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[推荐]Time management tips

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It’s Never Too Late for Time Management
You can’t be a good manager until you learn to manage your own time

Leadership jobs should come with a warning label: "Beware of meaningless tasks masquerading as fundamental job duties." As a case in point, meet Sam. By looking at him, you wouldn’t guess that he is being managed by his job. He’s bright, aggressive and results-oriented with a track record of success. As a reward for his accomplishments, he’s recently been given a role that is ten times bigger in scale than his previous responsibilities. He arrives at the office at 7:00 and leaves at 8:00. His desk is a mess, his e-mails aren’t answered in a timely fashion and his calendar is booked solid. His wife and children miss him and his boss wants a strategy.

Sam’s a busy guy. Unfortunately, he’s too busy doing the wrong things to think much about the right things. Many of you are in the same untenable position as Sam - working too many hours and lacking the time to intervene with yourself and find a better way. Psychologists say that some people are chronic time abusers because of deep-seated needs for control or approval or fear of being evaluated. For others, the underlying psychological motive confounding good time management is tied to an uncertainty of trusting and acting on one’s own judgment.

While we all have our own personal neuroses, it’s my experience that most people don’t actively manage the content of their jobs because they have been lulled into the illusion of busyness by the steady drumbeat of e-mails, meetings, reports, presentations, budgets and telephone calls that constitute corporate life.

To gain control over your work (and personal) life, you have to gain control over your calendar. You must eliminate the meaningless distractions and focus your efforts where they count. Often, that’s around the areas of strategy-making, informal influence, effective delegation, and monitoring. Much like gaining control over your finances, managing your time requires understanding where your time is going, outlining your priorities, defining a time budget and plan, changing behavior and monitoring the results.

Where does the time go? Analyze your calendar over the past four to eight weeks and figure out where you spent your time. Sam, for instance, was spending 10 hours per week on managing two large projects, 10 hours discussing minor projects, and another 10 hours responding to emails and open-door "_drop-by" visits.

Know thyself. Identify how you want to allocate your time by answering the following questions: When and how much do I want to work, what do I want to achieve in my job, what activities are essential to my success and what activities do I disdain? These may sound pretty basic, but answering them requires a good understanding of your job, the existence of a long-term plan to drive your tactical objectives, and the self-awareness to know what you should keep and what you should delegate. If you are new to your job or don’t have a long-term plan, allocate time in your schedule to gain these insights. Sam’s goals included:
• Leave work by 6:30
• Exercise three times a week
• Meet with peers every two weeks
• Manage by walking around on a daily basis
• Coffee and lunch with senior customers and executives three times per week
• Devote a day a week for longer-term planning
• Devote no more than a day a month to develop and analyze operational and financial metrics
Do the math. Define a time budget by translating your goals into a daily and weekly time budget. Compare your budget to your calendar analysis to determine the "gap" you need to close. For example, Sam needs to reduce his overall workweek by 7.5 hours while finding an additional 4 hours to meet with peers and 8 hours for planning.

Make it so. Outline a plan to close the gap between the current and target time allocations. Sam was able to close his almost 20-hour gap by:
• Reducing his involvement on the major initiatives through appropriate delegation
• Consolidating minor project discussions into the existing weekly one-on-one meetings with his direct reports
• Reducing _drop-by visits by introducing brown bag lunches - thereby ensuring he was available to people, but on his schedule, not theirs
• Delegating the majority of e-mail to his assistant and coaching his staff to modify their e-mail usage
Start a support group. Implement and monitor the calendar changes by getting others involved with your plan. Your assistant and direct reports are essential participants because your plan will require that they take on tasks you can no longer afford to perform. Ensure that they understand their responsibilities, your expectations and the "right way" to manage you. Meet with your assistant on a weekly basis to review how you are doing against your time targets and modify upcoming calendars to keep the program on track.

Many people have difficulty managing through this process on their own, so they find a trusted advisor to help them understand the implications of the calendar analysis, challenge their thinking on high- and low-value activities, and hold them accountable for behavior changes. Sam and others who have been through this process understand that the payoff is worth the effort. By taking a hard look at their calendars and creating some targets, rules and discipline, they have quieted the drumbeats, learned new skills and created their own management rhythm to govern their day.

Source: www.ITtoolbox.com



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