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Managing time

Managing time

Most of us like to project a workplace image of being very busy and hardworking but all too often we fail to really examine the results of our ceaseless energy and activity. At the same time we will often complain about not having enough time to do things in our day-to-day lives. This problem often stems from the fact that we fail to manage our time as ruthlessly as we might. Frequently we fall into the trap of not focusing on our real priorities. As such, we allow less important activities to distract us from what is really important to our success. As a result the urgent short-term issues drive out our important, strategic issues. Many of us might respond to this argument by asserting that our time management problems are often the fault of other peoples’ behaviour, constant inter¬≠ruptions, lengthy meetings, overly complex reporting requirements and so on. Whilst there may be some truth in these factors many good managers are nonetheless able to overcome such obstacles. By simple analysis, planning and self discipline we are all capable of saving a consid¬≠erable amount of time each day. This means managing and redirecting our time to more focused and planned purposes.

In managing our time we should consider two main elements:

1 Routine time

This is the time we use to manage our day-to-day activities, e.g. e-mail, staff meetings, administration etc.

2 Defensible time

This is the time we use for dealing with our real priorities, e.g. thinking, strategic planning, budgeting, customer or client meetings.

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