‘Time and tide waits for none’ – “Time is precious than gold”
- Time management plays a vital role in every sphere of life in the universe. We are familiar with the proverbs ‘Time and tide waits for none’, “Time is precious than gold”. So the time is the most precious resource amongst all the resources known to mankind. It’s supply is totally inelastic, and it is totally irreplaceable. We should use our time with utmost care and should reduce unproductive demand on our time. We should stretch time available into the largest possible segment of time? Dr. Frederick Taylor, the founder of Scientific Management, observes- “Most of us can do three or four times as such as we ordinarily do without lengthening day’s end. Even if we have apparently reached our highest level of effectiveness, it is usually possible to improve by a little extra effort”. Really busy and active persons have enough time. “Time = Life, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life” said, Alan Lakein. The more time you waste, there is little left in your life. So time management is crucial to realize your dreams and fulfill your ambitions in your life. Time management is nothing but having time for everything and doing everything in time. Henry Ford, the busiest man in the world, observed. “The busy man has time for everything”.
2.1 Time has the following typical characteristics:
- Time is a unique resource
- It is available in a continuous stream. It is never absent.
- We are forced to spend it. And what is lost is lost forever.
- There is no substitute for time.
- It is highly inelastic.
- It cannot be stored or accumulated.
- It cannot be stopped or turned off/on like a machine.
- It has got a healing effect.
- Most critical resource, equitably distributed, but
- Most inequitably utilized.
- Available for all round the clock.
- “TIME” indeed is everywhere, the world around. It is both as perpetual movement and impulses. According to Peter Drucker, “Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed”.
- 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.
THE 80: 20 RULE
This is neatly summed up in the Pareto Principle, or the “80:20 Rule”. This states that typically 80% of unfocused effort generates only 20% of results. The remaining 80% of results are achieved with only 20% of the effort.Download
Some myths in Time management
- Research into various concepts of time and their managerial implications has shown the following myths related to time managerial effectiveness.
- Decision: The higher the level at which a decision is made, the better it is. A JTO when promoted to the post of SDE, it tries to continue to make decisions like J.T.O he will fail. The decisions required for supervision of technicians, L/M, and other subordinate cadres should be made by the J.T.O working under an SDE, but not by an SDE himself.
3.3 Delay decision: Delay improves the quality of the decision. Many managers willfully delay decisions because more information may be needed. The longer a decision is delayed, the more difficult it becomes to make a decision. 20% of the total facts available perhaps is sufficient for getting 60% of the outcome (Pareto Principle)
3.4 Delegation: Delegate the powers to accomplish work without delay. In the end, effective delegation saves time, but initially, it takes time for planning what should be delegated and also training staff to accept responsibilities.Download
- Efficiency: The most efficient manager is the one who is most effective.
Efficiency depends upon time when the task to be accomplished is time-bound.
3.6 Hard work: The harder one works, the more he gets done. Without proper planning for the time investment, the hard worker winds up in the end, having done things in the least effective way.
3.7 Omnipotence: By doing it yourself, tasks are accomplished faster and better. The fallacy in this reasoning is that by refusing to delegate the task to someone and not educating him to do things the right way, the manager has to do work himself since none has learned how to do the work.
3.8 Overworked executive: Many executives get the illusion of indispensability along with omnipotence. They think that the organization could not survive without their constant attention. They do a good job as the first-line supervisors. Their failure to delegate effectively forces everyone to come to them for answers to questions even in the smallest detail. This is another myth. Many officers complain that they are not deputed for training, as their superiors believe that their work could not be managed in their absence.
3.9 Open Door: Manager’s door is opened to those subordinates who need help. This does not mean that door should remain physically opened at all times. The always-available manager or administrator finds it impossible to do his own work, to think for his own objectives and priorities, or concentrate on getting his own tasks accomplished. He finds that his time is wasted by an open-door policy for everyone. An executive should plan to have a specific time in which he could plan, review and think over for his own and subordinates’ targets, monitor the progress of work, and improve towards customer satisfaction.
3.10 Time Saving: If we do not have a choice but to spend time at a predetermined fixed rate, how can time be saved? Cutting an important conversation in the interest of meeting another deadline may leave an outstanding problem unsolved, which may erupt in a crisis. Initiating action prematurely, without deeply pondering over the alternative course, may waste much time, effort, and money in the end. It may be required at your end to furnish adequate information to (subscribers) customers regarding their complaints so that you receive fewer calls in this regard.
3.11 Time Shortage: No one has enough time, yet everyone has the same time availability. Time shortage is an illusion resulting from mismanagement as attempting too much in too little time. It will be if one can say “No” to outside distractions and confusing priorities by working on the second thing first. For example, complaints regarding delay in putting through the trunk calls, removal of sub’s line fault, installation of new connections, etc can be entertained at the supervisory level. To avoid frequent distractions from priority assignments, you should have the courage to tell the complainant to contact your SST first. You should ensure that the required information is passed to the complainant by them.
3.12 Time flies: In fact, time stays. It is we who go. We say time passes. In the real sense, it does not go anywhere. Time moves at a fixed rate. As it is a constant phenomenon in the Universe, it passes at the same speed. It is ever present.
3.13 Time is against us: Time is neutral, rather we may say that time is on our side, the moment we organize it or plan it. We become our own worst enemy when we forget to structure the time.
Time–the critical resource
4.1 The four M’s of management are referred to as Man, Money, Machine, and Material. Never was a time (minutes) included. Today, time is not only referred to as a 5th resource but also as the most critical resource. Time is the most scarce resource and unless it is managed well, nothing else can be managed. Time is the most valuable thing we deal with. It cannot be bought. It can’t be recaptured. It is like the real estate of the world, the most limited thing in existence. It is the most precious thing other than good health. Appropriate utilization of time will enable you to enjoy both your work and leisure. You should master your time, not let it master you. But you can’t master your time until you are first willing to master yourself. Self-discipline means ‘will-power’ to do those things you know and should be done before doing the things you want to do because they are more enjoyable. Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt’s adviser, a sick man who was on the point of death, is a good example of a man who knew how to make the best use of his time. He got an enormous amount of important works done because he knew to distinguish the essential from the unessential and inelastic of time.
5.1 The time-wasters can be classified into four major categories;
- External Factors: Interruptions, unexpected visitors, schedules/events not anticipated before, breakdown of services, external delays, etc.
- Organizational factors: Organisational structure, organizational culture, and communication system.
- Managerial Factors: Poor delegation, incompetent subordinates, poor filing system, too much unproductive paperwork, lack of priorities, and unclear objectives.
- Personal Factors: Indecision, inferiority and fear complexes, impatience with details, habit to defer tasks, stress, etc.
The above list is not exhaustive, nor is the categorization rigid. Identification of time wasters would always be regarding one’s own function, work situation, and personal factors.
6.0 Wasted Time
6.1 Most supervisors and managers have the nagging feeling that they are wasting time during the day that could be made creative, if only they could hold it somehow, fight off the interruptions, avoid the losses due to lack of concentration.
Time Management Time Management Time Management Time Management
6.2 This feeling may be exaggerated sometimes; even the best worker can be at times be inefficient. It is true, though attention and planning can give you valuable time from almost any busy working day, avoiding waste of time does not mean working harder. It only requires working smarter. By “wasting time” we do not mean sitting around talking and purposely neglecting work. The central idea is that more time is wasted through lack of organization and planning than through laziness.
7.0 Work Categories
It is possible to classify the activities that consume time and thereby get a better grasp of how they can be effectively utilized. The work, which we perform daily, can be generally classified into the following categories.
- Routine Work: This includes administrative tasks like replying to mail or memos, signing various statements, preparing and passing ACE2 bills, forwarding staff applications to higher officers, granting leave to subordinates, recouping cash imprest of the subordinates etc.
- Regular duty: This is the most important duty of your job. You have to direct your subordinates, assigning work, checking the quality of works performed by the subordinates, listening to the grievances of employees and counseling them, addressing customers’ complaints.
- Creative work: Supervisory personnel, who really succeed, use initiative to make his department (organization/section) and himself work better. This involves planning, improvement in work methods, simplifying procedures, giving special job training to subordinates to improve their skills or simply taking the time to figure out why the line staff and internal staff always seem to be fighting with each other. Creativity takes time; only good time management will leave some hours at your disposal for this function, which separates the average from the outstanding ones.
Some guidelines for better time utilization Time Management
8.1 A number of guidelines or tricks have been listed by the experts of Time Management. Some are listed here. Some may fit in your situation while some might have been tried perhaps. The purpose is to develop our own way of managing the time.
8.2 A few guidelines are as under.
- Start early: Keep a few minutes margin of reaching earlier than the regular or scheduled time so that in case of unavoidable delay you can makeup.
- Become clock conscious: Always keep your watch correct. Fix the start and end times of various activities in advance.
- Plan day’s work: Plan timings and sequence of various activities. Keep a list of tasks to be done with priority.
- Avoid interruption: While doing important work, do not allow others to interrupt you.
- Assigning work or sharing tasks properly: Share the tasks properly with other colleagues. Keep them informed in advance.
- Tighten your own schedule: Keep a good habit of doing all works at the right time. Personal works may also be scheduled like eating, going to bed, getting up, etc.
- Make up your mind fast: For doing or not doing work make up your mind fast. Do not waste time in taking decision.
- Limit chitchat and conversations: Avoid wastage of time in unwanted or undesired activities and gossiping. Keep friendly talks brief while on a task.
- Avoid unproductive activities: If you know that an activity is not going to give a useful result, better avoid it.
- Practice self-discipline: Discipline cannot be imposed from outside by others. It comes from within. Auto suggests that you be disciplined. Discipline is not only following the rules and regulations of the office and society, but also believing that they are necessary for you. Some good habits to be adopted as self-discipline are:
- Do one job at a time.
- Keep a diary
- Better use of leisure time.
- Fix appointments of visitors at less important time.
- Use some tickler system such as Microsoft Outlook to remind you
of your allocation of time for the activities.
- Have self-time too, (for thinking, reviewing, checking). Make up
your mind fast.
- Don’t show interest in unproductive activities of your subordinates.
- Appreciate those who keep their schedule if not possible to reward
8.3 Few more tips: Time Management
Plan the goal you want to reach.
Schedule your work and stick to your schedule.
Delegate jobs, believe others can do as well as you.
Cut-down time stealers; such as too many telephone calls and other interruptions.
Do not waste the time of others, so that others do not learn to waste your time.
Streamline paperwork and communication.
Allocate time for relaxation as important an activity as work itself.
Review and introspect periodically.
9.1 To have more effective control of time, one must have self-control first. If the aim is management, it must be self-management first. Besides acquiring the ability to organize a day’s work, all else is likely to become a child’s play.
9.2 Consider and treat Time as your best companion, which is omnipotent. Remember to keep pace with time. With its noiseless foot, it will walk past you, and as the ongoing fast current, you can never put your foot in the same water again.