Time is money, and many will admit to having time lost through disorganisation and disruption.
We also deal with a constant barrage of technology, people, and tasks that can contribute to that disorganisation. Many people find that they flit from one task to another, trying to get everything done.
It takes time to make time work for you. If you are truly going to make any difference in your life, you have to be prepared to make some changes.
There is an expression that says “no-one ever lay on their deathbed and said, “I should have spent more time at work.”
We all have exactly the same amount of time as a resource. Some of us make better use of it than others. The purpose of managing our time is to spend time achieving those things to which we aspire.
What are my time wasters?
Where does your time go?
Listed are a number of common time wasters. Think about how you use your time at work and how many of these apply to you.
- Telephone interruptions
- Lack of objectives and priorities
- Dealing with urgent instead of important duties
- Ineffective delegation
- Accumulating 'trivial' jobs
- Confused responsibility and authority
- Drop-in visitors
- Not planning for some unavailability
- Leaving tasks unfinished
- Lack of personal organisation
- Being spread too thinly across too many tasks
- Failure to say (and mean) no
- Indecision and procrastination
- Not seeing the distinction between activity and results
- Lack of self-discipline
- Accepting upward delegation
- Inadequate support staff
- Poor communication skills
- Making snap decisions
- Overuse of memory
- Setting unrealistic deadlines
- Inability to end conversations
- Carrying incompetent employees
- Disruptive workspace
- Reacting rather than anticipating
- Failing to distinguish between symptoms and causes
- Not combining activities
How did you go?
Poor use of time often results because of factors other than day-to-day use of time. For example, having no clear picture of what we wish to achieve in our life or our career; having uncertain role or performance expectations; lack of power; and ineffective delegation.
Your control of the use of time will depend to a very large extent on your capacity to clearly identify the objectives and goals that you must achieve.
Goals and objectives
A goal is something you want to achieve in either the short or long term.
Objectives describe how the goal will be achieved. They are a concise and clear statement of what it is to be done and to what standard.
Goals and objectives should follow the SMART principle.
- An objective is something you want to achieve in either the short or long term.
A target is more than an objective.
It is practical and has a definite deadline attached. Targets help people to maintain standards and motivation; they should be challenging but achievable.
Once goals and objectives are decided, people set targets for themselves, for example:
- A goal may be to lose weight.
- An objective may be I want to lose 12 kilos.
- A target may be – I aim to lose 2 kilos a months for the next 10 months.