Time Management JOHN HOOVER B E S T P R A C T I C E S : SET PRIORITIES TO GET THE RIGHT THINGS DONE PREFACE 1 PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME 1 Managing Time and Goals 10 Prioritizing 19 Making Lists 24 Managing Your List and Priorities 36 Getting It Done 42 2 ORGANIZE YOUR TIME 45 Scheduling 50 Project Schedules 60 3 USING YOUR TIME EFFICIENTLY 67 Managing Distractions 68 Maintaining a Healthy Rhythm 86 Contents v 4 TIME MANAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE 91 Respecting Other People’s Time 96 Keeping Your Team Focused 111 Keeping Your Boss Focused 123 Committing to Personal Change 127 OFF AND RUNNING 130 RECOMMENDED READING 138 INDEX 146 ABOUT THE AUTHOR CREDITS COVER COPYRIGHT ABOUT THE PUBLISHER Preface Why do some people manage their time so effortlessly, while others are always behind? How can you stay on top of dead- lines when obstacles crop up right and left? Is there a trick to moving ahead on long-term goals at the same time that you are dealing with your boss’s last-minute requests? In this book, we distill the wisdom of some of the best minds in the field of time management to help you make use of your time more effectively and achieve your long-term goals. The language is simple and the design colorful to make the infor- mation easy to grasp. v Quizzes help you assess your knowledge of time management. Case files show how people have addressed their own time- management problems. Sidebars give you a big-picture look at managing time effectively and highlight innovative, out- of-the-box solutions worth considering. Quotes from business leaders and expert time managers will motivate you as you try to make every minute of the day count. Finally, in case you want to dig deeper into time-management issues and other chal- lenges of the workplace, we recommend some of the most important business books available. The authors of these books both influence and reflect today’s thinking about managing time and related management issues. Understanding the ideas they cover will inspire you as a manager. Even if you don’t dip into these volumes, the knowledge you gain from studying the pages of this book will equip you to manage your time more effectively every day—to help you make a difference to your company and in the lives of the people who support you. THE EDITORS vi � PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME “Time is the scarcest resource of the manager; if it is not managed, nothing else can be managed.” —Peter Drucker, management guru and author (1909–2005) �T he 86,400 seconds in a day may sound like a lot, but they go fast. No matter how quickly time seems to fl y by for you, even the most skilled time manager’s hours, minutes, and seconds tick by at exactly the same rate. TIME MANAGEMENT 2 HOW DO YOU PERCEIVE TIME? Read each of the following state- ments and indicate whether you agree, somewhat agree, or disagree. Then check your score and study the analysis at the end. 1. Most of the things I do all day at work are mechanical and not per- sonally gratifying. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree 2. Most of the things I do all day are important to my employer but not to me. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree 3. Most of the things I do all day are routine, and my employer doesn’t really benefit from them either. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree Self-Assessment Quiz PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME 3 4. At home, most of the things I do are routine and don’t really benefit me or anybody else. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree 5. At home, most of the things I do are important to other people but not to me. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree 6. At home, most of the things I do are mechanical and not personally gratifying. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree 7. My priorities are set by others at work. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree TIME MANAGEMENT 4 8. My priorities are set by others at home. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree 9. If I had the choice, I would use my professional time much differently. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree 10. If I had the choice, I would use my personal time much differently. � � Agree � Somewhat agree � Disagree SCORING Give yourself 3 points for every ques- tion you answered “Agree,” 2 points for every question you answered “Somewhat agree,” and 1 point for every question you answered “Disagree.” Self-Assessment Quiz PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME 5 ANALYSIS 23–30 You see yourself as a victim who has been robbed of control over your time. You don’t feel empowered to set your own priorities or to determine how your time is used. As a result, much, if not most, of your time feels wasted. 17–22 You might be ambivalent about the demands on your time. You accept the fact that life is about compromise and have compromised yours out of necessity and apathy. 10–16 You have a healthy outlook on how to use time and keep your priorities straight. In your life, you maintain a healthy balance between work and play.