June 3, 2006



The days seem to be shorter for most persons who have to deal with multiple issues in an eight hour day. There never seem to be enough time to do the things that need to be taken care of. Even with an extended twelve hour day many seem unable to cope so for many of us, we are forced to work a sixteen hour day to stay on top of things.

Planning is an essential aspect of time management. An executive or team leader can no longer arrive at work and just find things to do. Use your diary to help plan your day. The new diaries allow persons to plan for a whole year, then months and weeks, right down to the day/date. Today, the computer is gradually taking over that function. There are not enough courses around in time management. Private sector associations need to offer short courses in this vital area of activity.

As we get involved in many areas of business and social activities, planning is essential. Success at what we do will largely depend on how effectively we plan. It is time to take a reality check. Are you getting enough out of my working day? Do you need to make adjustments in the times that you undertake certain tasks? Will starting the work day earlier help? Just ask yourself questions and demand answers, you can improve your present handling of your time and achieve more.

If you are going to be involved in shaping the future, meetings will feature prominently on your daily agenda as you seek to communicate your ideas to others. However, meetings need to be managed.I am convinced in many instances a lot could be done to shorten meetings. Most people distribute minutes of the previous meeting at the succeeding meeting. To get the best out of the current meeting, minutes of the previous meeting should be circulated well in advance. The minutes ideally should be circulated no later than seventy two hours after the meeting was held so there will be adequate time to deal with matters that were discussed and need follow up action.

The minutes of the previous meeting is really a reminder of what transpired at the meeting and becomes the reference point for action between meetings. If this simple task is done in a timely manner, matters arising out of the last meeting could be substantive. A first commitment is that people must arrive at meetings on time. It is now the norm that no meeting starts less than half hour late. Some persons have several meetings in a day. If the first one begins late then that person is likely to be delayed at each of the other meetings which results in a considerable loss of time. Every effort should be made to start meetings on time and should not last for more than two hours.

Some people believe that since they are taking their time to be at a meeting, they must be allowed to take cell calls during the meeting. Many will deal with the call without excusing themselves from the meeting. As a result, there is a temporary halt to the meeting. Then everyone believes that he or she has a right to speak on the subject even if repetitions are obvious. Statements like, I agree with John when he said …… and go on to repeat what John said. I don’t believe this is fair.

It is time that cell phone companies educate users through television spots on the functions of cell phones, especially how to put them in the Silent Mode. The cell phone is great for its users to keep in touch but it can become an irritant if misused. It is all about etiquette, respect for others.

Too many Executives are not effectively allocating their time to ensure balance between work and social interactions. It is a sore point that affects family relations. I sincerely hope that this article will be a wake up call for those who feel that they can get some more out of life by effectively managing their time. What about that family holiday? Try something new. Rather than the usual visit to family and friends overseas, try a cruise and spend quality time with the family. Renew your vows on the ship. After all live is not only about making money, it is about the quality of life you life you life and as a result the memories that you will leave behind.

To leaders within the public and private sectors, are you aware that you can greatly improve the quality of life of the people who contribute to your success and that of your organisation? Do you take time off to ask yourself the question – how can I improve the lives of those who contribute to the success of the organization? Just don’t just ask the question, demand answers and take action. You can light up your world and that of others, manage your time in the interest of all.

Keep the Faith and remember always that God is in Charge.

Email: eaharrisdestiny@gmail.com

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