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Time Management

The important or vital task rarely must be done today or even this week. The urgent task calls for instant action. The momentary appeal of these tasks seems irresistible and they devour our energy. But in the light of times perspective, their deceptive prominence fades. With a sense of loss, we recall the vital task we have pushed aside; we realize we have become slaves to the tyranny of the urgent. Charles Hummel

Training Goals

You will:

  • have an increased awareness of the value of more effectively managing your time
  • have, in writing, your own clearly defined time management goals
    As part of these lectures on time management you will be asked to develop your own ideas for more effectively managing your time; develop these specific, measurable time management goals; prioritize them; and integrate them into your daily planning.
  • have a system for writing both your personal and professional (including student) life goals
  • have a system for planning and control in carrying out your goals
    carry out your goals

What is Time Management?

  1. What time is it?
  2. What is time? Functional definition.
  3. Time: the occurrence of events, in sequence: one after another (Einstein)
  4. Management: the act of controlling or directing
  5. Time management: the act of controlling events

Are you in control of all the events around you? Are you out of control?
Do you understand the nature of events, or you control over them?

  1. Conditions of controlling events
  2. events we know we can not control - we accept and adapt, do not fight and struggle
  3. events we think we can not control but we can - we overcome fear and doubt
  4. events we think can control but we do not - lack of self-esteem, time management
  5. events we think we can control but we can not - out of touch with reality, setting unreachable goals
  6. events we can control and we do - placing a value on an event, and making it a goal gives it a priority, high goal, high self-esteem: "I can control events."
  7. Goals: an idea directed to a desired result; realizing, reaching, or achieving the idea, which is both predetermined and valued.
  8. value may be low or high
  9. prioritizing places a low or high value on and idea
  10. preoccupation: your attention engaged on something other than the present events, out of touch with reality
  11. congruity: balance, harmony with events in your life, healthy distribution of work and
  • incongruity: out of balance (workaholic, party animal)
  • review of time management

What are your own individual time management problems?

  • problem...solution is developed through a plan....or planning


How much time do you spend each day in daily planning?

How much time do you spend each day in long-range and intermediate-range planning?

How much time do you spend each day in integrating you long- and intermediate range plans into your daily plans?

  • Integrating time management goals - planning - at least five hours of planning

Write as time management goal in Daytimer.

  1. 15 to 30 minutes of daily planning every morning - refer to every day along with "principles" and "goals"
  2. Write as time management goal in Daytimer - each day.
  3. separate work (school) and personal
  4. break down large projects into small tasks
  5. develop outlines, concentrate on small specific tasks, which have been prioritized
  6. plan activities to produce results not simply generate activity
  7. make an appointment "to meet with yourself - alone" for planning or specific work
  8. block out time in your calendar, meet you appointment
  9. set realistic goals
  10. schedule non-discretionary (fixed) blocks of time first, then schedule discretionary time with vital, prioritized items
  11. anticipate interruptions and seek means to deal with them before they occur


  1. concentration of power
  2. "now"
  3. priorities
    A = vital
    B = very important
    C = limited/some value
    * = urgent
    D = complete waste
    TM = time management (plan time to help improve time management skills)
  4. vital and trivial
  5. vital and urgent
  6. urgent trivialities: lower self-esteem, produces distress as well as stress
  7. stress vs. distress
  8. focus on vital priorities

Day-Timer (or other planner)

    1. use only one book for all your records - the "Daytimer," other options
    2. get rid of all other "to do today" pads, scraps of paper, address books, desk and wall calendars
    3. put any planning information into the Daytimer
    4. write it down in the right place, and forget about it until necessary
    5. you will no longer be preoccupied by thinking about when to do a specific task
    6. "call me next Tuesday" will be written down on Tuesday
    7. make the Daytimer accessible: physically and visually
    8. check it for daily planning, appointments
    9. carry it with you everywhere
    10. Examples:
      getting quotes or bids for work to be done
    11. talking to somebody about a commitment (time, work)
    12. write down names, subject, important information
    13. can refer to past telephone conversations easily
    14. (file on individual people)
      writing: pencils, pens, colored pens
      layout (refer to two-page per day format)
      transfer from day to day
    15. make a new "daily action list" every day, with new items, new priorities
      monthly planner
      how to retrieve data
    16. Divide up work and personal, divide up into sections for each:
    17. work (school): correspondence, classes, phone calls, volunteer work
    18. personal: home/family, sports, civic, etc.


  1. description of desk, files, bookcases
  2. stacks of material (all important!?) on desk, "in" and "out" file, pink telephone slips, several calendars (desk, wall), stacks of bills, magazines... all urgent!
  3. theory of accessibility: visibly and access of all this material reinforces bad habits, sense of urgency on unimportant matters.
  4. clean off desk, organize files and bookcases
  5. develop and reinforce good planning habits by having only one project on your desk at a time: actually two, including Daytimer.
  6. Daytimer as "tool": The book itself will be of no more help than any other - unless you learn how and when to use it, and where it keep it. It should be the basis for determining what you will be working on, and when.
  7. handle material only once
  8. when in doubt, toss it out?
  9. maintaining files
  10. addresses
  11. book
  12. Rolodex
  13. computer


    1. write agenda beforehand (double preparation time)
    2. set time limit for meeting, start and end on time
    3. note attendees, write minutes and make "to do" list, copy to all
    4. delegate
    5. 100% responsibility

Procrastination - how to avoid

    1. make a prioritized daily action list
    2. make a "catch-all" list during each month, refer to during daily planning
    3. refer to long range goal list
    4. have one thing on desk in the morning
    5. if you have an overwhelming project, break it into smaller tasks
    6. do not stop on a project until it is done, plan a reward at the end
    7. anticipate interruption - deal with before they become a problem
    8. plan interruptions at suitable time
    9. do the worst part of a project first
    10. have other people help you focus
    11. organize stray papers into stacks ("A," "B," "C," waste)
    12. select best time of day for work required
    13. allow for flexibility
    14. commit to a deadline

List the three worst ways you procrastinate:
Prioritize, set goals to reduce or eliminate.

Time Wasters


Self Imposed

  • not enough planning
  • socializing
  • preoccupation
  • ineffective delegation
  • attempting too much
  • reverse delegation
  • unable to say "No!"
  • arguing
  • lack self-discipline
  • wrong choice of priorities
  • procrastination
  • interruptions l
  • mistakes (own)
  • failure to listen
  • over control
  • fear of offending
  • unrealistic time estimates
  • unable to terminate visits
  • failure to anticipate
  • goals not clearly defined
  • slow reader
  • emotionally upset
  • distractions

System Imposed

  • overlong visit
  • negative attitude
  • meetings
  • delays
  • interruptions
  • waiting for decision
  • mechanical failure
  • mistakes (others)
  • secretary ineffective
  • problem not clear
  • lack policies
  • ack authority
  • understaffed
  • overstaffed
  • different value system
  • lack of feedback
  • role not clear
  • low-priority memos
  • shifting priorities
  • lack clerical staff
  • lack competent personnel
  • changing priorities
  • distractions


List the three worst ways you waste time:
Prioritize, set goals to reduce or eliminate.

Time Log


  1. increase awareness of better managing your time
  2. determine more precisely where your time is going: estimates vs. reality
  3. locate time wasters and evaluate their effect on your day
  4. disclose vital priorities you may be neglecting
  5. locate the extent of congruity within your basic responsibilities
  6. help you assess the effectiveness of your time management goals
  7. make assessment of the extent to which you have slipped back into old, ineffective time management habits
  8. assess the ratio of discretionary time, non-discretionary time
  9. find out how much of the day is free and uncommitted


  1. Keep time log at least one week. Start now. Do not wait for the "typical week."
  2. Fill in the eight categories. Examples include: planning, classes, studying, meetings, telephone, television, socializing, meals, etc.
  3. Give your categories a one-day test run to make sure proper activities are represented. Do not change the categories once you have started.
  4. Carry the log everywhere you go. Note activities in appropriate column every 15 to 20 minutes. Only write for 10 to 15 seconds each time. About eight minutes each day.
  5. Enter time of day your begin under "start time" record subsequent times in "time of last entry."
  6. Be completely honest with yourself.
  7. Record the level of importance for each event using: A, B, C, D priority rating, as defined.


  1. Forecast the length of time you think you will spending each general category before starting the log. Compare at the end.
  2. Reconsider in light of how much you need to spend to better achieve your goals.
  3. To compute actual percentages, add up all minutes in a category and divide by total minutes in all categories.

Consider the following questions as a guide:

  1. In all the categories what was: forecast, actual, and what should be planned in the future.
  2. Did I have a proper balance in the general categories?
  3. What were the most frequently occurring C's and D's?
  4. What percent of my time was spent on A's, B's, C's and D's? Evaluate.
  5. What C's and D's can be eliminated or reduced?
  6. What were the most frequent interruptions? How can they be reduced?
  7. What were the most frequent distractions? How can they be reduced?
  8. How much of a day was free or discretionary?
  9. How did the results compare each day to the priority goals in mu daily action list?
  10. What could I have delegated to others?
  11. Which time of day was most and least productive for me?
  12. How can I consolidate routine work?
  13. What is my biggest time management problem? How can I eliminate it?


  1. principle of self-unification: principles and goals (preview)
  2. unifying principles; examples
  3. attaining self-unification: values and priorities, action statement, clarification


  1. "comfort zone" vs. adventure performance vs. excellent performance
  2. what is a goal
  3. how to plan goals
    1. Prepare goals within framework of unifying principles.
    2. Plan goals within reach of what you can accomplish.
    3. Write goal down.
    4. Make goal specific.
    5. Write the goal so results can be measured. Set date.
    6. See goal is my very own.
    7. Seek appropriate help.
    8. Ask, am I willing to pay the price?

Long-range personal life goals: categories, prioritize actions to accomplish goal, balance

Categories for goal planning

  1. Personal/Social
  2. Cultural/Intellectual
  3. Physical
  4. Financial
  5. Professional
  6. Spiritual

Continuity between long-range, intermediate, and immediate goals

  1. Immediate goals: prioritized daily action list
  2. Which items will best help achieve my long-range and intermediate high priority goals?
  3. What will help yield greatest long-term results?
  4. What will give the highest payoff?
  5. What will happen if I do not do each of these projects today?
  6. Who will it affect? Will anyone suffer?
  7. On a long-term basis, which items make me feel best to accomplish?

High priority goals

  1. Of my long-range and intermediate, high-priority goals, which should I work on today?
  2. What projects will give me the highest return for the time invested?
  3. What projects will be the greatest problem if I do not do them?
  4. What projects do my boss and colleagues consider most vital?
  5. What items of my previous list should I work on today?
  6. What do my unifying principles suggest?
  7. What has not been considered that will help yield long-term significant results?

Path of goal continuity

  1. unifying principles
  2. long-range goalsintermediate goals
  3. immediate goals (daily action list)


Techniques for enhancing relevancy

  1. Manage for results, not activity.
  2. Spontaneous goal: an idea directed toward a positive result.
  3. Do one thing at a time when thought is required.
  4. Handle papers only once.
  5. Use blank spaces of time. Work on "A-1" items.
  6. Draw pictures and make diagrams, charts.
  7. Make comparisons.
  8. Be on time. Leave with an "A-1" item.
  9. Cut meeting time and make it more productive.

Meeting Time

  1. Double preparation time.
  2. Always use a written agenda
  3. Keep agenda visible.
  4. Commit to start and end times.
  5. Invite only necessary people for meeting.

"Fingertip" Management

  1. datebook
  2. workspace planning


  1. Select the people who have the ability to do the job.
  2. See that it is clearly understood what you expect (train, teach, orient).
  3. Let them know you sincerely believe in their ability to carry out the task.
  4. Secure commitment that they will follow through (reread job needs).
  5. Negotiate a deadline
  6. Provide latitude for them to use their own imagination and initiative.
  7. Let them know in the beginning that you are going to follow through. Do it.
  8. Do not do the job for them.
  9. Reward them commensurately with the results they produce.