January 10, 2011

Resolution for Time Management

The holiday season is over. Last week personal resolutions were written for the new year and possibly organizational or department goals were set as well. If not, maybe it is time to start building resolutions or setting goals.

Time management is often a popular resolution/goal in every year. However, it is not always easy to develop new skills and it is often hard to break old habits. Many do not make their goal to change because they do not develop a plan for the change. Start by planning to attend training, finding a process that will work best for you, or buying a simple tool to begin. Cookie-cutter processes and planners don’t work for everyone so find something generic to start and get going. Then develop a system that works for you. Don’t buy an expensive day-planner or electronic gadget until you know the basics and understand what type of tool you need. Soon it becomes easier to select a tool for yourself or request as a gift for your birthday or next Christmas.
TAPP Steps in
Time Management book
For those that set objectives for better time management, whether for yourself or a group of people, think about the TAPP steps as a simple way to help you accomplish this new process to increase personal or group productivity. These steps include: Tasks that must get done each day, Appointments that should be met, Priorities that need to be set, and People which must be consider. Tasks can easily be accomplished with a simple To Do list updated daily. Appointments don’t require an App or fancy tool, just a calendar with plenty of space to write/key into. Priorities should be set by your personal rules or those of your team for what is high, medium, or low. People consideration means who can help with time management or those you want to spend more time with.

If you want to improve time management for a group or a department, then share the above ideas. Also consider meeting management training (such as the RARA Approach) to help teams work well when they get together physically or virtually to prevent problems. An introduction to project management may also be helpful if many team members are be part of multiple projects as it can help them better understand where they fit and the importance of establishing a critical path and being accountable. Also think about providing tools that make meeting planning or project handling easier.

Getting organized in the office or at home can also be a great way to improve time usage. However, this takes planning and prioritization as well. Understanding the basics of time management will help you understand what is important enough to be out and close as opposed to what should be stored away. Filing and file space is becoming less important as we become more digital in what we keep, but keeping things organized for easy access in the future will always remain key.

For more time management ideas, check the blog archives under Time Management label. Let’s get more ideas here - share your ideas for organization, time management, and how you would do that personally or for the group you work with in the comments below. Sharing your ideas helps us all to learn new ways to do things so that we can take what might work for use and try it out. If it works, if become integrated into each personal system. If it worked for you, it might work (or not) for another person.

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