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A Guide to Managing Time

7. In Summary: Putting Time Management to Work

The black art of time management can probably summarised in just two words: FOCUS and BALANCE.

Focus on what is important and on the results that you need to deliver. And stay focused, even when it gets busy and when you are distracted by everything that is going on around you.

Balance the need to be flexible and accessible with the need to get things done. Balance other people’s needs with your own priorities. Balance the need to react to the urgent with the need to make time for the important.

A programme to get you started

Where to start? Try doing it by numbers:

1. Create your overview of what is important and what needs to be achieved and sort them into key areas.

2. Break this down into do-able tasks and write a list of key tasks for each key area.

3. Sort out the priorities. What needs to be done this month? Therefore what needs to be done this week? Therefore what needs to be done today?

4. So, what Must be done today (probably because it is urgent), what Should be done today (because it is important) and what Could be done today, if time allows?

5. Which part of the day is the best time to work on your key priorities. How can you protect this time?

6. Start reminding everybody why you are there and what your real job is, so as to make it easier to say No when the time comes.

7. Think delegation. Who has the ability to do what? What do they need to learn and how are you going to approach it?

8. Don’t procrastinate! Do the worst things first and remember that the hardest thing to do is to start – it is much easier to keep going once you have started.

9. Avoid perfection. Once something is fit for purpose then finish it and move on.

A quick commercial for IPPS

We have tools that can help you to put all of this into practice. This does not of course relieve you of the need for effort and self-discipline, but at least it can provide the compass that shows you the way and reminds you of what you should be doing.

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Sections

Introduction
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