Time is so limited that we need to use it effectively. But what seems to be an effective one, looks like a waste of time (a waste of time) to another. Let’s see how to use your time in full (to make the most of your time).
What is «time management» or «time management» (time management)? This is the process of planning and training skills of conscious control of time spent on certain activities (spent on specific activities), especially in order to increase efficiency (to increase effectiveness) and efficiency (productivity).
Time Management — a system (system), consisting of the processes (processes), tools (tools), techniques (techniques) and methods (methods), which allows for maximum concentration on the task in the most efficient use of time and effort.
We need to learn to manage time, which we have, not only at work but also at home. If you can manage time, your daily life will be much easier. Knowing what to do to make your life less stressful (less stressful) and more productive (more productive).
One of the interesting moments at work — that’s what people think about time differently. For example, for some — a brief conversation at work — this is a valuable activity that helps build and improve relationships (to build and improve work relationships) and increase success. For others — a short conversation — it’s a waste of time and a distraction from doing things (a distraction from getting things done).
The existence of several views on the situation says that people have different priorities (different priorities), which can lead to misunderstandings and conflict (can lead to misunderstandings and conflict). Think about your opinion on this subject, read the article and compare tips on how to better manage time.
We manage time
Time — not an unlimited resource, and they must be managed effectively. So easy to get distracted at work (to get distracted at work) and lose track of time (lose track of time): to your email box comes an interesting e-mail (an interesting email drops into your inbox), a colleague looks on the door of your office (a colleague pops her head around the door of your office), or if you decide to have a cup of coffee, which leads to a «useful conversation on networking» (a useful networking conversation) in the cafeteria, it costs you forty-five minutes.
Here are some recommendations on how best to achieve the efficiency of time (time efficiency) at work:
- Create a list (create a to-do list). Do not be lazy in the morning (or evening before) write down what you want to achieve (to achieve) during the working day. This creates focus and energy to do everything planned.
- Set your priorities (prioritize and reprioritize). Decide which tasks are important and start with them. Often, people shifted down the list of things to do (push important tasks down their list), simply because they do not like them to do. During the day, check whether you need to change priorities (whether you need to change your priorities).
- Just start to work (just start working). One of the reasons why we do not do the job — it’s because it seems too complicated and insurmountable (overwhelming). Simplify the more complex tasks by breaking them into subtasks (into subtasks) with real deadlines (realistic time frames). And do not push yourself too much to achieve in a short time.
- Know the time of its maximum efficiency (the time when you work best). Some of us — the owl (night owls) and like to work at night (to burn the midnight oil). Others prefer the early morning, inspired by a cup of strong coffee (spurred on by a cup of strong coffee). Knowing your working rhythm will effectively perform the job.
- Get familiar with the e-mails. Emails — perhaps the greatest moment of distraction from work (the biggest distraction from work). Turn off the sound alerts (the sound alert) electronic messages. If something is really important, the sender will call you back. Teach yourself to check e-mails every hour and to respond to the most urgent only after the implementation of the most important tasks (high-priority tasks).
With respect to time
Almost everyone will tell you that controls the time in one way or another. But the fact that people have different understanding of time. It is important to understand the differences and learn to communicate very clearly. Edward T. Hall (Edward T. Hall), American anthropologist (anthropologist), explored the cultural differences in relation to the time and came to the new concepts of «monohronik» (monochronic) and «polihronik» (polychronic). These concepts are now widely used to describe the fundamental directions of the person in terms of time and professional life:
- Monohroniki. So people tend to be highly structured (highly structured) and focus on the time (time-focused). They divide their lives into separate tasks and perform them one by one. Scheduling (scheduling), punctuality and fulfillment of deadlines (meeting deadlines) mean a lot to them, since it is, in their view — the most professional approach to doing things. These are the people who are the first to mention the failure to complete the terms of the project (missing a deadline), will look at the clock and say that late. They prefer (give priority) structures, and the time frame (time frames) and are less interested in a brief conversation. They are happy to tell you that you’re five minutes late for an appointment, even if it causes discomfort or confusion (discomfort or embarrassment).
- Polihroniki. These people tend to do several tasks simultaneously (multitasking), they are relaxed about time. They can work on several things at the same time juggling (juggling) the schedule of tasks and priorities. They appreciate the spontaneity and creativity (spontaneity and creativity). For such people, the preservation of harmony (harmonious relationships), for example, by a short conversation is as important as the implementation deadlines of the project.
When the people of the two types there is very high probability of ambiguity (misperception) and misunderstandings (misunderstandings). Monohroniki may decide that polihroniki unprofessional (unprofessional) and chaotic (chaotic). But polihroniki, in turn, can quickly come to the conclusion that monohroniki prone to a lack of creativity (lack of creativity) and the manifestation of the desire to command.
Who you are?
So, here are a few examples of the characteristics of these people. Which of the following descriptions fit you?
- They like to focus on doing one task.
- Concentrate on the end of the task.
- It is believed that the timing of the project and the plan is important.
- They like to come to the meeting on time.
- Prioritize the time and terms of tasks.
- Often they perform many things at once.
- I do not mind to be interrupted while doing things.
- It is believed that the timing of the task may change.
- Tolerance of lateness to meetings.
- For them, the priority is people and relationships.
To work effectively with other people (and of course, your business partners from other countries or foreign counterparts), we need to understand how they relate to the time and, ideally, it is desirable that they understand how we argue. There are two basic strategies (main strategies), which we can use to build rapport (mutual understanding) over time — is to speak and ask questions:
- Express. This strategy implies a discussion of your preferences and needs with respect to time is open for people to understand your expectations. For example:
I would prefer leaving things the way they are, as I think it’s too early to plan in detail. — I would prefer to leave things as they are, because I think it is too early to plan in detail.
Let’s meet around 10 sharp. If you’re a little late, it is no problem. — Let’s meet at exactly 10. If you’re a little late, do not worry.
- Ask a question. Under this strategy, you need to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers, which gives the source. For example, questions might be:
Do you think we need to push hard to complete this part of the project? — Do you think we should vigorously promote the completion of this part of the project?
Are we going to have problems, if we are a little late with this part of the project? — We will have a problem if we are a little late with this part of the project?
If the answers to these questions are positive, then, in all likelihood, you are dealing with someone quite structured and focused on time. If the answer is no, your co-worker may be a relative polihronikom.
You can ask some questions to understand what the other person is thinking. For example, at a meeting you have heard this statement:
We need to make sure we complete this part of the project on time. — We need to make sure that we have finished this part of the project on time.
You can specify its meaning and to understand what type of people you’re dealing with.
Ways to clarify the concept of time
|Type of issue||Clarifying questions||Answer monohronika||Answer polihronika|
| Why do you say that?
(Why do you say it?)
| I think it is crucial to always be on time.
(I think this is extremely important — always keep up.)
| It is not always important, but there are several key customers waiting for the result.
(This is not always important, but there are a few key customers, who are waiting for the result.)
| I am sure you understand that we can not always complete on time, can we?
(I’m sure you understand that we can not always finish on time, is not it?)
| Sure, we can. We should always complete projects on time.
(Of course, we can. We should always finish projects on time.)
| No, but this milestone is very important.
(No, but this step is very important.)
| Do you mean this specific part of the project?
(You mean this particular part of the project?)
| No, I mean every part of the project.
(No, I mean every part of the project.)
| Yes, you are right. I mean this specific part. There are other parts that are less important.
(You’re right. I mean this part. The other parts are not so important.)
Get clarify ambiguities and discuss with our partners in English. Very often, when you ask someone if they have the time to explain and discuss, you can hear the same thing: «I have no time» (I do not have the time). Just do not take your time (take the time) and think about effective time management.
If you are interested in this topic, and you want to know more about it, you can read a variety of books. For example:
- In English:
- In Russian: