1.1 The Importance of Time Management 9 1.2 Brief Exercise 9 1.3 A Time Management Goal 11 2. How Is Your Time Management? 12 2.1 Self-Test 12 2.2 Daily Activity Log 14 3. Goal Setting 16 3.1 Introduction 16 3.2 Locke and Latham’s Goal Setting Theory 17 3.2.1 Clarity 17 3.2.2 Challenge 18 3.2.3 Commitment 19 3.2.4 Feedback 20 3.2.5 Task Complexity 20 3.3 S.M.A.R.T. Goals 21 3.3.1 Specific 21 3.3.2 Measurable 22 Stand out from the crowd Designed for graduates with less than one year of full-time postgraduate work experience, London Business School’s Masters in Management will expand your thinking and provide you with the foundations for a successful career in business. The programme is developed in consultation with recruiters to provide you with the key skills that top employers demand. Through 11 months of full-time study, you will gain the business knowledge and capabilities to increase your career choices and stand out from the crowd. Applications are now open for entry in September 2011. For more information visit www.london.edu/mim/ email [email protected] or call +44 (0)20 7000 7573 Masters in Management London Business School Regent’s Park London NW1 4SA United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)20 7000 7573 Email [email protected] www.london.edu/mim/ Fast-track your career Please click the advert Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 5 Contents 3.3.3 Attainable 23 3.3.4 Realistic 23 3.3.4 Timely 24 3.4 Backward Goal-Setting 24 4. Tools for Prioritization 26 4.1 Introduction 26 4.2 Important vs. Urgent 26 4.3 Paired Comparison Analysis 28 4.4 Grid Analysis 32 4.5 Pareto Analysis 35 4.6 Nominal Group Technique 37 4.7 Delegation 39 5. Managing Interruptions 40 5.1 Introduction 40 5.2 Take Responsibility for Interruptions You Cause 41 5.3 More Tips for Managing Interruptions 44 6. Managing Procrastination 46 6.1 Introduction 46 6.2 Defining Procrastination 46 6.3 Indicators of Procrastination 46 6.4 Why You Procrastinate 47 6.4.1 You Find the Task Unpleasant 48 © UBS 2010. All rights reserved. www.ubs.com/graduates Looking for a career where your ideas could really make a difference? UBS’s Graduate Programme and internships are a chance for you to experience for yourself what it’s like to be part of a global team that rewards your input and believes in succeeding together. Wherever you are in your academic career, make your future a part of ours by visiting www.ubs.com/graduates. You’re full of energy and ideas. And that’s just what we are looking for. Please click the advert Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 6 Contents 6.4.2 You Are Disorganized 48 6.4.3 You Find the Task Overwhelming 49 6.4.4 You Are a Perfectionist 50 6.4.5 You Are Having Trouble Making a Decision 50 6.5 Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination 50 6.5.1 Introduction 50 6.5.2 When the Task is Unpleasant 50 6.5.3 When You Are Disorganized 51 6.5.4 When the Project Feels Overwhelming 52 6.5.5 When You Are a Perfectionist 53 6.5.6 When You Are Having Trouble Making a Decision 53 7. Scheduling 54 7.1 Introduction 54 7.2 Scheduling Options 55 7.2.1 Long Term Schedules 56 7.2.2 Medium Term Schedules 56 7.2.3 Short Term Schedules 56 8. Resources 57 Please click the advert Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 7 Preface Preface Do you make the most of your time or are you always chasing your tail? Do you use to-do lists? Planners? And do you know what tasks and activities to focus on at any given time? Today, we have more and more demands made upon us at home and at work than any time in history - tighter deadlines, more work, juggling priorities - you name it! In this textbook you’ll will learn skills and techniques to prioritise your work, how to avoid time wasting events and how to communicate what you want and what you don't want! Sean McPheat, the Founder and Managing Director of management development specialists, MTD Training is the author of this publication. Sean has been featured on CNN, BBC, ITV, on numerous radio stations and has contributed to many newspapers. He’s been featured in over 250 different publications as a thought leader within the management development and training industry. MTD has been working with a wide variety of clients (both large and small) in the UK and internationally for several years. MTD specialise in providing: In-house, tailor made management training courses (1-5 days duration) Open courses (Delivered throughout the UK at various locations) Management & leadership development programmes (From 5 days to 2 years) Corporate and executive coaching (With senior or middle managers) MTD provide a wide range of management training courses and programmes that enable new and experienced managers to maximise their potential by gaining or refining their management and leadership skills. Our team of highly skilled and experienced trainers and consultants have all had distinguished careers in senior management roles and bring with them a wealth of practical experience to each course. At MTD Training we will design and deliver a solution that suits your specific needs addressing the issues and requirements from your training brief that best fits your culture, learning style and ways of working. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 8 Preface Our programmes are delivered when and where you need them! We believe that training should be fun, highly interactive and provide “real world” practical techniques and methods that you can use back in the office – and that’s exactly what we provide. Download A FREE Self Study Management Course Please visit our website www.m-t-d.co.uk for further details about the services that we offer and to also download a FREE Self Study Management Course Contact MTD: Online: Web: www.m-t-d.co.uk Email: [email protected] Telephone: From The UK: 0800 849 6732 International: ++ 44 2476 233 151 Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 9 Introduction 1. Introduction 1.1 The Importance of Time Management In the business world of today, time is increasingly at a premium. We spend time commuting to work, then filling up the workday before commuting home again and facing whatever time issues are posed when trying to fulfill our duties outside of the office. There is a principle known as the Pareto Principle, also called the 80:20 Rule. It says that of all the results that we produce in the day, 80 percent of those results are generated with 20 percent of our efforts. The remaining 80 percent of our efforts only generate 20 percent of our results. This poses an interesting question when it comes to time management; how can we take the 80 percent of our efforts that are currently only producing 20 percent of our results and become more effective with that time? What would we be able to do if we were as effective with that time as we are with the 20 percent of our time that produced 80 percent of our results? Chances are we will never get to 100 percent productivity – we are only human, after all. There will always be distractions and time wasters that tempt us away from being our most productive. However, if you use the tools available in this ebook, you will be able to have more control over your time and produce more results with the time that you do have at your disposal. 1.2 Brief Exercise Here’s a brief exercise to try which can give you an idea of whether or not time management might be an issue for you. First, on a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle. On the left-hand side, list at least five things that are the most important to you. Start with the most important, and continue the list in order. List people, things, ideals, activities – whatever it is that is very important to you and to your personal happiness. For example, a list might look like this: Family Health Integrity Friends Work Church Pets Reading Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 10 Introduction Now on the right-hand side, list all the things that you spend your time on, starting with what you spend most of your time on and continuing on down to what you spend the least time on. This list might look like this: Work Family Sleeping Errands Housework Helping kids with homework Friends Church You’ve probably figured out the point of the exercise by now. Most of us don’t have the luxury of spending the majority of our time on the things that are most important to us. For every item that we are not spending what we would consider to be enough time on, we will experience some form of dissatisfaction over that fact. When things are very important to us and we are not able to dedicate any time to those things at all, unhappiness is often the result. However, successful time management will help you to become more effective in completing the tasks that you have to complete so that there is more time available for you to spend on the things that are important to you. This isn’t necessarily always an easy feat; in some cases, it would take significant changes for you to spend time on the things that are important to you. For example, if you currently don’t have a college degree but you feel that getting one would significantly enhance your career possibilities, deciding to go back to school is a significant, life-altering decision that demands that you restructure your time accordingly. But at the same time, many things that we want to do can be accommodated if we simply learn to use our time more wisely by applying some effective time management techniques. Doing so will make us happier and more balanced so that we are less susceptible to stress and more able to achieve our goals. Successful time management will help you to become more effective in completing the tasks that you have to complete so there is more time available for you to spend on the things that are important to you. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 11 Introduction Time management also helps you have a greater sense of control over your life – both at work and at home. When you feel as if you are in control of your time, you feel empowered and confident. Then when something arises that you were not prepared for, you’re more likely to be able to deal with it productively rather than getting stopped by it. 1.3 A Time Management Goal There is a difference between being effective at managing your time and simply being busy. Many of us are used to busy work and may not even question anymore whether or not it is a valid use of our time. But this book will help you take on a new time management goal: Concentrate on results, not on staying busy. If you adopt this goal, you will find that it helps to identify which of your activities are actually contributing to your effectiveness and which activities are wasting time, distracting you from goals, and increasing your stress level by making you feel overworked. Time management helps you have a greater sense of control over your life – both at work and at home. your chance to change the world Here at Ericsson we have a deep rooted belief that the innovations we make on a daily basis can have a profound effect on making the world a better place for people, business and society. Join us. In Germany we are especially looking for graduates as Integration Engineers for • Radio Access and IP Networks • IMS and IPTV We are looking forward to getting your application! To apply and for all current job openings please visit our web page: www.ericsson.com/careers Please click the advert Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 12 How Is Your Time Management? 2. How Is Your Time Management? 2.1 Self-Test Let’s start our discussion of time management with an assessment of where you are now. Answer each of the questions below by rating yourself on each at item listed with a 1-5, with one being the lowest or least frequent and five being the highest or most frequent. Section I ____ 1. Using goal-setting to determine what activities to work on. ____ 2. Facing deadlines and commitments without stress. ____ 3. Checking in with the boss to confirm priorities. ____ 4. Considering how valuable the results will be before taking on a project or task. Section II ____ 1. Working on tasks that have the highest priority. ____ 2. Being aware of how much time I spend on each of my job tasks. ____ 3. Being aware of the value of each task I complete. ____ 4. Prioritizing each new assignment or task according to an analysis of its importance. ____ 5. Prioritizing a daily ‘to do’ list. Section III ____ 1. Preventing and managing interruptions on a daily basis. ____ 2. Staying focused on important tasks. ____ 3. Completing everything during the work day rather than taking work home. Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 13 How Is Your Time Management? Section IV ____ 1. Completing tasks well before they are due. ____ 2. Meeting deadlines without having to ask for extensions. ____ 3. Sticking to a daily work schedule to complete assigned tasks. Section V ____ 1. Setting aside time for scheduling and planning. ____ 2. Planning time in my day for the unexpected. ____ 3. Planning daily breaks during the work day. You’ll want to score the quiz section by section. For each section, total up your score and then divide it by the number of questions in that section to give yourself and average score for that section. Now order the sections from lowest to highest. For example, your results might look like this: Section II – 2.4 Section IV – 2.8 Section I – 3.2 Section V – 3.5 Section III – 3.7 Each of the sections you scored is related to a specific time-management skill, as shown below. Section I – Goal Setting Section II – Prioritization Section III – Managing Interruptions Section IV – Procrastination Section V – Scheduling Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 14 How Is Your Time Management? From the sample results above, I would know that my weakest area of time management is Section II, or prioritization. It would behoove me to start working on that skill first before moving on to additional skills. I would next work on Section IV, or procrastination, and so on. It would be a mistake to assume that just because my results show that I am strongest in managing interruptions that there is nothing more for me to learn in that area. Each additional chapter of this book will offer tips to help you improve one of these skills, regardless of where your aptitude is at present. 2.2 Daily Activity Log Another way to gauge where your time management issues might be is to keep track of how you spend your time at work. In order to get an accurate picture, you will need to choose a period of time, preferably a week, that is representative of your average workload. For example, if you have a peak in activity at the end of the month, you would want to pick a week that crosses into that timeframe but is not entirely in that timeframe so that the ‘normal’ days balance out the heavier workload days. You wouldn’t want to pick the week of winter holidays unless you are specifically interested in identifying how you use your time during that period of the year. Next, assign a number to each item you list that indicates the priority level of that item in comparison with everything else that you had to do that day. Give a 1 to items that were low priority, a 2 to items that were medium priority, and a 3 to items that were highest in priority. A sample daily activity log might look like the example in Figure 1: DATE: August 12, 2010 Time Started Time Ended Total Time Activity Priority 1= Low 2= Medium 3= High 8:00 8:05 5 minutes Listened to voicemail 2 8:05 9:15 70 minutes Responded to emails 2 9:15 10:30 45 minutes Prepared slides for presentation 3 10:30 10:45 15 minutes Chatted with Sue 1 Figure 1: Sample Daily Activity Log Download free ebooks at bookboon.com Successful Time Management 15 How Is Your Time Management? There are a few guidelines to follow in order to get the most value out of this activity. These include: Use one sheet per day. Be accurate. Instead of saying ‘worked on project,’ put down exactly what you did to work on the project. Did you meet with others? Research benchmark information? Be as specific as you can be. Be honest. This is only for you, no one else is going to see it. So be honest about your day and how you spend your time. That’s the only way you will be able to identify areas that you can improve. Watch your prioritization of your tasks. Not everything can be a 3 and hopefully not everything is a 1, though you could find one day having all of the same level of priority in activities. At the end of the day, review the information you wrote down and use it to identify the results you achieved that day. From our example in Figure 1, checking your voicemail might have resulted in confirming an appointment. Checking and responding to email might have resulted in resolving a problem. Chatting with Sue probably didn’t have any results unless it was work related. If you don’t see any results that came from an activity, mark that activity with an asterisk (*). At the end of the week, those starred activities will represent possible areas for improving your use of time. Now notice how you spent your time in relationship to your priorities. Ideally you spent the most amount of time on the items with the highest priority and the least amount of time on items with the lowest priority. If you see that this is not the case and it’s a pattern over time, you have identified one possible area for improvement already. Depending on how comfortable you feel about it, consider sharing the results of your activity log with your supervisor. It can be a great way to start a conversation about the priorities that he or she wants you to focus on versus where your time is actually going.