Stephen Covey's leadership training book is widely recognized as one of the best-selling business books of all time. Next The Six Sigma Way: How GE, Motorola and other Top Companies are Honing Their Performance (2000), by Peter S. The Project Management Institute has established a guide known as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) to identify global standards for the practice of project management. Within the guide are five groups of processes that help the project manager to stay organized and working toward the ultimate goal. This knowledge area relates to bringing together various processes in order to work toward a common goal. One common problem encountered in many projects is allowing the scope of the work to expand beyond what was originally intended. Just like time needs to be controlled within a given project, so too do costs need to be controlled. Of course, no project is going to be deemed a success if the final work is of poor quality. People are the most valuable resource that any organization has available to it, so managing the project team properly should always be a top priority. Good communication is key within any organization, and that is especially true when it comes to projects. Anytime resources are being used to work toward a specific goal, there is some measure of risk involved. Many projects will require some kind of inputs from outside the project team in order to reach a successful conclusion.
As referenced briefly above, there are various stakeholders who will have an interest in any given project. Project management is a field that is extremely important to the success of countless organizations. The PMBOK® Guide is process-based, meaning it describes work as being accomplished by processes. The PMBOK® is published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which was formed in the USA in 1969.
Organizations use management assessment at key times in an individual’s personal development. As a manager, you will be expected take part in management assessments as part of your organization’s development program or when you are seeking a new role or a promotion. Management assessments differ from interviews in that you need to ‘show’ as well as ‘tell’ those evaluating you that you have these competencies. Management assessments often take place at an external location that offers several rooms suitable for these exercises, which include: in-tray exercises, role play, group exercises, and presentation exercises. These events are usually a full day in duration and you will receive an agenda detailing how it is going to be structured. Each management assessment is unique because it is dependent on the culture and ethos of the organization as well as the specific requirements of the role for which candidates are being assessed.
Organizations that use assessment centers will have built up a ‘competency framework’ that they use to assess their existing employees as well as new recruits. Each organization will also have its ‘core’ competencies that every individual must have in addition to their role competencies. Each area of management has its own terminology and acronyms and management assessment is no exception. Management assessment is concerned with identifying which individuals are able to demonstrate the required competencies at the appropriate level for the role. You will be asked to assess and feed back to other members of the group on their display of competencies.
You will receive detailed feedback on their performance and how this affects their future development. Those observing the exercises act as facilitators rather than assessors when judging your competencies. The level of success you can achieve when participating in a management assessment has a strong correlation with the amount of time and effort that you put into your preparation. Organizations use them when selecting graduates for management, developing supervisors into managers, and promoting line-mangers to executive positions. Assessors observe each candidate and identify which individuals are able to demonstrate the required competencies at the appropriate level for the role. Knowing how an assessment center is organized and what the assessors are looking for will help you succeed. People frequently refer to the sheer volume of interruptions that they suffer when trying to justify their lack of achievement.
The effect of allowing interruptions to continually distract you is likely to undermine your efforts to plan your working day. When it comes to scheduling tasks into your working day, the following guidelines should be borne in mind. Whilst there are some quite dramatic individual variations, the majority of people feel most energetic and alert during the middle to late morning period and again in the middle to late afternoon. A planner, or scheduler, is a centralized inventory of your known future commitments and your unfinished work.
Don’t be afraid to reschedule planned tasks for those with a higher priority, as and when these arise. It is also important not to appear to have spare time in your schedule when you don’t. You need to have sections for each planning period so that at the end of each period you can plan for the next. Use a monthly planner for scheduling things like meetings, invitations, reservations, collecting information and for medium-term projects and goals. Use a weekly planner for scheduling major tasks, appointments, bookings, and short-term goals. Use a daily planner for scheduling in activities from your to do list, regular activities as well as to note your daily goals.
The master planner should also contain a section for contacts, detailing: names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. The most effective way of organizing your tasks is under relevant headings, rather than to add to the list haphazardly. The item is non urgent in which case it does not belong on your short-term to do list, or the item is causing you to procrastinate in which case you should either discard it or do it now. The majority of people feel most energetic and alert during the middle to late morning period and again in the middle to late afternoon.
Use a yearly planner for scheduling things such as staff holidays, long-term projects and objectives.
If you are serious about improving your time management strategies then you can download free eBooks, checklists and templates from our website. When you pick up a piece of paperwork you should aim to classify and action it immediately.
Avoid the temptation of keeping items that will only generate clutter and require more of your attention in the future. If you think that this approach sounds rather drastic, then you could try marking each item of paperwork with a small cross each time you handle it. You should take the time to set up a well thought out filing system suitable for your own way of working.
How you classify the information that you need to file will depend on your job, but the important thing is that the information is categorized in an unambiguous way and that the files themselves are clearly labelled and organized in a logical way. If you have access to a scanner, then scanning documents and filing them electronically can be a great time saver. You should have a well-organized system of directories and folders on your PC for filing information. If, at a later date, you can’t remember the name of the document or where you filed it, you can use the Windows built in search functions and search for keywords like the sender and the project.
If you have ever deleted a document that you later found you needed, you’ll know that trying to recover the information can be a great time waster. If you set up your document directory structure under a master directory, this makes backing up your files very simple, as you can copy the master directory onto a central server or a laptop with only one copy instruction. If you are serious about improving your time management strategies then download these free eBooks, checklists and templates for your PC, Mac, laptop, tablet, Kindle, eBook reader or Smartphone. This eBook explains the ten rules of successful delegation that will motivate and empower your team. This eBook explains how to protect yourself from interruptions and still maintain a good relationship with your colleagues.
This eBook explains how to choose the best productivity tools and describes how to use them to get more work done.
At some time or another almost everyone feels as though they have more work than they can cope with.
If you are overloaded then you need some workload management strategies to remedy the situation.
This will be easier if you have the facts to back up your case and are confident that you are working as effectively as possible by using an appropriate workload management strategy.
The most common sources of work-related stress include: continuous and tight deadlines, an excessive workload, role ambiguity and conflict and the need to deal with crises on a daily basis. A significant contributor to workplace stress and overload is the inability to say no, which results in people taking on far more work than they can realistically manage.
Sometimes tasks may sound so enticing that we are tempted to take them on and worry about finding the time for them later, this is especially true for work that is some time in the future. One of the major factors in developing the ability to say no is to realize that if you take on things that you subsequently haven’t got time to do well, then you will be letting everybody down. It is very easy to agree to take on more responsibility, to be seen as a keen and competent employee. If you have never questioned the demands of your manager or organization before then this may be rather daunting.
If you can produce a time log detailing the amount of time that a particular task has taken you and can show the associated cost, this will often make for a more convincing case. The best way to prepare counter arguments is to look at the situation from your manager’s perspective. If both you and your manager are going to be happy with the outcome over the long-term, then there may need to be some form of compromise. They will ask themselves whether or not they are capable of and willing to perform the requested task. People-orientated individuals are more likely to ask questions relating to their relationship with other people and their desire not to disappoint them. Try to predict circumstances in which you are likely to be asked to take on extra commitments and prepare some form of response. It is a natural assumption that it is easier to book the time of a busy person well in advance, and it is all too easy to accommodate such requests. Generally speaking there are only two valid reasons for declining work that is passed down. It is important to construct a good case to support your argument, you should put your points clearly and concisely and don’t come up with too many objections. Another useful approach can be to devise a plan for how the task could be tackled, without taking the full responsibility upon yourself. If you feel that you are becoming overloaded then you may decide to try to negotiate a reduction in your workload. Your workload negotiations will fall into two main camps, those with your direct boss and those with colleagues. Who ever you are negotiating with you must ensure that you don’t feel obliged to accept such tasks or projects unless it brings some benefit to you.
When undertaking such negotiations you must make sure that whatever the outcome you benefit from that decision. You need to appear sympathetic to request but present your case from a position of strength.
You may also choose to accept the task to your workload because it provides a unique opportunity for you to acquire a skill, expand your knowledge base or improve your visibility within the organization.
If you decide to accept a task part of your decision making process must assess the impact this additional task will have on your existing deadlines.
In each case you will need to ask your self why these causes keep reappearing and what you can do to eradicate them. By researching such queries you may find that other people or divisions within the organization do not realize that they are doing, or not doing something that is having unforeseen consequences elsewhere. Interruptions during the working day not only take up your time, they also have a secondary impact – in that they cost valuable minutes as you get back into what you were doing before the interruption.
In order to maintain a good working relationship with your colleagues it is important that you do have time for them. The key to handling interruptions is to develop the ability to weigh up precisely what the request represents as a demand on your time and, if necessary, to arrange a future appointment rather than tackling it on the spot. If you suffer from a lot of unscheduled visits from colleagues, you need to develop a clear but polite way of communicating when you are too busy to be interrupted. If you have already completed a time log then you may be aware of the common interruptions that can bring your work to a temporary halt. Once you have a clear idea of what causes the interruptions you can begin to develop tactics to control them. If the telephone is a major source of interruptions then try using your voicemail to screen calls or ask colleagues to handle queries when you are busy, on the understanding that you will reciprocate.
If the length of the calls is a problem you should try setting a limit to the amount of time you are prepared to spend on any phone call. If you are interrupted at your workspace then using body language can make it clear that you expect the interruption to be as brief as possible. You could also avoid asking unexpected visitors to sit down, get to your feet and remain standing until they have gone. Apart from those times when you want to encourage others to step into your office, try keeping your door closed. If you have colleagues who tend to be very talkative, then arrange to visit their workspace, rather than have them coming to you. If talkative colleagues are coming to you for a meeting, schedule this ahead of another commitment or a fixed break, so that there is a compelling reason for getting on with the business at hand.
Add some polite winding up statements to your repertoire, try to include references to work and time constraints. Let your colleagues know that you are trying to manage your time more effectively, and inform them of some of your chosen tactics. Whatever approach you adopt to dealing with interruptions, it is important to be consistent. Some workplace interruptions may be unavoidable, but if you suffer from a lot of unscheduled visits from colleagues, you need to develop a clear but polite way of communicating when you are too busy to be interrupted. The main purpose of the interruption screen is to give you the opportunity to assess the level of urgency of each interruption and then allow you to prioritize it within your workload.
Plan the best way for you to handle known intrusions. Emails, tweets, LinkedIn, phone calls, text and meetings are just some of these known intrusions that occur all day every day. Don’t be a slave to the technology set aside an allocated time slot where you are protected from distractions and interruptions. The key to successfully implementing such behaviors is your ability to correctly identify the biggest source of your interruptions. Body language can make it clear that you expect the interruption to be as brief as possible. If you want to improve your decision making, you will need to identify the types of job you put off and the reasons and excuses you give yourself. Putting off jobs has another disadvantage in that it tends to lead to an ever increasing number of jobs that remain outstanding. Whilst the batching of activities by type, is generally an effective time management strategy, unpleasant tasks is the one category for which this doesn’t hold true.

Overcoming procrastination involves first coming to terms with the fact that you have a real problem, which will require you to change how you feel about certain types of job. Doing the worst job first, involves making the worst task the one thing that you commit to completing that day, irrespective of other considerations. This gives you a series of short-term targets to aim for and enables you to correct any slippage as it occurs, rather than struggling to make up all of the accumulated lost time at the end of the project. Making a public commitment can be done in a number of ways, you could make your intentions public by circulating copies to your co-workers. Planning the following day’s activities, the night before is effective because it avoids this potential distraction at the start of the day. Managers should learn to play the percentage game, this means accepting that a certain proportion of decisions will turn out to have been incorrect; perhaps 10 or 20%.
However, as an effective manager the vast majority will turn out to have been the right decisions and therefore the fear of making the wrong choice should not hold you back. Listing the pros and cons associated with each option results in a balance sheet, which compares the alternatives objectively. Our Thinking Skills eBooks will help you to become more creative and innovative whether you need to make more time for creative thinking, some general inspiration or specific tips and techniques. It is very common for people to attribute certain kinds of results to themselves, usually their successes, and certain kinds of results to other people, usually their failures. This often leads people to be unclear about the relationship between cause and effect, which is particularly important when it comes to time management.
This can manifest itself in the language we use to analyze time loss and the consequent avoidance of our own responsibility. You should always make a conscious effort when analyzing lost time and begin to take appropriate responsibility for it. If you want to learn to manage your time better, the first step is to document how you are currently spending it.
It is useful to carry out an objective review of how you currently spend your time by keeping a daily time log which details which tasks you did, when and for how long. Draw up a log that reflects the way in which you work, dividing your day into representative blocks of time – for example 15 minute or half-hour divisions.
At the end of each day, conduct a simple analysis of the activities you have performed under four simple headings: Priorities, Delegation, Time Wasters and finally Operations and Management. Priorities are those activities which represent genuine priorities for that working period. Delegation indicates those tasks that you could or should have given to someone else to complete, including priority activities where appropriate.
Time Wasters include the things that distracted you from your main objectives, such as interruptions, as well as those activities which, on reflection, you should have said no to. You may find the Operations and Management category to be slightly more difficult to classify.
As you look at your time log at the end of each day, it may draw your attention to some activities that you wish to record in more detail. For example, if you have identified that much of the time you spend on the telephone was non-essential; then you should analyze this area in more detail. If you feel that you are spending too much time in meetings or in conversation then record details like whether attendance at the meeting was mandatory and whether the conversation was the result of an interruption. When you are happy with your classification of the day’s activities, add up the number of time divisions you spent on each of the categories and factor it over the total divisions in the day. Keeping a log over a working week is always revealing, sometimes reassuring but, more frequently, disturbing. Look at your diary over the preceding three month period and see how your time was spent – are there recognizable patterns with regard to meetings, visits, presentations, travel and professional training? See if you can identify the tasks that take up the majority of your time, do you need to reduce these commitments or find more time for them? Look at your diary and ask yourself how you can start to gain more control over your working day. When designing a daily time log, make sure that it reflects the way in which you work, dividing your day into representative blocks of time. It is useful to maintain a log of the activities you have performed under four simple headings: Priorities, Delegation, Time Wasters and finally Operations and Management. This eBook explains how to use the theory of goal setting to set practical targets for you and your team members. This eBook explains how to overcome the obstacles that prevent you from starting difficult high-priority tasks. This eBook explains how to negotiate your workload to a manageable level and avoid becoming snowed under. Many managers find themselves getting bogged down in routine operational tasks, which leave them no time for the vital managerial functions like long term planning and business development. Delegation involves giving someone else the responsibility to perform a task that is actually part of your own job. One of the most important reasons for delegation is that it will develop the skills of the people who work for you.
People may feel that any sign of weakness reduces their standing in the eyes of others, and themselves. If you feel guilty about the very act of delegating, when the staff to whom you are delegating are not overloaded, then you should be more realistic. This slender work, a parable of mice and (little) men in a maze, can be read in 30 minutes, max. Before Douglas McGregor's seminal work on management, employees were often presumed to be lazy and unmotivated.
Most of them are forgettable, but here are 25 that changed the way we think about management — from the iconic "How to Win Friends and Influence People" to groundbreaking tomes like "Guerilla Marketing" and quick reads like the "The One Minute Manager". Like TIME on Facebook for more trusted news analysis, award-winning multimedia & behind-the-scenes looks with TIME editors.
This guide is used by countless people worldwide and is something that any aspiring project manager should understand thoroughly. Among those groups there are 47 total individual processes which are recognized by the PMBOK Guide. Most projects will involve a number of different moving parts at any one time, so making sure that they are integrated properly is something that a project manager will want to pay close attention to.
This knowledge area highlights the importance of managing the scope of a project so that it remains safely within the boundaries that were established at the beginning of the project. A project that is otherwise completed successfully might be useless to the organization if it hasn’t been finished in a timely manner. Every organization works within some form or budget, so managing the project budget throughout the process is a vital skill to possess. Establishing a specific set of policies and objectives can help to make sure that not only does the project get completed, but it also is completed in a manner that is useful to the organization as a whole.
Typically a project team will be assigned to a given project, and they will be led by the project manager. Making sure that all stakeholders have the information they need, when they need it, is something that an experienced project manager will be well aware of.
Obviously most organizations will want to keep risks as minimal as possible, but taking on some risk is often required in order to accomplish great things. Identifying who these people are, and what role they will play in the project, is something that should be done right from the start. Getting all of the various team members pointed in the right direction and working toward the goal that has been laid out for the project manager is a challenging and complicated task. The PMI also offers various levels of certification and the PMBOK® is widely used and respected.
This is achieved by performing a variety of exercises that are designed to assess your practical ability and to show that you operate at the appropriate level for each of the required role competencies.
Most organizations use an ‘assessment center’ or ‘development center’ to conduct these exercises.
This enables the assessors, who are responsible for evaluating the group, the opportunity to properly observe each candidate demonstrate their behavior in one or more of the role’s required competencies. It is important that you use this and any other documents related to the role and organization as part of your preparation. Successful organizations do all they can to ensure that their development efforts are invested in those individuals who are most likely to succeed and most closely match the culture.
This framework defines which competencies are required for each role and how these alter depending on the management level and responsibilities of the role. For each competency in the framework there is a detailed explanation of the behaviors that are need to perform the role efficiently and effectively.
The following table will help you to become familiar with the terms commonly used in management assessment. Competency development is a career-long process and is part of your overall professional and personal development.
This will enable you to attend the management assessment with the right mindset and a clear picture of what is required.
Taking ten minutes at the end of the day to plan what you want to achieve the following day is the cornerstone of effective daily planning.
With an interruption occurring, on average, every 7 minutes, managers have to do their work between distractions. One solution is to batch up the interruptions that you can’t avoid and to set aside time slots during your working day when you can break off and address them. These are likely to represent the majority of your work and should take up most of your day. It is good practice to address different types of task at various times of the day – rather than working through all the A-tasks, followed by the B-tasks, then the C-tasks. At certain times you will feel particularly energetic and alert, whilst at others you feel tired. Conversely, most people suffer troughs soon after lunch, and again towards the end of the day.
It should be organized systematically and held in one folder, or on a computer, so that authorized staff can see your future commitments.
Only trusted colleagues should have access to it; otherwise you may find yourself working around the needs of others, rather than the needs of your job. In particular, make sure that your schedule includes sufficient time for traveling between appointments and a contingency for overruns, where this is likely. Have a yearly planner for scheduling things such as staff holidays, long-term projects and objectives. These activities will come from your contact log, your projects and your monthly, weekly and daily period planners. For example if the list has headings like: Telephone, Speak to, Complete, Write to, and Order, and items are added to the appropriate column as they crop up, this enables you to batch similar tasks without having to sort through the whole list each time.
If you are making a series of outgoing calls in a block then you cant be interrupted by incoming calls.
At the end of each day carry forward uncompleted tasks to your “To do” list for the following day. Try to work out your own personal daily cycle and schedule the tasks you have to address accordingly. A monthly planner can be used for scheduling things like meetings, invitations and reservations, whilst a daily planner is ideal for scheduling in activities from your to do list as well as to note your daily goals. Our Productivity Skills eBooks can help you to make the most of your time as well as making sure that you get the best out of your team.
The one touch approach to incoming paperwork involves sorting, classifying and taking the appropriate action immediately. These contain many useful time management skills examples and can be used on your PC, Mac, laptop, tablet, Kindle, eBook reader or Smartphone.
If you don’t have a system for coping with it, you run the risk of missing something important. You will need to set up a system for this, which should involve categorizing the material and taking the appropriate action.
You may be surprised at how many crosses accumulate before the item is eventually either: read properly, filed properly, passed on or thrown away. Only file close at hand those items that you refer to regularly, and keep a separate filing cabinet for items that are referred to rarely. Once you have developed an efficient filing system it will save you time every single working day. This is particularly important if you receive a lot of visitors who will form an impression of your efficiency, based to some extent, on your workspace.
Once you have scanned a document, check the electronic copy for quality and completeness and throw the original away. These eBooks contain many useful time management skills examples that you can action today. However, not all stress is bad, and it is often cited as a key factor in helping people respond to crises, adapt to change and excel when a peak performance is required; for example, in an interview or presentation. This will be easier if you have the facts to back up your case and are confident that you are working as effectively as possible by using an appropriate time management strategy.
A job done badly will reflect poorly on you, your colleague and perhaps the whole organization. It is much more difficult to admit that overload is a problem and then to take action to remedy the situation. The most effective tactic may be to restrict your negotiations to a specific task or project that you identify as causing you the worst problem. This approach provides a framework for the negotiation and prevents the risk of your request being mistaken for a general complaint.
Seeing things from your manager’s viewpoint should help you to devise a solution that they will find acceptable. Task orientated people often find it easier to say no, as they tend to evaluate requests against task related criteria. If you feel that you would like to become more effective at saying no, then try prompting yourself to think more carefully about the task involved each time you are requested to take something on. Try to clarify your reasons and explain these in a clear and concise way when declining the request. However, if you let yourself worry or dwell on past occasions where you have declined a request then you are more likely to accept future requests, regardless of their importance. When requests arrive unexpectedly, ask for time to think about the request before responding. Say what you want to say in a clear and concise way but don’t sound like you are making excuses. However, are you likely to be any less busy in 6 months time than you are in three weeks time?
Firstly; that your existing work will suffer and secondly that the work is beyond your level of competence. This invites your boss to use the weakest to undermine your whole case, without giving you the opportunity to counter with your stronger points. You might even turn a request from your boss into an opportunity to offload some routine work, thereby freeing yourself to address the current request properly. It is helpful to specify your objectives precisely, prepare your evidence and counter arguments and anticipate the need to compromise. Task-orientated people tend to make objective, task-related, decisions whereas people-orientated individuals tend to make subjective decisions based on relationships.
Knowing when you are approaching this level and taking positive steps to keep control are key to maintaining your performance and productivity. You could have persistent physical signs, such as, more frequent migraines, indigestion, pains etc.
You may employ the same tactics for either group, but you need to be aware of the higher risks you encounter when negotiating with your manager and be more conscious of the environment your negotiations take place in. The ways to identify and handle such negotiations are described in our free eBook on this topic.

It is essential that you approach the underlying reason for such discussions from your own viewpoint.
This may be returning a past favor, working the request so that there is a mutual benefit to accepting the task or gaining a promise of future help.
Some workplace interruptions may be unavoidable, but many are not and you shouldn’t feel guilty about reducing your exposure to interruptions as the result will be an increase in your overall efficiency.
If you have secretarial services, you could put a more effective screening system in place so that more messages are taken.
However, having time doesn’t necessarily mean at the moment they walk into your workspace. You should be aware of: the type of interruption, who or what caused it and how much time it took up. This can be disruptive and is complicated by the fact that sociable people tend to take criticism personally. For example, by turning your head but not your whole body towards a visitor, your arm and shoulder will form a natural barrier, which will discourage a lengthy conversation.
Give an indication of how long you expect a meeting to last and make it clear that you must get on with other tasks at this time. It won’t stop anybody who has an important request but it will reduce the number of non-important or purely social interruptions. This makes it much easier for you to end the meeting without facing the difficult task of getting them to leave.
This won’t stop all interruptions, but at least they are likely to understand why you are less responsive to them. If you frequently change your response to interruptions it will give others the impression that you can be persuaded to change your mind and this will undermine your attempts to gain control of your time.
If you are the only person in your team who has the ability or authority to answer key questions related to a particular project or task, then you need to cut down the number of such instances. The time you invest in defining and producing such documentation will effectively remove you from the hot seat as the only person who can provide answers. A key part of any manager’s role is to offer support and guidance to their team when unforeseen problems or issues arise. You cant ignore them, but you can plan you work schedule so that you deal with them in a way that retains your productivity. You know your organization and role best so whether you decide to set your mobile to silent, let calls go to voicemail, or put a notify message on your email is a personal choice that suits your circumstance. Use this free time management checklist which is part of our free online library of management resources to help you identify and manage them. For example, when planning your day, you will need to be decisive and not procrastinate over each and every activity. This growing list becomes increasingly daunting and it then becomes more and more difficult to make a start on any of them. They are far better tackled as soon as possible, as this is the most effective and efficient approach to unpleasant jobs.
This prevents a task from becoming an ongoing source of anxiety, which can make you less productive until it is completed. Breaking a task into smaller chunks will allow you to achieve some small successes, which should give you the motivation necessary to see the job through. Alternatively, you could display your schedule discreetly at your workstation, where it will be visible to others. By identifying a task to get on with first thing in the morning, you will create the opportunity to achieve something positive at the start of the day which will give you the incentive to continue in the same way. For example, a list of pros and cons against each option often helps to clarify the best course of action.
Breaking a decision into smaller components enables the decision to be arrived at incrementally. Alternatively, an incentive can be created by the promise of a reward once the decision has been made. Download these free eBooks, checklists and templates for your PC, Mac, laptop, tablet, Kindle, eBook reader or Smartphone.
For example, whilst there are occasions when other people are responsible for our time loss, we may find it difficult to admit that we could have done more to minimize the effect. This time log shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes a day to complete and you will probably need a further 20 minutes or so at the end of the week to analyze the results.
Complete the log in real time, as remembering what you did several hours earlier can be very difficult. This should include only those activities that make a significant contribution to what you are trying to achieve. On consideration you may identify priority tasks that you could have delegated a significant part of, even if you needed to tackle part of the work personally. Time wasters are often insidious and yet when totaled up will often represent a significant part of the working day.
Keep records of whether the call was incoming or outgoing, who it was from or to, and estimate how much of the time spent was actually productive. Draw a bar chart with appropriate columns and add each entry from the log into the appropriate column.
Firstly, are you investing enough of your time in areas that are essential to achieving your goals? When you perform this exercise you are likely to be surprised by how little time you actually spend on your real priorities. Finally, don’t be surprised if your log shows that a significant part of your working day is lost to distractions. Depending on your job you may keep this yourself or it may be delegated to secretarial staff. Try to complete the log in real time, as recalling what you did several hours earlier can be very difficult. People in your team will become more involved in helping to achieve the organizations objectives and goals. It is noticeable that managers who delegate successfully usually experience lower absenteeism and staff turnover.
What does this say about their attitude to those who have to work for them, surely managers should be proud of the achievements of their staff. If there is nobody there to help us when we need it, then it likely that we have done little to nurture and develop the skills of those beneath us. Your job is not to overload yourself but to manage your workload effectively and efficiently and that includes delegating, as and when required. As a result, conventional wisdom held, management must goad workers into becoming productive cogs in the machine. Instead, the book is a tour de force on confidence building packaged into seven easily digestible maxims.
The guide dates back to 1996, with the most-recent version being the Fifth Edition, which was published in 2013. Proper time management is something that any good project manager will keep at the top of his or list of things to track. Among the costs that could come into play for a given project include labor costs, raw materials, equipment, and much more. By establishing guidelines and expectations for managing project quality right from the start, projects can be guided more accurately toward the proper conclusion. It is usually up to the project manager to then get the best possible performance out of the team by putting each individual in a position to use their knowledge and experience to guide the project in the right direction. There are usually a variety of people within an organization that will have an interest in a given project, so keeping them informed is an important task. Part of a good project is managing the risks involved so that they remain at an acceptable level.
Obtaining the products or services necessary to keep the project moving forward is an integral part of good project management. Some stakeholders will be strongly influential over the project, while others will only be loosely interested in the outcome.
If you would like to know more about how to develop your own competencies or those of people in your team then you can download our free ‘Developing Competencies’ eBook. In contrast, goals are related to ‘what you actually achieve’ and are not concerned with how you got there. More typically they seek inspiration in their diaries or seek refuge in routine tasks like reading their email, and wait for the first meeting or interruption to set them on a path for the rest of the day.
However planning nearly always tops the list when managers are asked what they need to make more time for. Whilst each interruption may not seem to take up much time, they can typically account for 25% of a working day and make it very difficult to address tasks that require concentrated effort. For example, you could set aside 20 minutes before lunch and half an hour before the end of each working day to address all the interruptions that have occurred in each half of the day. This will enable you to have periods of the day when you are concentrating intensely, followed by periods where you can address less demanding tasks. If you can tune-in to your own daily cycles then you will be able to plan the optimum times at which to tackle the different types of task.
Also include all batched activities like making outbound phone calls and any regular commitments such as monthly meetings.
Individuals that you have a lot of contact with should have their own file so that you can keep track of ongoing communications with them.
Similarly, if you are writing several letters or emails you will be in the right frame of mind and will have the appropriate software open on your PC. A useful rule with lists is not to carry forward not-started items more than two or three times.
You should take the time to set up a well thought out filing system as this will save you time every single working day. It will be very difficult to convince a well-organized outsider that your untidy workspace is the product of a well-organized mind. It can be useful to add your own information to each document you file, including information such as: who sent it to you, when you received it, which project or piece of work it concerns and a delete by date.
When coping with stress at work, the important thing is not to let your workload grow to the point where you are completely overloaded. We don’t want to disappoint them, let them down, give the impression that we can’t be bothered or are too lazy to help. If people get the idea that they can talk you round, then they may persist until they are successful. If your future commitments are uncertain then be very careful about agreeing to things even if they seem to be a long way off. This means that any workload management strategies you use must be based on one of these reasons.
It can assist you greatly to get the boss on-side by sowing the germ of an idea and letting them come up with the plan, before endorsing it as a great way to proceed.
The diagram above shows the most common root causes and you will have to take time to assess and prioritize your outstanding tasks and why they remain on your list of things to do. This could also be used to inform callers of what time you are available, enabling you to protect yourself from distractions at times you set aside for concentrated work. This means that at some point in the day you will be interrupted because your knowledge and experience are required to maintain the productivity of your team.
Having decided what is important, you then need to progress these tasks quickly and efficiently, and adopting a rational approach to decision making will be a key factor in your ability to do this. Making a series of smaller commitments is much easier than making a single large one. Ideally each sub-task should have its own deadline. However, when all relevant information has been assembled, hesitation only wastes time and opportunity.
Best is a good word here you should make a conscious effort to accept that your role necessitates you making decisions and that you are not always going to make the right one.
We may think that we know how long we spend on each task, but these impressions usually turn out to be inaccurate when compared to a detailed time log.
Be disciplined in only identifying real priorities, they are by definition the few rather than the many tasks. Again, be disciplined when identifying time wasters – they are an essential component in regaining control over your working day. Operating tasks encompass the technical or professional part of your job as well as the routine work much of which could be delegated. Secondly, in which areas, that are not essential to your goals, are you spending significant time? It always carries with it an element of risk, since you are assigning to someone else work for which you retain the ultimate responsibility. In reality it is a sign of weakness to hide behind a pretext of coping and a sign of strength to recognize personal limitations. Think in a little more detail about just what it is that nobody else can do as well as you, you will almost certainly discover that whilst your skills may be very valuable to the organization, they are almost certainly not indispensable.
People who recognize this attitude as a personal trait should think carefully, as their problems may be more deep-seated than an inability to delegate. Nonetheless, there is a cult of Cheese, composed of readers (some of them CEOs) who extol the virtues of this book and say that it has changed their lives and workplaces. There is good advice throughout that could help you in your professional life, but that wasn't among Covey's obvious intentions.
Not only does managing the project schedule help increase the chances of the work getting done on time, but it also makes it easier to adjust along the way as soon as it becomes clear that the deadline may need to be changed. When a project manager properly identifies who belongs in each group, they can then communicate with each individual in an appropriate manner. You should also have a well-organized system of directories and folders on your PC for filing information.
This will prevent your main directories from filling up with old files, but means that you can still recover them if needed. The other drawback with adopting an apologetic approach is that the requester may feel that your reasons for declining are tenuous, and doubt the reasons you have given. That person needs to be someone you trust, that is able to handle the responsibility and is equipped with sufficient knowledge to make informed decisions. All you need to do is ensure that every one in your team knows that the policies exist and that they are readily available to who ever needs them. Alternatively, they may wait until the pressure is really on before starting to take appropriate action. Management tasks relate to achieving results through other people and include activities such as planning, delegating work and reviewing results. If, in some cases delegating means that certain tasks aren’t done as well as you would do them, then this may represent a training opportunity.
Truckloads of books have been handed out by top executives who hope to make their employees more flexible than Hem, the intransigent character who bellows the title line when faced with changed circumstances.
While not clearly on the side of Theory Y, McGregor seems to lean toward the idea that management should ultimately set the workplace conditions to allow people to not only do well at work, but to want to do well.
Anyone aspiring to work specifically as a project manager – or any leader who wishes to be better at the project management roles that they take on – will benefit from learning more about the contents of the PMBOK Guide. This way you a void multiple interruptions as facts are gathered and you can make an Informed decision. Once the issue has been resolved ensure that the lessons’ learnt are identified and recorded so that procedures can be updated.
The book also has its share of detractors, in the form of parodies with names like "Who Cut the Cheese?" But Johnson, also the co-author of The One Minute Manager, is undoubtedly laughing all the way to the bank; Cheese is the bestselling business book of all time, with more than 20 million copies sold. 2 boils down to focusing on your goals — hasn't seemed to blunt the book's continuing popularity.

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