|Time Management Information|
"TIME CANNOT BE 'MANAGED.' THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF TIME MANAGEMENT IS A BIT OBSCURE. THE ONLY THING THAT CAN BE MANAGED IS YOUR ACTIVITIES WITHIN THAT TIME."
I am quite confident I have never had an original idea in my entire life. What I have done, however, is create new ways of expressing old ideas. In this respect, I now invite you to approach, with a new perspective, the way you manage your activities.
Need-to, Ought-to, Can-do
Say it a few times to yourself: "Need-to, Ought-to, Can-do." Tongue-twisting aside, it represents three categories, within which falls everything that you are presently capable of. (Any activity that you are not presently capable of would perhaps fall into a forth category of "Can't-do," and yet I would submit that if you are spending much time considering what you cannot do, you are not only mismanaging your time-you're throwing it away!)
Within the Need-to category would be everything that must be done in a given day or week, the absence of which would lead to a significant negative result. Showing up to work, feeding the dog, bathing-these fall clearly within this category. The next category, Ought-to, includes all activities that, if completed, would likely create a positive overall result. Returning phone calls on time, getting adequate sleep, and keeping your car maintained are such examples. Finally, the Can-do category represents everything else (again excluding what is beyond your present capacity). Activities within this category have either been previously judged as not worth doing, or have yet to be judged at all. In other words, you have not, as of yet, determined it reasonable to place such an activity within the Ought-to or Need-to categories.
An example may help illustrate the concept: Suppose I've just discovered that my friend is looking for a place to stay for the week while he's in town. I do live in a home, so this prospective activity is a Can-do, simply because it exists as a possibility. He then tells me that he is bringing several expensive bottles of wine as gifts for whomever he ends up staying with. Assuming I like wine, and all else being equal, this activity is now an Ought-to. At some point before he arrives in town, I confirm with him that I would like him to stay for the week. The event is now a Need-to; as to back out of the arrangement would cause a loss of friendship.
Feel free to use your own examples-you'll find that everything possible does, in fact, meet one of these three criteria. This thereby sets a foundation for the prioritization of your daily and weekly activities. And yet, this article is on the topic of procrastination, prioritization's nasty cousin, so we're not done yet.
The Need-to's must, without question, be completed. These have never really been a problem-there's simply no room to procrastinate. At the other end, the Can-do's are not relevant here because you can only procrastinate what has been judged as worth doing. What we are left with, therefore, are the Ought-to's. And you'll find quite consistently that the Ought-to's are giving you all of your problems when it comes to putting things off. These are the things that you know you should do, and yet, they often do not have a strict deadline, nor would failing to complete them lead to any immediate or significant detriment. What is noteworthy, however, is that over time, their combined significance does indeed lead to great significance. In the end, the direction of that significance (positive or negative) all rests on your ability to handle them timely and effectively.
Detailed prioritization is vital--If you are unwilling to accept that, you must not truly want to improve. Step #1 is to schedule your Need-to's-they are almost always time sensitive. Step #2 is to address your Ought-to's, and they will fall within one of three sub-categories:
(a) Do Now!
(b) Do Later, strategically!
Ought-to's should always be done immediately, unless doing so at a later time would be strategically more valuable and more efficient, or unless the activity has been inaccurately defined as an Ought-to in the first place. Frequently, we categorize activities as Ought-to's for reasons that do not logically support the claim. When you have isolated instances where your rationale was incorrect, don't belabor the issue; just eliminate the task from your consideration! Of those that are rationally based, it is worth repeating that the only reason you choose to complete an activity at a later date is because it makes more sense to do it at that time than to do it now. Perhaps the task has a prerequisite that needs to be addressed first. In any case, if you cannot find reasonable grounds for doing it later, you should do it now or not at all.
Such a policy is uncomfortable at first. It requires judgment, which a procrastinating mind loathes. And while the very nature of procrastinating is to avoid judgment at all cost, if you will apply this model to your daily activities, you will find that judgment is actually quite liberating, and that prioritization of your activities will shift from a challenge to second-nature.
© 2004 Matthew S. Clement, All rights reserved
Matthew S. Clement is a financial planner and investment advisor representative with Financial Network Investment Corporation, member SIPC. He provides holistic wealth management and retirement planning to individuals and businesses. He can be reached in New York at (845) 942-8578, or by email: ClementM@FinancialNetwork.com.
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
There are times, when I am driving in my car being passed by so many other cars speeding along, that I could swear there is an emergency somewhere and I wasn't invited. It seems everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere.
Everythings Blurry Except For You
Riding the subway home yesterday, my typically silent car was enlivened by two young girls and their mothers who hopped on. The girls, 7 years old or so, immediately danced over to the upright pole in the middle of the aisle and started twirling around it.
Prioritize with Two Questions
"Because there will always be something more to do, we need to consciously choose what we are doing."-- Helen KsypkaWhy is it such a challenge to prioritize?We have enough to-dos to last for a lifetime.
7 Reasons to Take Breaks at Work
My job in Chicago began with three months of probation.I was petrified to leave my desk.
How To Manage Your Time
I would like to touch upon a subject that it is not too often included as part of a home business course, tutorial, ebook or web site and I feel it is vital to the success of your home-based business.What am I talking about?I am talking about Time Management.
If Only Your Brain Was the Size Of That Of an Ant You Could Easily Implement Habits
A year and a half ago I was introduced to something called Swarming or Swarm intelligence.A big telecommunication company was actually mimicking ants to improve the performance of some of their products.
What To Do When Youre Short On Time And Long On Need!
Everyday life can present us with opportunities to make us squirm. Countless numbers of tasks that we are juggling can cause dead lines to make that big swishing sound as they go flying by us.
Time Management Training - A Necessary Investment or A Waste Of Money?
Many organisations view time management training as something they'll spend their money on, only if they have to. Usually when pruning the company or department budget, training is often the first area that gets the chop.
TIME, The Undervalued Resource
We are all born equal! We all have the same 24 hours in a day as Oprah Winfrey has the difference is how we choose to spend our time. No matter how you dissect this concept, there could only be 1440 minutes or 86,400 seconds at any given 24.
Shifting Priorities Are The Norm
Years ago when I started in this business, it seemed many clients had difficulty identifying their priorities. This isn't as true today as it was then.
9 Proven Principles for Increasing Productivity, Profit and Peace of Mind
Do you feel guilty about all the publications you purchase but never read -- or the articles you read with great ideas or opportunities you never implement? Are you spending time recreating marketing materials because you cannot find what you wrote the preceding month or year? Do you run out the door for an appointment at the last minute because you could not find your keys or the directions you needed to get where you are going? Are you frequently feeling tired and overwhelmed? Do the people you care about express frustration at your disorganization or want to spend more time with you? If so, "getting organized" should be high on your priority list!One of the continual frustrations in my career as a professional organizing consultant has been people's misconceptions about what it means to be "organized." Visions of unrealistically tidy desks and impossible mandates such as "Handle a piece of paper only once" conjure up feelings of frustration and impossibility.
Your Most Important Appointment
An appointment is simply a mutual agreement to meet with someone at a specific time.You set appointments with doctors, dentists, lawyers, accountants, contractors and hair stylists, just to name a few.
Time Management: How To Get More Done
If you can regularly ask yourself "Am I regularly and consistently working on those items that will move me towards my clearly defined goals?" and honestly answer "Yes" then you are probably doing ok.If not, here are a few time wasters to be aware of and some strategies for protecting your time (priorities).
Procrastination: Why We Do It and How to Change
PROCRASTINATION: You've known about it since high school or college, when everybody boasted about it. Everyone put off papers for a basketball game or a night on the town.
Get More Done at Your Office: Focus on These Eight Areas for Increased Productivity
Your productivity depends on good tools and effective environments, and on using them both well. It can be overwhelming to get your office into shape and still get your work done.
You Cant Buy Time
Our daily lives are inundated with a crammed to-do list. We are often rushing throughout our day trying to keep up with ourselves.
Time Management - Honor Your Time and Energy
Your time and energy are the two most precious gifts that you have. Evaluate each month where you are placing your time and energy.
Time Management: How To Manage Your Time So Your Home Business Will Flourish
If you operate any kind of home business, you must have become familiar about the difficulty in managing your time effectively.Here are some time management insights to help you succeed in your home business.
Time and Life, Bit by Bit
Looking out through my picture window during a recent winter storm, I felt like I was in a giant snow globe. Big, fluffy snowflakes were falling, covering everything with a nice wintry blanket.
Vilfredo Paretos Principle: The 80-20 Rule: 80% of Results are Produced from 20% of Efforts
Vilfredo Pareto's Principle, or The "Pareto Principle," is more commonly known as the 80-20 rule. It suggests that a ratio of approximately 20% to 80% can be found as an effective measure for most things in life.
|home | site map|