Managing the Time Effectively


Ms. Surabhi Agarwal
MBA Department
Saroj Institute of Technology & Management

Time Management is essential to success at work. God gives to each of us a limited, finite number of hours in a year in which to achieve our goals. He gives us these hours in sequence, they are neither repeatable nor refundable, and He is not partial to either the rich or to the poor, to the young or to the old.

All of us 24 hours a day and we should plan these 24 hours. Planning our time allows us to spread our work, avoid a "Traffic jam" of work and cope with the work stress.

Many deadlines for work occur at the same time and unless we plan ahead, we will find it impossible to manage. To meet the demands of work we need to spread our workload over the allotted time. Work out what needs to be done and when. Work out how to use available time as efficiently as possible.

Time Wasters

  • Attempting too much
  • Not saying 'NO'
  • Incomplete information
  • Management by crisis, fire fighting
  • Interruption

Ways To Manage Your Time

  • Knowing when 'NOT' to work is as important as knowing when to work.
  • Save the easiest tasks for the end of the day.
  • Do important jobs now before they become urgent.
  • Learn to it now.
  • The habit of putting of important tasks can rob you hours of achievement and success.
  • When you are feeling down, don't stay there. Do something.
  • You have to be very clever to do simple things! Including prioritizing to manage your time effectively.
  • Arrange things in your office/work place in such a manner that when you want a thing you can get it fast. Write a keyword on the item when you read it. File according to how you will use it, not where it came from.
  • Use your checklist yourself and insist that everyone who reports to you also uses it.
  • Inform people why you can't do what you promised well in time, like making payments. Time is like money.
  • Don't waste your time on reading newspapers cover to cover and watching television non stop. Learn to sift information, to read/watch those things that will be of benefit to you.
  • Don't waste your time on TV serials or cricket, when you are not going to enter into those professions.
  • Discourage frequent interruptions. Don't interrupt others and do not allow others to interrupt you. Often once the boss called in his secretary 26 times during the day and you can imagine the output will be poor.
  • Develop an attitude of 5 to 9, and overcome the attitude of 9 to 5. 9 to 5 attitude is a clerical attitude. Try to develop an attitude of 9 to 5. 5 to 9 attitude does not mean that you should wake up at 5 a.m. and work till 9 p.m. This 5 to 9 attitude means that whenever you wake up in the morning, start thinking about your work how you can improve your work to get more success.
  • Get another telephone for your family.
  • Understanding  comes time.
  • Have patience…………………………………..before you become a impatient.
  • 20% of what we do will yield 80% of the results and vice versa. Doing the right work at right time is more important than doing work rightly.
  • Prioritize between routine, important and urgent jobs. Categorize the jobs into three categories A, B and C. Don't argue with anyone on 'B' and 'C' (the lesser important) variety of jobs.
  • Take and make decisions quickly. Again, for 'B' and 'C' variety of jobs, take and make decisions quickly. If they are wrong you can correct them inexpensively. Take your time in making decisions for the 'A' type.
  • 'ROTI' stands for 'Return On Time Invested' when watching serials or cricket as against spending time with your boss or your family, apply the principle of 'ROTI' (As given by Mr. Promod Batra). As you calculate 'ROI' i.e. 'Return On Investment' for the amount of money which you have invested. In the same way, the 'ROTI' should be calculated for the time you have invested in doing a task. That mean, you should know how much you will get in return by investing your time.
  • Just because you can do something does not mean you should.
  • You do not have to do everything everybody tells you to do.
  • You have to please other people. But you also have to please yourself because people take advantage of you only with your permission.
  • You do not have to do everything yourself.
  • While prioritizing the jobs, one should ask some questions like:
    • 1. What is the objective?
      2. How will I know if I am successful?
      3. How will I be rewarded?
      4. Is this task something I want to do?
      5. Do I have the time to do it?
      6. Is there a better way to do it?
      7. Should it even be done at all?
      8. Will the world come to an end if?

  • Establish daily, short term, mid term, and long term priorities.
  • Establish Personal deadlines and ones for the organization.
  • Ensure all meeting have a purpose, time limit and include only essential people.
  • Knowing when to stop a task, policy or procedure.
  • Use checklists and To-Do lists.
  • Adjust priorities as a result of new tasks.
  • Divide large tasks into a series of small tasks. By creating small manageable tasks, the entire task will eventually be accomplished. Also, by using a piecemeal approach, you will be able to fit into your hectic schedule.
  • Do not put unneeded efforts into a project. There is a place for perfectionism, but for most activities, there comes a stage when there is not much to gain from putting extra effort into it. Save perfectionism for the tasks that need it.

In short the 'MISER' concept' (as mentioned by Mr. Promod Batra in his book 'Be  a Winner Everytime')can be used to manage the time effectively. It is a way to reduce the time taken to complete any task.

    M => Stands for 'Merge'. Can I merge it with some other activity? Meaning there by doing more than one task at a time reduces the time taken to complete the tasks separately.

    I => Stands for 'Improving'. Can I improve it? And most of the time we can, if we have a working attitude of 5 to 9 instead of 9 to 5.

    S => Stands for 'Simplify'! Any action or activity can be simplified.

    E => Stands for 'Eliminating'. Many things we do. We do not need to do them in the first place.

    R => Stands for 'Reducing' the activity. This is where your experience, exposure and wisdom will help you.

When you prioritize your work, you manage your time effectively, you achieve the success. For managing your time effectively, you have to be creative and innovative. Innovated ideas should be developed along with the existing ones to the time or the more appropriate word to steal the time. Since time is crucial factor for individual as well as for the society, for the businessman as well as for the serviceman, it is important to manage the time effectively to step up the stairs of the success and touch the new heights.         

Ms. Surabhi Agarwal
MBA Department
Saroj Institute of Technology & Management

Source: E-mail September 09, 2007


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