Management Matters: Time Management

Wasting time is costly

Wasting time is one of our most costly activities despite the fact that each of us can do something about it if we try. There is no such thing as “not enough time.” The same amount of time is available to all of us; some people just use their time better.

Plan each morning or the night before. Since time is valuable, you should figure out how to get the most from it. A few minutes each morning spent planning your day can make you more efficient as well as increase the amount of work you can get done. The executive who accomplishes much usually has his or her time planned days ahead. You do not need to go to that extent, but you can decide daily how you will use your time and you can also adopt timesaving habits.

Time management is similar to troubleshooting. Good time management is similar to good troubleshooting on the aircraft. Can you troubleshoot a technical problem on the aircraft without proper planning? The best troubleshooter will spend time in the cockpit with system diagrams before using any tools. The worst one will start swapping components without thinking or planning. Poor troubleshooting results are very costly, so is poor time management.

Start with the one that is most on your mind. When you have several jobs to do start with the one that is most on your mind. The reasoning behind this is logical, your effectiveness and efficiency are not the best when you are concerned or worried, and so you should try to relieve such feelings as soon as you can. You will be able to do a better job on your other tasks. If you have a disciplinary step to take with one of your people, do it as soon as possible. If some dirty or unpleasant work faces you, handle it early to get it out of the way.

Give priority to requested items by others. Always give high priority to a job that someone has requested of you. Doing work that your boss has requested usually should be put ahead of all jobs you need to do. After satisfying the boss, give attention to jobs that your people have asked for. Work that needs to be done to satisfy only yourself should be your last choice.

Always be punctual. Being punctual is an excellent way to get in the habit of using time effectively. Another one is to avoid procrastination with tasks that can be done quickly and without much effort. Take advantage of the time during the day when you are waiting. Use this time to read and think out the problem. Carry a notebook or pad with you so that you can write down a thought or idea that you want to remember.

For slow starters, complete one job at a time. If you are a slow starter, you probably waste a lot of time. You can overcome this problem by planning or laying out your work the night before so that you don’t have to look for things or make decisions the first thing in the morning. Another way to solve the slow start problem is to begin work on a partially completed job instead of tackling a new one. You can use this idea with your slow starters in the office or hangar. In the afternoon, start them on some project that will arouse their interest but cannot be finished that day. They will pick it up the next morning and get going easier.

Keys to using your time effectively

Do you want to accomplish more during the day? Here are 10 ways to be more efficient:

1. Organize. Organize your work area including your desk, equipment, records, files, toolbox, machines, and anything else you use in doing your work. When everything is in place and you know where each item is, you will never suffer the frustration of looking for it. You will be able to finish a job much quicker.

2. Think before you start. Pause a bit before you start a job to make sure you have all the information, materials, and tools you will need to finish it. This checking beforehand will enable you to complete a job without an interruption to get something you need.

3. Look for better ways. Look continually for easier and faster ways of doing work. The sooner you discover them, the sooner you will be able to save time.

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