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Time Management Hand Book

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Old 12-17-2008, 09:01 AM
hrmanager hrmanager is offline
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Default Time Management Hand Book


Program schedule

 Section A – 9:30 – 10:30 AM

o Introduction to the facilitators .
o Objectives.
o Expectations gathering.
o Ice breaker.
o Diary writing.
 Section B – 10:45 – 11:45 AM

o Activities that demand time.
 Value add.
 Non-value add.
 Time wasters.

 Case study and discussion – 12:00 – 1:30 PM

 Section C – 2:30 – 3:30 PM

o Job clarification.
 Inputs.
 Outputs.
 Activities.
 Task analysis.

 Section D – 3:45 – 5 PM

o KRAs - Ways to eliminate time wasters.
o Learning to say “No”.
o Time Management Styles.
o Priorities of time management.

 Personal action plan 5 – 5:30 PM

The objective of the session is to ???

Achieve a sense of balance.
Reduce stress.
Enjoy life.
Allocate time according to priority.
Efficiency and efficacy.

Why do we need time management –

Take a minute to think through as to why do you need time management ?

What are your objectives of attending this program?

Some of the objectives according to us are :-

 To achieve our goals.
 Feel a sense of control.
 Reduce stress.
 Allocate time to areas that are important to us.
 Feel a sense of balance.
 Reduce effort.
 Enjoy life.
 Feel that we have a choice.
 Be efficient.
By using Time Management s****s you can learn to:
• Determine which of the things you do are important, and which can be dropped
• Use your time in the most effective way possible
• Increase the time in which you can work
• Control the distractions that waste your time and break your flow
• Increase your effectiveness and reduce stress
By becoming more effective in your use of working time, you can reduce stress by:
• being more in control of what you do
• being productive, and secure in your job because of this
• enjoying what you do
• giving yourself more quality time to relax and enjoy life outside work
Definition of time management –

 It is the s**** of taking action for the right reason at the right time in the right way.

Time can be of various types –

Biological time –

 This is the time we spend on sleep, physical recreation and food etc.

Social time –

 This is the time we spend on meeting friends, making social calls, talking on the telephone, family occasions, get-togethers, spend on self development like reading etc.

Business time –

 This is the time spent on meetings, interviews, data entry etc.

How do we optimise the Social, biological time and business time ?
Check out Annexure I

Demands on your time

How do you spend your day now?

Memory is a very poor guide when it comes to assessing how you spend your time - it is too easy to forget time spent talking to colleagues, making coffee, eating lunch, etc. It can also function poorly when you are at a low ebb during the day.
You may also be unaware that your energy levels may vary through the day - most people function at different levels of effectiveness at different times. This may be caused by the amount of sugar in their blood, the length of time since they took a break, routine distractions, stress, discomfort, etc.
How to use an Activity Log to find out

A revealing technique is to keep an Activity Log for several days. Without modifying your behaviour, note down the things you do as you do them, from the moment you start working. Every time you change activities, whether opening mail, working, making coffee, dealing with colleagues, gossiping, going to collect paper from a printer, etc., note down the time of the change.
As well as noting activities, it is worth noting how you feel, whether alert, flat, tired, energetic, etc. This should be done periodically throughout the day.
Analysing your log

Once you have logged your time for several days, analyse the log. You may be alarmed to see the length of time you spend opening mail, talking to colleagues, dealing with disruptions, or doing low value jobs!
You may also see that you are energetic in some parts of the day, and flat in other parts. A lot of this can depend on the rest breaks you take, the times and amounts you eat, and quality of your nutrition. The activity log gives you some basis for experimenting with these variables.
Now please do the following exercise –

 Decide where most of the demands on your time come from?

o List down the three major time demanders.

 Also decide where the least demands come from?

o List down the three least time demanders.

Which of these activities are value adding activities ?

Which of the activities are non value adding activities ?

There are common time wasters which need to be identified
In order for a time management process to work it is important to know what aspects of our personal management need to be improved. Below you will find some of the most frequent reasons for reducing effectiveness in the workplace. Tick the ones which are causing to be the major obstacles to your own time management. These we refer to as your "Time Stealers".
Identifying your time stealers
• Interruptions - telephone
• Interruptions - personal visitors
• Meetings
• Tasks you should have delegated
• Procrastination and indecision
• Acting with incomplete information
• Dealing with team members
• Crisis management (fire fighting)
• Unclear communication
• Inadequate technical knowledge
• Unclear objectives and priorities
• Lack of planning
• Stress and fatigue
• Inability to say "No"
• Desk management and personal disorganisation
Fortunately there are strategies you can use to manage your time, be more in control and reduce stress, but you can analyse your time and see how you may be both the cause and the solution to your time challenges.

Whats required is a - The Central Shift in Attitude

At the heart of the subject is a simple, but obvious, shift in focus:
Concentrate on results, not on being busy
Many people spend their days in a frenzy of activity, but achieve very little because they are not concentrating on the right things.
This is neatly summed up in the Pareto Principle*, or the 80/20 rule. This states that typically 80% of unfocussed effort generates only 20% of results, and that the remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of the effort. By applying time management, including planning, we aim to change this to ensure that we concentrate as much of our effort as possible on the high payoff tasks. This ensures that we achieve the greatest payoff possible with our investment of time.
Below, we examine time management issues in more detail
1. Shifting priorities and crisis management. Management guru Peter Drucker says that "crisis management is actually the form of management preferred by most managers" The irony is that actions taken prior to the crisis could have prevented the fire in the first place.
2. The telephone. Have you ever had one of those days when you thought your true calling was in Telemarketing. The telephone-our greatest communication tool can be our biggest enemy to effectiveness if you don't know how to control its hold over you.
3.Lack of priorities/objectives. This probably the biggest/ most important time waster. It affects all we do both professionally and personally. Those who accomplish the most in a day know exactly what they want to accomplish. Unfortunately too many of us think that goals and objectives are yearly things and not daily considerations. This results in too much time spent on the minor things and not on the things which are important to our work/lives
4. Attempting too much. Many people today feel that they have to accomplish everything yesterday and don't give themselves enough time to do things properly. This leads only to half finished projects and no feeling of achievement.
5.Drop in visitors. The five deadliest words that rob your time are "Have you got a minute". Everyone's the culprit-colleagues., the boss, your peers. Knowing how to deal with interruptions is one of the best s****s you can learn .
6.Ineffective delegation. Good delegation is considered a key s**** in both managers and leaders. The best managers have an ability to delegate work to staff and ensure it is done correctly. This is probably the best way of building a teams moral and reducing your workload at the same time. The general rule is -this; if one of your staff can do it 80% as well as you can, then delegate it.
7. The cluttered desk. When you have finished reading this article look at your desk. If you can see less than 80% of it then you are probably suffering from 'desk stress'. The most effective people work from clear desks.
8.Procrastination. The biggest thief of time; not decision making but decision avoidance. By reducing the amount of procrastinating you do you can substantially increase the amount of active time available to you.
9. The inability to say "no!". The general rule is; if people can dump their work or problems on to your shoulders they will do it . Some of the most stressed people around lack the s**** to 'just say no' for fear of upsetting people.
10. Meetings. Studies have shown that the average manager spends about 17 hours a week in meetings and about 6 hours in the planning time and untold hours in the follow up. I recently spoke to an executive who has had in the last 3 months 250 meetings It is widely acknowledged that about as much of a third of the time spent in meetings is wasted due to poor meeting management and lack of planning If you remember your goal is to increase your self management, these are the best ways to achieve this;
1.2 Job clarification –

The purpose and priorities, without purpose the efforts are wasted.

This is basically an understanding between the job holder and also manager about,

 What the individuals job is
 What they are expected to achieve
 Where/how it relates to other jobs


1 What are the main job activities –

2 What are the key areas –

3 What are the key priorities –

1.2.1 Inputs analysis –

This is the process to :

Exercise –

1 Identify the people who give u the major work –
2 Identify also the time wasters –

1.2.2 Tasks Analysis –

There are many tasks that make up an activity. We many times are unable to do many activities because we either do not enjoy them or don’t have time for them.

Exercise –

1 What do you have to do achieve your purpose?
2 How s****ed are you at each task ?

Section D


After analysing all the tasks do identify certain key areas of improvement –

Key action Area 1 –

Key action Area 2 –

Key action Area 3 –

And there are many more that you can list down.

Styles of time

Learning to say “ No” was one of them.

Getting the most out of meetings

Meetings can be effective ways of sharing information or reaching a decision. They can, however, be ineffectively run in a way that swallows up your time without giving a sufficient benefit.
Just as jobs that you do have a cost, the meetings that you attend have a cost, not only of your time but also that of the other attendees. You should ask yourself whether the benefit of the meeting has been worth the time invested in both the meeting and the preparation for it. Was your contribution worth your investment?
This section explains how to run a meeting in the most effective way possible, and then how to get the most out of meetings that you attend.
Running Meetings

This section gives a series of recommendations that should help you to run effective meetings:

1. Hold meetings only when trigger events occur

Regular meetings are often little more than a security blanket, where the convenor feels vaguely that 'it is a good thing to communicate' with only vague ideas what to communicate about. Time is routinely made available for discussion, so discussion will expand to fill it whether this is cost-effective or not.
In many cases it is much more effective to agree to hold meetings only when specific trigger events show them to be necessary. As an example, a manager may propose a meeting when he or she projects that resource difficulties may be encountered, and needs a decision on how to handle this.
By scheduling meetings to occur on trigger events, you can ensures that time is invested in the solution of a problem only when it is needed.
2. Use the Agenda Effectively

The agenda of the meeting shows the aim of the meeting, and points of discussion in priority order - effectively it is a To Do List for the meeting.
Using an agenda helps to focus the meeting, stopping it drifting off-topic. If you circulate it sufficiently far in advance, it allows people to prepare fully for the meeting so the meeting does not stall for lack of information.
Where many people are to attend the meeting, it may be beneficial for a small expert subcommittee to meet to prepare the agenda.
3. Setting the time of the meeting

You can usefully change the timing of the meeting depending on the habits of the attendees:
• Where people tend to waffle excessively, you can schedule the meeting just before lunch or going home. This gives people an incentive to be brief
• Alternatively where other people are time conscious, writing the cost per minute of the meeting on a flip chart can have a focusing effect.
• Where people tend to turn up late, start a meeting at an unusual time, e.g. 19 minutes past the hour. This seems to improve punctuality.
• If possible, ensure that the meeting starts on time - where it starts late, time of all the attendees is being wasted waiting for the start. If late-comers are not critically needed, start without them.
4. Other Useful Techniques

These points can also improve the effectiveness of a meeting:
• You should only bring the minimum number of attendees to a meeting - the more people are present, the more will want to air their views. Similarly, bringing people who are not needed to a meeting wastes their time.
• Ensure that decisions taken at previous meetings have been acted on. This ensures that the meeting will not just be seen as a 'talking-shop'.
• At the end of the meeting, summarise the points discussed, and make an action plan out of the decisions taken. This ensures that everyone understands what has been decided, and who will do what.
Attending Meetings

When you attend a meeting, ensure that you do not waste other people's time. To this end, you should be:
• on time, and present only if needed
• well prepared and briefed on your contribution
• attentive to the discussion so that your contribution does not repeat someone else's
• involved in the discussion
• and brief, relevant, focussed and courteous in your interventions
Evading demands of people.
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Old 12-17-2008, 09:01 AM
hrmanager hrmanager is offline
Senior Member
Join Date:
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Posts: 169

 Visitors can waste a lot of time.
Other people may not have as disciplined an approach to work as yourself. You may find that you are wasting time dealing with colleagues who stop to chat and gossip, are having time needed for intense concentration disrupted by assistants needing help on small matters, or are being pestered by salesmen.
You do not always need to be welcoming

In these cases you may find that you are being too welcoming. You can protect yourself with barriers such as closed doors, tables or desks. Similarly you can prevent people from settling by removing places where people can sit. Alternatively you can avoid eye contact or stand up yourself. These make it uncomfortable for other people to be in your space.
Where you are in a sufficiently powerful position, you may find it effective to refuse to accept interruption without an appointment. This is particularly effective with salesmen.
Letting people know not to distract you

You may have times when you do not mind being distracted - perhaps when you are tired, or doing jobs that do not require sustained concentration. At other times you may prefer not to interrupted, but may be happy to take interruptions if they are important. Sometimes you may be concentrating on difficult work where you do not want to be distracted unless the building is burning down!
If you have a PA, then he or she can screen you from visitors or phone calls. If not, then it may be useful to develop strategies to let people know whether they can interrupt you or not. To avoid telephone distractions you may consider putting your phone on divert, or 'leaving it off the hook'. When dealing with colleagues it is worth being light-hearted - some successful solutions have involved wearing arctic ear-muffs when they need to work uninterrupted, or setting up traffic lights where the colour of the lights shows whether people can interrupt or not.
Creating positive delays

Occasionally delay can be positive and useful:
• When you are tired, upset or angry it can often be best not to tackle jobs that require sensitivity and clarity of thought.
• When you do not have the information or s****s to do a job properly, it may be best to delay until you have acquired them.
• When there is something more important to do than the job being delayed.
Delay can also be useful in a situation where you feel threatened or are unhappy about any course of action needed to meet a crisis. By delaying in these cases you give time for more information to come to light to guide the choice, may see a different perspective that changes your view of the circumstances. Alternatively random occurrences may give you a useful advantage, or may reduce the severity of a problem.
These positive aspects of delay must not, however, be used as an excuse to avoid action that is obviously essential

How to delegate work to other people

Delegation involves passing responsibility for completion of work to other people. This section examines the reasons you should delegate, how to delegate, failure to delegate and what should not be delegated.
Delegation is useful for the following reasons:
• Once people have learned how to work with you, they can take responsibility for jobs you do not have time to do.
• You can develop people to look after routine tasks that are not cost-effective for you to carry out
• It transfers work to people whose s****s in a particular area are better than yours, saving time.
• Transfer of responsibility develops your staff, and can increase their enjoyment of their jobs
The ideal position to reach as a manager is one where your staff carry out all the routine activities of your team. This leaves you time to plan, think, and improve the efficiency of what you are doing.

How to delegate

The following points may help you in delegating jobs:
• Deciding what to delegate:
One way of deciding what to delegate is simply to list the things that you do which could be more effectively done by someone either more s****ed in a particular area, or less expensive. Alternatively you may decide to use your activity log as the basis of your decision to delegate: this will show you where you are spending large amounts of time on low yield jobs.
• Select capable, willing people to carry out jobs:
How far you can delegate jobs will depend on the ability, experience and reliability of your assistants. Good people will be able to carry out large jobs with no intervention from you. Inexperienced or unreliable people will need close supervision to get a job done to the correct standard. However if you coach, encourage and give practice to them you may improve their ability to carry out larger and larger tasks unsupervised.
• Delegate complete jobs:
It is much more satisfying to work on a single task than on many fragments of the task. If you delegate a complete task to a capable assistant, you are also more likely to receive a more elegant, tightly integrated solution.
• Explain why the job is done, and what results are expected:
When you delegate a job, explain how it fits into the overall picture of what you are trying to achieve. Ensure that you communicate effectively:
o the results that are needed
o the importance of the job
o the constraints within which it should be carried out
o the deadlines for completion
o internal reporting dates when you want information on the progress of the project

• Then let go!

Once you have decided to delegate a task, let your assistant get on with it. Review the project on the agreed reporting dates, but do not constantly look over their shoulders. Recognise that your assistants may know a better way of doing something than you do. Accept that there may be different ways of achieving a particular task, and also that one of the best ways of really learning something is through making mistakes. Always accept mistakes that are not caused by idleness, and that are learned from.
• Give help and coach when requested:
It is important to support your subordinates when they are having difficulties, but do not do the job for them. If you do, then they will not develop the confidence to do the job themselves.
• Accept only finished work:
You have delegated a task to take a work load off you. If you accept only partially completed jobs back, then you will have to invest time in completing them, and your assistant will not get the experience he or she needs in completing projects.
• Give credit when a job has been successfully completed:
Public recognition both reinforces the enjoyment of success with the assistant who carried out the task and sets a standard for other employees.

Why do people fail to delegate?

Despite the many advantages of delegation, some managers do not delegate.
This can be for the following reasons:
• Lack of time:
Delegating jobs does take time. In the early stages of taking over a job you may need to invest time in training people to take over tasks. Jobs may take longer to achieve with delegation than they do for you to do by yourself, when coaching and checking are taken into account. In time, with the right people, you will find that the time taken up reduces significantly as your coaching investment pays back.
• Perfectionism - fear of mistakes:
Just as you have to develop staff to do jobs quickly without your involvement, you will have to let people make mistakes, and help them to correct them. Most people will, with time, learn to do jobs properly.
• Enjoying 'getting my hands dirty':
By doing jobs yourself you will probably get them done effectively. If, however, your assistants are standing idle while you do this, then your department will be seriously inefficient. Bear in mind the cost of your time and the cost of your department's time when you are tempted to do a job yourself.
• Fear of surrendering authority:
Whenever you delegate, you surrender some element of authority (but not of responsibility!) This is inevitable. By effective delegation, however, you get the benefits of adequate time to do YOUR job really well.
• Fear of becoming invisible:
Where your department is running smoothly with all routine work effectively delegated, it may appear that you have nothing to do. Now you have the time to think and plan and improve operations (and plan your next career step!)
• Belief that staff 'are not up to the job':
Good people will often under-perform if they are bored. Delegation will often bring the best out of them. People who are not so good will not be effective unless you invest time in them. Even incompetent people can be effective, providing they find their level. The only people who cannot be reliably delegated to are those whose opinions of their own abilities are so inflated that they will not co-operate.
It is common for people who are newly promoted to managerial positions to have difficulty delegating. Often they will have been promoted because they were good at what they were doing. This brings the temptation to continue trying to do their previous job, rather than developing their new subordinates to do the job well.

What should not be delegated?
While you should delegate as many tasks as possible that are not cost effective for you to carry out, ensure that you do not delegate the control of your team. Remember that you bear ultimate responsibility for the success or failure of what you are trying to achieve.
Effective delegation involves achieving the correct balance between effective control of work and letting people get on with jobs in their own way.
Handling Interruptions.

Interruptions, be they on the phone or in person can be frustrating and time
consuming. Apart from the time spend ON the interruption, it may take time after the interruption for you to regain your original level of concentration and focus. Some tips follow.

1.When scheduling meetings (ie., in your office), schedule them in blocks. Don't have one here and one there, but consolidate them, one after the other if possible. This will help keep each individual meeting to a reasonable and pre-defined length. Inform secretary or relevant people when each meeting will end and make it clear that you do not wish to be interrupted, and when you will be available.

2.If you are constantly bombarded by random phone calls and visits, set aside a time each day (quiet time, focus time) to work on specific projects. Make sure staff are aware that this time is sacrosanct and should not be intruded upon unless there is a dire emergency. Consider scheduling this time at the same time each day.

3.If you have a "gate-keeper" who deals with visitors and phone calls before they are handed to you, make sure that they know what people should be "gated" to you and which people will receive return calls/visits. You don't NEED to see or talk to people every time THEY want you. You can exert some control over the process.

4.Set aside particular times each day to return calls. If you have a secretary inform him/her when you will be returning calls so this information can be passed on to the

Time Management Tips –
The following tips can help you stay on track:
• Conquer the clutter. Schedule 10 to 15 minutes each week to clear your work area of junk mail, old papers, and other accumulated clutter. Change habits that lead to messes. Keep cleaning supplies handy so you can take advantage of the odd free moment to police your work space.
• Defuse distractions. Little distractions can add up to a major drain on productivity. If you're spending too much time on the phone, keep an egg timer at your desk and hold calls to a reasonable limit. Learn how to terminate calls politely. If co-workers often drop in to chat, close your door. If you're constantly walking around obstacles, consider a change of floor plan. Take steps to reduce distracting noise.
• Know thyself. Rivers can't be forced to flow uphill; nor should you try to work against your inner nature. Schedule the toughest work for your circadian period of peak productivity. Minimize the impact of suboptimal climate control with a fan or small heater. Perhaps better or different lighting would boost your efficiency.
• Eliminate redundancy. Analyze every process you use to determine if any steps can be eliminated. Common problems include multiple signatures for approval, extra steps designed to circumvent systems or correct problems that could be addressed more directly, and generating multiple copies that are no longer required.
• Group and separate. tedious or redundant tasks can be grouped for increased efficiency: file all at once, bill all at once, order all at once. Large, multifaceted tasks, on the other hand, may be best tackled in small pieces. For example, sort that large stack of paperwork on Monday, process some on Tuesday, some on Wednesday, and so forth until it's done. Using this approach, even the most daunting tasks become manageable.
• Share the burden. As any quilter knows, many hands make light work, especially when tackling tedious or large tasks. Performance of dreaded chores like the annual inventory can take on a party atmosphere when many are involved and frequent breaks are scheduled.
• Seize the moment. We all have a tendency to put off minor, less important tasks, and we also spend significant chunks of time holding on the phone or waiting in line. Can you see an opportunity here? Make a list of tasks that take five, 10, or 20 minutes, and keep the materials you need to do these tasks handy. That way, when you're put on hold or stuck in line, you can pull out that small job and finish it up.
• Emulate others. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. If someone else always seems to be ahead of the game, watch and learn. If someone else has a speedier way of doing something, copy it. If you're having trouble getting specific jobs done, ask others how they organize and execute the task; perhaps you've overlooked some short cuts.
• Make work fun. Introducing a bit of fun into your work will make the day easier for you and your customers. Challenge yourself to process one hundred pieces of paper every day for five days. Have a friendly contest with a co-worker to see who can process the most billing statements in an hour with no mistakes. If possible, flip your morning and afternoon schedules for a change of pace.
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