Leader Volume 9, Number 11
Most high schools
and community colleges offer intern programs for their students.
The student is assigned to a real-life organization for 10-20
hours per week. They are typically unpaid but do earn academic
credit and make great contacts, and the organization gets an
"extra pair of hands." The person who is assigned the
intern can now delegate any number of things to the intern to free
up time for more productive matters. It's a "win-win"
deal for both.
It would be great
if we could plan our day the night before and then make that plan
happen as scheduled. The real world is different. We have to deal
with interruptions. Interruptions are unanticipated events that
come to us via the telephone (any of the electronic stuff:
beepers, pagers, email, etc.) or in person. Many interruptions are
important and are what we may be paid to handle. However, many
interruptions have little or no value to our responsibilities. Run
an Interruptions Log for about a week. List every interruption as
it occurs and rate its value to you. A = crucial, B = important, C
= little value, D = no value. After the week of logging them in,
review the list and take action to eliminate the repetitive C and
D interruptions and re-capture some wasted time.
management, for the most part, is when the deadline has sneaked up
upon you and robbed you of choice.
You have to respond and you are a slave to the clock.
Crisis management is generally poor time management because you're
rushing; the quality of your performance suffers, your stress
level is elevated and, most important, you are often having to go
back and re-do what was done in the first place. "If you want
to manage it, measure it." Run a Crisis Management Log for a
week. After encountering every crisis, log it in on a piece of
paper. After a week of accumulating the data, go back through
every crisis that occurred and ask yourself, "Which one of
these could have been avoided?" and start to take corrective
steps to stop their recurrence and buy back some
"smarter" time for your weeks ahead.
person reads about two hours per day at a rate of about 200 words
per minute. (We get more information exposures in one day today
than people in the year 1900 received in a lifetime.)
Speed-reading is a simple skill that is easy to learn and improves
with consistent practice. The average person can easily double
their reading rate and thereby cut their reading time in half or
double the volume of reading material they can go through in the
same amount of time.
"A stitch in
time saves 9." Every grandmother knows this. Every minute of
planning will save you nine minutes in execution. Walt Whitman,
the poet, said it best, "The most powerful time is when we
are alone, thinking about what we are to do." Daily Planning
helps us to focus on what is really crucial and important, and
permits us to identify time wasters in advance, to avoid them, and
use that time more productively.