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A Guide to Managing Time

1. The Vision Thing: Creating an Overview

To spend more time ‘doing the right thing’ you first have to know what the ‘right thing’ is. For this you will need an overview. This is a good time to ask yourself some questions:

Why am I here? Why does my organisation go to the expense of having me around? What do they expect in return?

Who are my customers? Who are the people to whom I deliver the results of all the time and effort that I put into this job and what do they expect from me? Customers may exist both inside and outside the organisation.

What do I deliver? What are the tangible things that I have to show for the time and effort that I put into this job? Remember that most people are not interested in how busy you are or how hard you work – they are only interested in what you deliver. The brownie points are in the results.

What do other people expect from me? Family, friends, colleagues. How do they see your role? How SHOULD they see your role?

What is important to me? What do I care about? What do I want to achieve? (To help with this, imagine that you are at your own retirement party, waiting to receive your gold watch. As you think back over your life and career what would you like to be able to say that you have done or achieved?)

Where do I want to be a year from now? And what do I need to do to get there. So what do I need to achieve next month? So what needs to be done next week?

Write some lists. Don’t rush it. Give yourself time to think.

Key Areas

When you are ready, gather it all together and sort them into sets. There are no special rules on how you do this – just group them according to how you feel they naturally fit together. Creating these groups or areas makes it easier to maintain an overview of what matters day by day and helps when sorting out priorities.

In the IPPS Time Management System these areas are referred to as key areas, because they contain your key results. See the user guide for more details.

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The Problem with Time

> 1. The Vision Thing: Creating an Overview
Doing the right thing

2. Priorities: First Things First
What needs to be done and what comes first

3. Working the Plan:
Making time for the important things

4. Delegation:
Getting more done through others

5. Procrastination:
Think positive and do it now!

6. Perfect, Perfect, Perfection:
Quantity versus quality - Knowing when to move on

7. Putting Time Management to Work:
So much for the theory, now for the practice