A survey commissioned by the Franklin Covey Company reveals that 83 percent of Americans want to be more organized and nearly half of the respondents say they feel guilty about taking time off from work. Sixty-two percent often eat lunch and work at the same time.
There are many people convinced that if they could get more done at work, their lives would be a more balanced union of family, career, and leisure time. Jennifer White, success coach, says this is just not so. “No matter what you do, you can't manage time. You can't slow it down or speed it up. All you can do is control how you show up in time. " (Jennifer White, Success Coach).
With the understanding that all we can do is control how we show up in time, many people also make the mistake of thinking they must try to get more done in less time. Ms. White, Success Coach, says this only leads to more frustration and burnout.
Technology is a vital part of our society which helps us to work less and make more money, and this is especially true if a person is focused on saving time. Well, not exactly. The problem here is that technology allows other people to reach us at any time, any place, anywhere. We are consumed with information all around us every day due to technology. Email, pagers, fax machines, cell phones, laptops, PCs, and PDAs are staples in our lives just as much as the water cooler. Email boxes overflow. The fax seems to ring constantly. People are responding to 50 or more voicemails every day.
For example: The administrative staff used to handle airline reservations. Now most executives make their own. Many clerical tasks have been pushed up in organizations. This may not be such a good thing, and may be contributing to people's frustration with managing time. Sales reps design their own PowerPoint presentations. This was a task once performed by the graphics staff.
Ask yourself: Do you really need to carry your cell phone into the restaurant? I asked myself this question and the answer is yes for me. Reason is if a sale prospect goes into voice mail, sometimes my particular cell phone just tells me I got a message, and then erases the message. I rather carry the cell phone with me and take the call while I gobble down dinner and not miss the sale.
Even though technology was to make us a paperless society, this is not the case either. Technology helps us generate more paper. I feel more overwhelmed now working in a part-time home business than I did when I went to the office every day from 8:00 to 4:30. I have more technology at my fingertips, I am using it, and I do feel overwhelmed by it all. Yes, I do love all the information, but it overwhelms me and wears me out, and I have less time now than I did when working full time for someone else. I was at the office thinking if only I could work from my home and at any hour I chose, I could get so much done in a 24 hour period. This is not true at all. However, the 24 hour access to information I have is definitely still more a benefit than a curse. The overload of information takes more time to sort through. The trick is still to do less to achieve more, learn to spend my energy on the best information and get rid of everything else, and to focus upon work quality and not quantity.
Here are some things that may get in the way of your work productivity and in which you have some control over include:
What most people are looking for are organizational skills so they can work more efficiently and time management skills so they can have a personal life. You must realize that what works for one person does not necessarily work for another. One way to see how to improve is to see how you currently spend your time. Do a time analysis (if you can spare the time) of how you really spend your time at work and at home. You may be shocked to find out what really happens to your time. Some of the biggest time stealers at work are:
Other time stealers include:
If you are in upper management think about your own time-management skills. If you are not where you should be, then start with yourself with time management classes. This may help improve your delegation skills. It may be a waste of money for a company to send people at lower and middle management to time management classes when the people in upper management have poor skills.
Tips on prioritizing work:
Source: Abernathy, D. (1999, June). A Get-Real Guide to Time Management. Training & Development, 53(6), 22. Retrieved July 23, 2008, from Academic Search Premier database.
Written by: Connie Limon For more Time Management Articles and Tips visit http://smalldogs2.com/TimeManagementArticles For a variety of FREE reprint articles visit http://www.camelotarticles.com