The Effective Use of Time
1 All Managers find they do not have enough time to achieve their objectives. Further, they cannot expand the amount of time available no matter what the demand. Therefore Managers at all levels need to look on time as a valuable resource and allocate it on a planned and rational basis to meet the demands made on it.
A meaning for “afford”
2 When someone says “I cannot afford to buy Product “X” they mean they have established (either consciously or unconsciously) a list of priorities. If they have rated “X” as low on the list, they do not buy it because they have spent all available money on other things. When we say “we cannot afford” (in terms of TIME) to carry out a certain action, we mean that we place the action too far down our list of priorities to reach it in the foreseeable future.
3 If, whenever we made this statement, we made it on a carefully analysed and rational basis, perhaps we would show considerable executive strength. However people often have a tendency to say “I haven’t the time” because they allow other tasks of less importance to absorb their time. Any plan to use time more effectively must involve a more rational and logical approach to the establishing of priorities.
4 One important factor in the allocation of priorities involves the extent to which we can give some jobs (objectives) to other people. Often Managers decide that they have not got the time to carry out a particular task (“Y”), even though someone else could carry out some of their other tasks and thus let them have time to do task “Y”. Expressed another way: Managers should concentrate on those tasks which only they can do because of their particular skills. They should ensure that they do not give such tasks a lower priority than other tasks which require less skill and which they could give to others. This approach will help to achieve wise delegation.
The Five-Step Plan
5 The following five steps show how to achieve more effective use of personal time:
(a) Analyse the working day in terms of what happens now.
(b) Prepare a plan to achieve selected objectives.
(c) Review the plan frequently.
(d) Check progress against plan.
(e) Recognise the completion point.