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Time Management (Part I)

Dr. Tesfai Haile, Managing Director of Institute of Training, Education and Consultancy (SMAP), gave an extensive briefing last Wednesday to employees of the Ministry of Information on Time Management. The briefing was important and timely, and I would like to share what Dr. Tesfai said with the audience of

Time management is an important aspect in every one’s daily activities. Use of time in an appropriate manner leads to success and contrary to that one remains empty handed without performing any thing. It is a daily phenomenon to hear some if not many complaining about not having enough time to finish what is required out of them.  Others also complain that due to excessive workload and have no time for personal life. The real problem is, however, not shortage of time but its ineffective use.

Time management is an art in which we apply technics that enable us do more work in less time and with better outcome. For that one has to know and understand the essence and meaning of what he/she is engaged in. Without knowing the subject matter we could not do things in less time and with better outcome. We spend hours moving around the bush for we don’t know what we are doing. And the application of time management has no room.

If one takes time to perform any thing beyond the time it has to take is certainly losing a big opportunity. If to finish one job actually has to take two hours and we spend five hours, the extra three hours are opportunity lost. And since time does not stop its rotation to compensate the time we lost it is gone forever. In such circumstances we become part and parcel of those time wasters.

Time wasters are those who take multiple works simultaneously and come up with nothing. Taking different assignments at one time deny one concentration to deal the assignment appropriately and finish one job properly. Or else, trying to finish them all within the rate of time given to finish one job properly, we end up with an ineffective result. Ambition is good but ambition to exercise of handling many jobs at one specific time is not well done job but creating a mess and not helping the organization one is working to.

There are also other factors that make one part of the time wasters. Those who take things as they happen without planning, those who find it difficult to get started on a difficult or unwanted job and inability to get started due to indecision on the part of the supervisors, or for personal reasons.

To become an effective time user one has to prioritize, organized and concentration in what he is doing. The first thing one should do is that know what to accomplish upon coming to office or in any work place. If one swamped in too many irrelevant meetings , reading documents that could be handled by others and spending too much time trying to do the “perfect” job at the expense other priorities, then we are time wasters.
How do we improve time management? First thing is that one has to identify what has to be done first and what next. This could be done by listing the priorities according to their importance. Mixing things would take one only to confusion and coming out with bad results.

On personal level one has to draw tasks that have to be accomplished on daily bases. The list should be listed in a way to much the notion first come first out. Activities that need attention have to be listed in accordance to their importance and take action accordingly. “I will do this tomorrow” is a killer perception. Many items could be complied and eventually become beyond our reach.  

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