Time management

3x puncte

categorie: Management

nota: 9.00

nivel: Facultate

Dwelling on the lists
According to Sandberg, task lists "aren't the key to productivity [that] they're cracked up to be". He reports an estimated "30% of listers spend more time managing their lists than [they do] completing what's on them".

This could be caused by procrastination: by prolonging the planning activity, the individual avoids the tasks he should be doing by cre[...]
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Dwelling on the lists
According to Sandberg, task lists "aren't the key to productivity [that] they're cracked up to be". He reports an estimated "30% of listers spend more time managing their lists than [they do] completing what's on them".

This could be caused by procrastination: by prolonging the planning activity, the individual avoids the tasks he should be doing by creating the illusion that he's still necessarily preparing for them. This is akin to analysis paralysis. As with any activity, there's a point of diminishing returns. For a task system to be efficient and effective, the user must recognize this, conquer his or her procrastination, and focus on completing the tasks.

Rigid adherence
Hendrickson asserts that rigid adherence to task lists can create a "tyranny of the to-do list" that forces one to "waste time on unimportant activities". Again, the point of diminishing returns applies here too, but toward the size of the task. Some level of detail must be taken for granted for a task system to work.

Rather than put "clean the kitchen", "clean the bedroom", and "clean the bathroom", it is more efficient to put "housekeeping" and save time spent writing and reduce the system's administrative load (each task entered into the system generates a cost in time and effort to manage it, aside from the execution of the task). The risk of consolidating tasks, however, is that "housekeeping" in this example may prove overwhelming or nebulously defined, which will either increase the risk of procrastination, or a mismanaged project.

Listing routine tasks wastes time. If you are in the habit of brushing your teeth every day, then there is no reason to put it down on the task list. The same goes for getting out of bed, fixing meals, etc. If you need to track routine tasks, then a standard list or chart may be useful, to avoid the procedure of manually listing these items over and over.

To remain flexible, a task system must allow adaptation, in the form of rescheduling in the face of unexpected problems and opportunities, to save time spent on irrelevant or less than optimal tasks.
To avoid getting stuck in a wasteful pattern, the task system should also include regular (monthly, semi-annual, and annual) planning and system-evaluation sessions, to weed out inefficiencies and ensure the user is headed in the direction he or she truly desires.
If some time is not regularly spent on achieving long-range goals, the individual may get stuck in a perpetual holding pattern on short-term plans, like staying at a particular job much longer than originally planned.

The four generations of time management
Stephen R. Covey offers a categorization scheme for the hundreds of time management approaches that are on the market today.
First generation: reminders.Second generation: planning and preparation

People in the second generation use calendars and appointment books. They will note where meetings are held and identify deadlines; this is sometimes even done on a computer. As opposed to the first generation, the second generation plans and prepares, schedules future appointments, and sets goals. This in turn saves their time.

Third generation: planning, prioritizing, controlling
Third generation time managers prioritize their activities on a daily basis. They tend to use detailed forms of daily planning on a computer or on a paper-based organizer. This approach implies spending some time in clarifying values and priorities.

Fourth generation: being efficient and proactive
Author Stephen R. Covey refers to his approach in First Things First as the 4th generation of time management and emphasizes the difference between urgency and importance in planning. For example: some people may go their entire lives completely missing out on important things (like spending time with their children before they have grown up) because it was never "urgent." The point is not to ignore urgent things, but to embrace important things without waiting for them to become urgent.

Urgency can be deceptive. It can make some unimportant things appear to be important. Also, making time for important things may require spending less time on unimportant things, regardless of their urgency.

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