Boss talk | DR PH RAO
T i m e M a n ag e m e n t
Do More with Less Tactfully
Photograph y: s radhakri sh na
ll of us, Bill Gates, Narayana Murthy, you and me, have 24 hours in a day. Not a second less or a second more. Why can’t we all achieve what they have achieved in the available 24 hours? Time management is more about managing ourselves to make use of the time available and less about managing time. Acquiring such skills can lead to personal as well as professional success. IT professionals are paid comparatively better than most of professionals from other sectors. This also means that they generate more revenue (per day/month) compared to others. Collaborating with partners located in diverse geographical areas and constant deadline often calls for changes in lifestyle like sleeping and eating at odd times and sitting in front of a computer terminal/laptop for long hours. This gives raise to a variety of health problems. Recent evidence indicates that burnout rate is high among IT professionals. It is also observed that an IT professional in India spends longer hours compared to those in countries like the USA, for similar kinds of assignments.
“An IT professional in India spends longer hours compared to those in countries like the USA on similar kinds of assignments” Good Scheduling is Key
Fifteen minutes of planning can produce an extra hour of time for utilisation. Schedule the most important but not urgent at the beginning of the day. Keep the lesser important and lesser urgent towards the end of the day. The ubiquitous ‘outlook’ on our computer can be gainfully used to schedule your activities for each day, with reminders. Once you schedule your activities for the day stick to them. Focus on the end results rather than on being busy. This also involves ability to ward off distractions and manage interruptions.
Fundamental principle of improving quality of time utilisation is to identify and avoid MUDA, a Japanese term for waste. Pareto Principle which means that 20 per cent of the activities we carryout produce 80 per cent of the output/results can be usefully applied here. The remaining 80 per cent of the activities account for about 20 per cent of the outputs or results. This is where MUDA lies. Prune them ruthlessly. Using an important-urgent matrix plan to move to high productivity and proactive tasks (important, not urgent quadrant) from (urgent–important, not important–urgent quadrants) and eliminate not urgent–not important tasks.
All said and done we are taking on too much. Is there no limit to what a person can achieve within a stipulated time? The key to come out of such situations is to learn how to say ‘yes’ to a person but ‘no’ to work tactfully. With the advent of IT, the physical and geographical barriers are broken down. Delegation of work is key. This could also facilitate teamwork. Askyour self these three questions: What do I want to do? When do I want to do? How well do I want to do?
“For such a conceptually oriented book, it made simple and enjoyable reading” title: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People WRITER: Stephen Kovey
The author is a Fellow (IIM-B) and CEO of Centre for Symbiosis of Technology, Environment & Management (STEM)
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