james hardie siding lakemoor vinyl siding installation round lake beach hardie plank siding lake forest concrete siding cook county vinyl siding installation riverwoods .. Chicago Drug testing

Time Management: Analysis is the Key to Mastery

If you're like most people, you want to get better at managing your time, whether at work or at home. The question is, do you know where to start?

Unless you have a clear idea of where you are right now, no road map is going to help you get to your destination. That's why, before you can think about managing your time well, you need to analyze how you're using your time today.

Let's backtrack a bit. Have you ever made statements like these?

"I'll come over in a minute."
"Just give me a couple of minutes to get dressed and finish breakfast."
"I'm on my way; I'll be there in two minutes."

If you think about it, all the above statements are probably false. There's no way most folks will get dressed and finish breakfast in two minutes. And arriving at your destination in a minute or two is usually quite unlikely.

Yet we make such statements regularly. That's because we often do not realize the amount of time we actually take to finish certain tasks.

To get a better grip on your time usage patterns, try and estimate the time you take for the following activities.

* Draft a letter to a customer
* Look through a file and sign it
* Have a cup of coffee
* Hold a meeting to brief your team
* Confer with your boss
* Prepare a presentation to senior management
* Lead a seminar
* Chat with colleagues
* Read emails
* Respond to emails
* Read through a one page letter

Feel free to add to the list above. Include activities you do regularly.

Have your time estimates ready? Here's what to do next.

Pick out the three fairly time consuming activities you do repeatedly. Get a stopwatch and time yourself when you do those activities. Take care not to try to speed up those tasks while you're timing them. Just work as usual.

Now compare the results with your estimates. Surprised? Most people are, when they discover that doing certain tasks takes much longer than they imagined.

The previous exercise had one goal -- to convince you that you need to take some effort and find out how you actually use your time.

Your next step is to maintain a running log of all your activities and the start and end times of each. Do this for a full week. Don't stop and analyze your performance in between.

You can get your secretary to help you do this. But it works just as well if you keep the records yourself.

It's not important to get your timing down to the microsecond! Just note down the approximate start and end-times of each activity, in serial order as you do them. The objective is to get a snapshot of what you do and how long it takes you to do them.

At the end of one full working week, sit down with your logs. Make a list of each of the tasks you do. Jot down the amounts of time you took to do them, for each day of the week.

Which are the repetitive activities? Which ones consume the most time? Are the tasks that consume the maximum time also the tasks that contribute the most to your performance? If not, is there any way you can eliminate those tasks -- perhaps by delegating them?

Are you taking on work that is not yours to being with? If so, perhaps you need to say no more often.

Take the time to think through what your log reveals about your work habits -- and about you. By doing so, you've taken a big step towards managing your time excellently. Repeat this process every few months and you'll get far better results that others whose notion of time management is limited to writing a to-do list.

Burt Carlson is a top corporate executive whose passion is helping people get more out of life by managing their time better. He has written on time management and work, motivation, getting organized for better results and many other topics.

In The News:

Hey, Free Agent, Did You Eat Your Breakfast Today?

And when you finally sat down to eat breakfast, was... Read More

Organization Tips That Add More Hours To Your Day

One of the most common complaints that small business owners... Read More

Whats Keeping You At The Office (9 Tips To Get Home Quicker)

"Work smarter, not harder" is a clich? that has darted... Read More

Time Management -- Urgent vs. Important

"It's just been one of those days?I can't seem to... Read More

Tips to Manage Your Time

Time and money are both very important in business. Yet,... Read More

Save Your Time - Delegate!

Frustration is when an obstacle blocks your ability to achieve... Read More

Handling Procrastination

"TIME CANNOT BE 'MANAGED.' THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF TIME MANAGEMENT... Read More

5 Days to A Simpler Life!

Of all the Attraction Principles, the most popular class I... Read More

Organize Your Time

Most people want to start a home-based business to make... Read More

Busy, Busy, Busy

?busy, busy, busy, busy, busy?busy, busy, bus? OK, slap me... Read More

7 ways To Win The Time Crunch

Are you working a "day job" while building your home-based... Read More

What Would Save You Time?

We all get overwhelmed from time to time, and sometimes... Read More

Time Management: Set Yourself Up For Success

Any habit of mind or body that interferes with taking... Read More

Reading -- 10 Ways to Find The Time

Why Read?It's been said that there are three kinds of... Read More

9 Business Time Management Skills You Need To Succeed

Do you have plenty to do, but don't have enough... Read More

How A Simple Four-Letter List Can Make or Break Your Business

One of the biggest problems most people have when it... Read More

The Keepers of Time

I give presentations on organizational skill building as it relates... Read More

3 Ways To Do More With Less Time

We live in a world where more is expected of... Read More

Self Improvement and Prioritising

The ability to be able to set priorities and deal... Read More

Taking Time Off For Your Business

As a business owner, wouldn't it be great if you... Read More

TIME, The Undervalued Resource

We are all born equal! We all have the same... Read More

Focus on One Thing at a Time to Get the Job Done

All too often we can feel overwhelmed by the amount... Read More

Will Your Epilogue Be ? I Got All My Emails Done?

Work life balance is the new Holy Grail; that search... Read More

Making the Best Use of Your Time

Time - it is the one thing that we are... Read More

Get More Done at Your Office: Focus on These Eight Areas for Increased Productivity

Your productivity depends on good tools and effective environments, and... Read More

led lighting wholesalers led manufacturer usa Pete's produce ..
led lighting wholesalers led manufacturer usa Pete's produce ..