Ralph Hodgson, an English poet ardently says, “Time, you old gypsy man, will you not stay, put up your caravan just for one day?” The wise people of the world always say, “Time and tide waits for none!” We all agree that time is money because it has a value. Every second counts in business, social, personal and political life. The frequency of success fluctuates depending on how effectively and efficiently the professionals manage and use their stipulated time. Can a professional every time say? , “Let by gones, be by gones.” or “Let it go at that” defying the importance of time that is one of the most precious elements of success.
Along with time management stress is very visible aspect at work. As a human being people hardly can avoid stress. Managing time under stress is a new challenge in the 21st century! The good news is that we can manage and use time productively even under stress and workload and turn the opportunities of every moment we come across in to business assets if we use the ‘KEY’. Time management is a part and parcel of effective leadership for efficient management. We can turn every moment in to a golden moment if we know the ‘KEY’. And this key is ‘Effective Time & Stress Management-the Key to Productivity and Success’.
Researchers have come up with many tools to use to bring more productivity and efficiency in time management. The following ‘ABC Model of Effective Time Management’ is a very simple, tested and trailed one. It works for many people. Certainly it will work for everyone.
Let’s discuss each of the ‘ABC Model’ of Effective Time Management concisely in the following:
(1) Awareness: Every moment becomes an opportunity when we become aware of its presence. Our beautiful life consists of moments or time. Do we know how many seconds we get everyday? 86,400 seconds per day! Now imagine if you receive 86,400/= taka daily at 12 midnight in your bank account with a condition that you can use the money by 11:45 pm, then the balance of the money will be gone! Again, at midnight your account is refilled with 86,400 taka and it goes on. What will you do? Are you excited, startled or shocked?
Yes. You may come up with many options to use the money. This is just a very simple analogy we are using here to create awareness. But it’s the fact. Think about the proper use of time you receive daily in your beautiful life! If you could at least use 10% to 15% (2.4 hrs to 3.6 hrs) of the whole day with an intention of performing 1 to 3 tasks productively or in a result-driven way according to your personal and professional vision in life, you would feel the differences! Are you getting slightly aware about the proper use and value of time? That’s what we need first before we think of using time efficiently and effectively-awareness of time! Think of 365 days, think of 5 years, 3 years 2 years or at least 1 year. Think outside the box. Calculate simply and slightly but think the biggest! Just create the exact awareness of time you need for your vision in life.
(2) Believe: Once you are aware of the presence of time and its value and importance for your vision in life, you are half way down the lane of success. Analyze how you spend your time at present based on the following diagram:
You can see that there are four quadrants in the diagram. Each quadrant has its own dimension and purpose. Quadrant-1 is labeled “Important & Urgent”. Quadrant-2 is labeled “Important but not Urgent”. Quadrant-3 is labeled “Not Important but Urgent” and finally Quadrant-4 is labeled “Not Important & Not Urgent”. If you look at the diagram in the above very carefully, you’ll agree that the more you spend your time at quadrant-2, the more you get result in your life. You have to believe it from now on that your purpose in life according to your personal and professional vision is to spend quality time as long as you live on this beautiful world. Other 3 quadrants are also part of our beautiful life, but if we believe firmly that we’ll spend time more at quadrant-2, life becomes more beautiful and manageable. Now we know about it. What’s the next?
If you really want to do it right from tomorrow, then you’ve to make a ‘to-do list’ for tomorrow’s 86,400 seconds! Select at least 3 tasks with the maximum possibility of getting their results. Make a task for planningfurther. Continue this practice for the next 7 days. On the 8th day make a plan for the next month by making a list of tasks or activities. Continue the same practice for the next 30 days. This continuation will become a habit for you.
(3) Continuation: We have to use some effective tools or device to put our awareness and belief in to practice or execution. We know it, we’ve to use it. Knowledge without its application is worthless! Let’s start using it-suppose from tomorrow you want to spend your time more at quadrant-2. If you really want to do it right from tomorrow, then you’ve to make a ‘to-do list’ for tomorrow’s 86,400 seconds! Select at least 3 tasks with the maximum possibility of getting their results. Make a task for planning further. Continue this practice for the next 7 days. On the 8th day make a plan for the next month by making a list of tasks or activities. Continue the same practice for the next 30 days. This continuation will become a habit for you. This habit always leads you to conviction and consequently becomes a part and parcel of your beautiful life. Write each task you plan. Use MS-Word, Excel or any other application software you feel comfortable with. Use your mobile phone, i-pad, notepad, laptop, computer or any electronic device you have but use the ‘to-do list’ for each day, month, year and decade (if possible!).
Continuation of the use of time management devices and tools with your awareness about the time quadrant you believe in will bring complete success in your personal and professional life. I call this approach ABC Model of effective time management. Every organization of any industry should make this model an essential part of their professional culture with more detailed customization. It will definitely bring more productivity and profitability for any organization. Are you managing your time effectively and efficiently?
Note: This article is based on a comprehensive training program by Microgenix BD Limited, on different soft skills such as
1. Professional Office Manner and Etiquette
2. Effective Business English and Communication-EBEC
3. Effective Time and Stress Management at work
4. Negotiation Skills for Professionals
5. Theory of Positivity: Real Beauty of Life
6. Customer Service Excellence
7. The Art of Selling
8. Effective Leadership & Efficient Management
9. Teambuilding for Workplace Productivity etc. for the sales and the management team of Microgenix BD Limited in learning partnership with Society for Leadership Skills Development. This article only focuses on Effective Time Management Skills at work!