Time discriminates against no one. We all get 168 hours each week.
Time respects no one, either. No matter who you are or what you have to achieve, you get no more than that."Everybody seems to want more time. Unfortunately, this isn't possible," says management training specialist Pauline George. "It's not a case of managing time - time is a constant - but managing ourselves. So tough choices have to be made."
To make the choices, you don't have to mind your Ps and Qs, just your Ps, specifically what George calls "The Eight P's."
Here they are, with some tips:
- Purpose: Make priorities and objectives specific, measurable, realistic and scheduled. Write them down and review them. "Project lists are great," she said, but focus on results, not merely activities.
- Patterns: "Your habits are your key to management. Analyze your days to discover your habits. Ask others to tell you how you waste your time. They can see things we can't."
- Plans: "Many people stop after they plan; they don't schedule it. Make a `to-do' list every day. Those things that are scheduled have a better chance of working out."
- Parasites: These are such pernicious time-wasters as TV, phone calls, waiting for buses, interruptions and vapid chitchat. George suggested trying to eliminate one a week.
- Paperwork: Again, analyze it and "try to handle each piece of paper only once. Don't set it aside without taking appropriate action." If that means throwing it away, throw it away.
- Partners: "We're in this together. Be a good listener; it saves lots of time and prevents many problems. Show people you respect their time. Be on time, be prepared, deliver results on time and don't interrupt so much. The Golden Rule is an excellent idea."
- Procrastination: "Admit it when you're procrastinating. Stop rationalizing and you'll be more likely to act. Learn to do it now, and do unpleasant things before pleasurable ones. Like your mother told you, `Eat your spinach first, then your dessert.' "
-Personal: Basically, be good to yourself. Enough rest, a balanced diet and regular exercise can increase energy and decrease tension and stress.