Time management is...
Using your time effectively to live and work to your maximum potential.
How to manage your time better
1. Priorities and objectives
a) concentrate on the important things
Don’t get bogged down in unnecessary detail.
b) make a ‘to do’ list for the start of each day
Write down your objectives and activities (in two separate columns) for the day/week/month/year ahead
Mark each objective/activity A, B, or C, according to how important it is).
c) check how well you achieved your objectives
See how you can improve and whether or not you’re focusing on what’s important.
2. Live time management
Be ruthlessly self-disciplined and always conscious of wasting time.
3. Work smarter, not harder
a) use your time better (not necessarily work longer)
Work out the best way of doing something before you start.
b) be proactive
(i.e. take action when needed).
c) delegate, write concisely and listen attentively.
d) use your high efficiency times to do difficult or creative jobs
Do easier jobs when you’re less productive.
4. Get organized
- Be tidy (get rid of unnecessary books and paper).
- Improve your filing and storage of information (use computers
- Keep an appointments diary, plan the day ahead.
- Multitask (e.g. ironing and watching the TV).
5. Don’t let other people waste your time
a) work during waiting and travelling time
(on bus, train, or plane).
b) use meetings to your advantage
(avoid unnecessary ones).
c) avoid interruptions
Avoid e-mails and the telephone as much as you can.
Research shows that e-mail significantly distracts people from their work.
d) be assertive
Learn to say no and defend your right to uninterrupted time.
6. Be decisive
a) act immediately
(after gathering all the relevant information and weighing up the pro’s and con’s of each possibility).
b) don’t procrastinate,
- do things right first time.
- do the most unpleasant tasks first (reducing worry time).
Key quotes explained
“Time is money”
Franklin (American inventor
and politician, pictured right)
Wasted time is lost forever either to earn money and/or do something useful and worthwhile.
“Do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of”, Franklin also said.
“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of
- Henry David
philosopher, pictured right)
You must concentrate on what’s important.
In response to criticism that he spent a lot of time out of his office, Toyota’s boss once said: “We
don’t make Toyota cars in my office!”
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life”
- Socrates (Greek philosopher, pictured right)
Busyness shouldn’t be your religion.
Quiet reflection is also vital to happy and successful life
Socrates said reflection makes you aware of the important things (people, not money) and your strengths and
C. Northcote Parkinson (pictured
right) , Parkinson’s Law (1958)
Parkinson’s Law says: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its
completion” i.e. people purposely waste time, so that they aren’t given another job to do!
Parkinson’s Law of Triviality emphasized the ineffectiveness of meetings: “The time spent on any item of
the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum involved”.
Gerald Hargreaves, Dorothy Morfett and Geraldine Bown, Making Time
They suggest the “4D rule” – drop it, delay it, delegate it or, if all else fails, do
Charles Handy (pictured right) , The Age of Unreason (1989)
We should value time not money i.e. find time for leisure and unpaid work (e.g. being a
Gerry Robinson (pictured
right) , I'll Show Them Who's Boss (2004)
Successful Irish businessman, Robinson, argues against long hours, because they lead to:
- tiredness (destroying clear thinking and enthusiasm).
- failure to delegate and meddling in others' work.
- inventing things to do and badly thought out tasks.
- immersion in detail and failure to see the big picture.