There are innumerable demands on the modern information worker. Deadlines, urgent tasks, colossal work loads, and a hefty amount of reading. The successful information worker must manage his or her time efficiently and must be a fast and capable reader.
There are many benefits to effective time management. Time is money. The faster you get through routine administration the more time you can create for valuable core business work. You can allocate more time for professional reading. You will achieve more at work with less effort. You can afford to take on more responsibilities. The better you get through your work, the more promotion opportunities you will enjoy. And most of all, you can manage you free time better so you can actually create more quality time for you and your family after hours.
Thomas Edison is a shining example of a successful information worker, as well being as a prolific inventor and all-round genius. The acclaimed inventor of the electric light bulb, he filed 1093 patents and was known as the "Wizard of Menlo Park". Thomas was a meticulous time manager, who planned and organized his time carefully. His focus on the task at hand was legendary and he was intolerant of time wasting. It is interesting to note that he was also a proficient reader.
So what are the golden rules of time management?
The first golden rule of time management is to
Have a quality diary where all your appointments, both personal and business are kept. It can be a paper diary or an electronic diary. It doesn't matter, as long as you have only one, and that it is maintained and used scrupulously.
The second golden rule of time management is to
Have an intimate understanding of the importance of different tasks, not just to you but to the organization you work for. Attending company meetings, performing web research and reading company newsletters can help you understand further what is important to your company. Accordingly, an excellent time manager has trained him or herself to understand at all times the relative importance of their tasks. They create "to do" lists, and complete tasks in order from most important to less important. They discuss their lists with management to ensure that their priorities are consistent with company priorities. They maintain their lists regularly to account for constantly changing imperatives. This list helps to keep focus. It also ensures that important tasks are not kept waiting at the expense of trivial pursuits.
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The third golden rule of time management is planning.
If people are constantly asking you to take on work, and you agree to do it, you can quickly find yourself overloaded. Overload can turn into chaos where you can find yourself attending to emergencies rather than methodically completing the work. If you are finding yourself answering the phone all the time explaining why this or that project is running late, you are in a "reactive" mode. This is the least efficient mode of time management. In this mode you are constantly switching tasks with little focus on each task. You should be aiming for a proactive mode of operation. In proactive mode the amount and timing of your work is reasonable. You are able to adequately progress each task through to completion with minimal interruption.
|Time is money|
So how can we plan our work load when people keeping shovelling work our way? The first step is the ability to say "No".
You may need to explain what is on your priority list. You might agree to do the, work but delivered at a future date when your higher priority tasks are concluded. You could perhaps delegate the work to somebody else. Or maybe, consider outsourcing it.
As, you may have read, outsourcing to international companies has become widespread in companies in the USA, UK, Europe and Australia.
Many organizations around the word are utilizing outsourcing as a vehicle to focus on core business activities. Websites like http://www.elance.com and other business-to-business portals make this process straightforward.
The forth golden rule of time management is control over your environment.
Canny time managers work in an area that is relatively free from distractions. As a result, they can get into .the working zone. easily and remain there. Distractions take many forms, perhaps the telephone, the radio, other people talking nearby, others wanting to chat socially, unscheduled meetings, or computer games. If such things are competing for your valuable attention it is time to react. If you find that these or other annoyances are bogging you down, you may have to control your environment. Put the phone in "answering mode". Turn off the radio. Ask people to have their meetings somewhere else. Tell people who want to chat that you can talk to them at lunch. Removing such distractions can provide you with the concentration you need to proactively work through your most important tasks. But don.t forget the fun! Excellent time managers create an enchanted workplace that is enjoyable but also allows them to work at optimum levels.
In this society we are under time pressure at school and in the workplace. As society becomes more complex, there is more that we must read and more we must know. Being a fast accurate reader gives us a great advantage. We can.t ignore the immense benefits that good time management brings to our careers and life at home. We should treat time as valuable resource. We should monitor how we spend it. We should value it highly. And most of all, we should plan our time carefully.
Dr. Simon Ronald