Articles & Books for Improving
Your Skill at Time
Articles for Improving Time
Atkinson, Philip E. (April 1988). "What Is the Best Use of Your Time Right
Now? (452KB)" Management Services, v32n4, pp. 12-17.
Although time management can help managers plan their futures and their lives, they must
want to change their time management behavior to be successful. The Myers Briggs
Personality Indicator can be used to identify time management strengths and weaknesses. To
analyze time management behavior, 4 approaches can be used: 1. activity analysis, 2. added
value, 3. Right First Time, and 4. key activities. In one case study, the staff spent 50% of
work time redoing work, 45% inspecting the quality of their work, and 5% preventing errors.
Tripling the time spent on preventing errors helped the staff become more productive.
Analysis of key activities includes administrative, communication, and operational activities
among others. To achieve better time management, short- and long-term priorities need to
be assessed, a daily plan should be kept, and balance and flexibility should be maintained.
Other issues that should be addressed include procrastination problems, lack of assertiveness,
and mastering communication. Illustration.
Symonds, B. (May 22, 1989). "No, They Cant Stop Time, But They Can
Help You Manage It." Business Week, n3106, pp. 178-179.
The time management industry is helping people make more of their time. Time management
experts offer a commonsense approach toward organizing a person's life through strategic
time planning. This begins with enumerating long-term personal and professional goals. Daily
plans should be organized around activities that help obtain that goal. Stephanie Winston,
author of The Organized Executive, advices clients to isolate themselves from other demands
for an hour or more daily to concentrate on their number one priority. Time management
training is far better known for the advice it provides on how to deal with time wasters.
Winston claims that there are only 4 things a person can do with a piece of paper: throw it
away, refer it on to someone else, act on it, or file it. She also advises scheduling blocks of
time for returning telephone calls and making sure meetings are governed by a detailed
agenda, with each item assigned a specific time period.
for Improving Time Emphasis:
R., A. R. Merrill, & Merrill, R. R. 1996. First Things First: To Live,
to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy. Simon & Schuster (372 pages).
What are the most important things in your life?
Do they get as much care, emphasis, and time as you'd like to give them?
Far from the traditional "be-more-efficient" time-management book with
shortcut techniques, First Things First shows you how to look at
your use of time totally differently. Using this book will help you create
balance between your personal and professional responsibilities by putting
first things first and acting on them. Covey teaches an organizing process
that helps you categorize tasks so you focus on what is important, not
merely what is urgent. First you divide tasks into these quadrants:
Important and Urgent
(crises, deadline-driven projects)
Important, Not Urgent
(preparation, prevention, planning, relationships)
Urgent, Not Important
(interruptions, many pressing matters)
Not Urgent, Not Important
(trivia, time wasters)
Most people spend most of their time in quadrants 1 and 3,
while quadrant 2 is where quality happens. "Doing more things faster is no
substitute for doing the right things," says Covey. He points you toward
the real human needs--"to live, to love, to learn, to leave a legacy"--and
how to balance your time to achieve a meaningful life, not just get things
Which articles or books did you find helpful? Are there any additional articles, books, or
other resources you would recommend to others attempting to improve their skill at time
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