Of all the resources, time is the most previous resource. It is also the most essential resource as all work has to be done in time. Time is irreplaceable since if it is lost, it is lost forever. The effective executive is one who takes utmost care of time. He plans his work carefully, his priorities are well fixed and he knows to deal with time-wasters. He also ensures that he does not waste the time of his team members by keeping them waiting unnecessarily and holding meeting for a long period with substance.
In an age where more time is available then ever, many people that they just don’t have enough time. When work was more regulated, time was relatively fixed. Now that we treat time as a commodity, we do not get enough of it. This situation gets more complicated when organizations increasingly strive to less number of people with longer and harder work environment. However, people work in that situation because they want more income to meet their requirements.
Work of an effective executive demands concentration and completion of task in time. This is a matter of practice and self-discipline. An executive would not be able to concentrate unless he takes keen interest in his work and has the ability to reach the best possible decision in time. For thinking-efficiency, all clock hours are not identical. The hour when one’s mind in fresh and one can think lucidly is worth several hours when one feels fatigued and dejected. An effective executive reserve the hours of important work when he is fresh and normal. A good executive knows what is trivial and what is important. His allocation of time is based on relative importance of various matters.
Once in office, executives have to deal with complex issues and had hardly any time of their own. Their work, however, may be constantly interrupted by visitors who call on them often without prior appointment, by subordinates who want instructions and guidance and by telephone enquiries. Executives have to spend a good deal of time attending meetings of various types. If there are too many meetings, it is a sign of poor-organization and lack of coordination. Meetings should not take too much time of the executives. It should not be a lengthy one. Exception apart, meetings normally, should take 90 minutes.
(A) TIME SCHEDULING
Set realistic goal. It is essential to appreciate what one can actually achieve in a specific timeframe with available resources.
While planning, one should attempt to achieve maximum with complete efficiency without any compromise on quality.
Work should be segregated on the basis of urgency.
The given task should be placed in sequence as per importance, urgency and time schedule.
Systematic and sequencing planning will reduce undue pressure resulting into stress.
There should be provision for lead period while planning so that in the event of unexpected situation, there is time available to meet the target as per schedule.
The time required to achieve the target in time should be checked thoroughly using forward and backward calculations reasonably.
Plan only those tasks which you are able to take up and complete effectively.
Completion of various activities in time generally depends on the strategy and efforts put in to achieve them.
Assign sufficient time in your schedule for self-introspection on regular basis.
Value your time. Knowing the value of your time brings a sense of the worth with respect to the time. It makes you respect and value your time as well as other people’s time.
If you know the value of your time, it will help you to take up any activity keeping its real worth with regard to the monetary and non-monetary returns on the activity.
(B) TIME – KEEPING STRATEGY
Organize tome properly to avoid delay and failure.
Protect time because it is most important and once gone, it can not be called back.
Have time goals with complete clarity in purpose and initiate focused efforts to achieve them.
Efficiently use time to get maximum benefit within minimum time.
Use time tools and improve time skills which will help immensely to upgrade skill in goal setting, planning, prioritizing, and time keeping.
Follow up the body rhythm: We all have internal clock in our body. When there is clash between our body – clock time and external time, it creates physical disorder. Therefore, it is better to follow the body rhythm which is natural and normal.
(C) TIME KEEPING PRINCIPLES
Set achievable goals with clarity and get excited to achieve them.
Schedule activities with specific time-frame and get prepared to achieve.
You priorities must be very clear. This will give you confidence.
Instead of having a very tight time-schedule, it is better to have buffer time to remain a bit flexible if situation demands.
There should be breaks in between to avoid fatigue and concentrate more effectively.
Your performance must be completed in time with positive result to get you motivated and rewarded.
Your performance must be reviewed and you should be given feedback, if required.
Time is the most valuable resource. Do not spend it, invest it.
Always remember that your present time is the most important time available to you. Your future depends how gainfully you utilize the time.
(D) DAY TO DAY TIME KEEPING
Start your day with a list of activities for the day.
Check up your performance on the list of previous day’s activities and ensure that unfulfilled work of previous days, if necessary, are included in your list.
Spare time to unforeseen problems.
Keep your check list handy so that you can go through if immediately when needed without wasting your valuable time.
Keep things at your table systematically.
Avoid meetings those are not important.
Delegate your routine work to your subordinates. By this way you will develop them. However, support subordinates commit genuine mistake while discharging duties.
Priorities you work. Do one thing at a time and complete it before taking on the next task.
Don’t remain indecisive. Identify and deal with the source of your discomfort and take up matter promptly.
Prepare yourself in advance for meeting. Be focused and avoid time-consuming unwanted discussion. Be precise and to the point.