<!-- 18. --> Leadership in Management

Tackling “time robbers”

Tackling ‘time robbers’

A time robber is something that prevents us from completing more impor­tant and productive tasks. Time robbers are activities that absorb lots of time without producing equivalent benefit for the efforts employed. Interruptions, lengthy meetings and routine tasks (that could be dele­gated) are some of the most common time robbers we have to face. To control time robbers we need to employ techniques such as avoiding the activity, shortening the time we spend on it, or simply eliminating it altogether. The following is a list of classic time robbers. Review the list and highlight those you have difficulty with.

  Big problem for me Often a problem Seldom a problem
Planning and organizing 1 Not setting SMART objectives      
2 Failing to plan my time on a daily basis      
3 Unclear or changing priorities      
4 Leaving tasks unfinished      
5 Crisis Management – too much ‘fire fighting’      
6 Poor self-discipline      
7 Over-stretching myself – setting unrealistic targets      
8 Lack of organization/untidy desk – too much paperwork      
9 Lack of clear responsibility and authority      
10 Too many people reporting to me or that I have to report to      
11 Taking on too much myself      
12 Getting too involved in routine detail that I don’t need to      
13 Not delegating enough to my team      
14 Lacking the motivation to do anything about it      
15 Inability to say ‘no’ to others      
16 Not coping with change      
17 Too many telephone interruptions      
18 Casual visitors who interupt me      
  Big problem for me Often a problem Seldom a problem
Planning and organizing 19 My self-discipline      
20 Getting swamped by e-mail      
21 Making mistakes that lead to work      
22 Failing to maintain standards, progress reports      
23 Incomplete information      
Communicating 24 Effectively stating my objectives at meetings      
25 Under/unclear/ over-communicating      
26 Failing to listen properly      
27 Socializing too frequently      
Decision-making 28 Snap decision-making      
29 Indecision/delaying matters too much      
30 Decision by committee      
31 Perfectionist tendencies      
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