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    Best Practices Time Management Set Priorities to Get the Right Things Done

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    内容提示: TimeManagementJOHN HOOVERB E S T P R A C T I C E S :SET PRIORITIES TO GETTHE RIGHT THINGS DONE PREFACE 1 PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME Managing Time and Goals PrioritizingMaking ListsManaging Your List and PrioritiesGetting It Done110192436422 ORGANIZE YOUR TIME Scheduling Project Schedules 4550603 USING YOUR TIME EFFICIENTLY Managing Distractions Maintaining a Healthy Rhythm 676886Contentsv 4 TIME MANAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE Respecting Other People’s Time Keeping Your Team Focused Keep...

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    TimeManagementJOHN HOOVERB E S T P R A C T I C E S :SET PRIORITIES TO GETTHE RIGHT THINGS DONE PREFACE 1 PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME Managing Time and Goals PrioritizingMaking ListsManaging Your List and PrioritiesGetting It Done110192436422 ORGANIZE YOUR TIME Scheduling Project Schedules 4550603 USING YOUR TIME EFFICIENTLY Managing Distractions Maintaining a Healthy Rhythm 676886Contentsv 4 TIME MANAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE Respecting Other People’s Time Keeping Your Team Focused Keeping Your Boss Focused Committing to Personal Change 9196111123127 OFF AND RUNNING 1 30 RECOMMENDED READING 1 38 INDEX 1 46ABOUT THE AUTHOR CREDITSCOVERCOPYRIGHTABOUT THE PUBLISHER PrefaceWhy do some people manage their timeso effortlessly, while others are alwaysbehind? How can you stay on top of dead-lines when obstacles crop up right andleft? Is there a trick to moving ahead onlong-term goals at the same time that youare dealing with your boss’s last-minuterequests?In this book, we distill the wisdom ofsome of the best minds in the field of timemanagement to help you make use of yourtime more effectively and achieve yourlong-term goals. The language is simpleand the design colorful to make the infor-mation easy to grasp.v Quizzes help you assess your knowledgeof time management. Case files show howpeople have addressed their own time-management problems. Sidebars giveyou a big-picture look at managing timeeffectively and highlight innovative, out-of-the-box solutions worth considering.Quotes from business leaders and experttime managers will motivate you as youtry to make every minute of the day count.Finally, in case you want to dig deeper intotime-management issues and other chal-lenges of the workplace, we recommendsome of the most important business booksavailable. The authors of these books bothinfluence and reflect today’s thinking aboutmanaging time and related managementissues. Understanding the ideas they coverwill inspire you as a manager.Even if you don’t dip into these volumes,the knowledge you gain from studyingthe pages of this book will equip you tomanage your time more effectively everyday—to help you make a difference to yourcompany and in the lives of the people whosupport you.THE EDITORSvi PRIORITIZEYOUR TIME“Time is the scarcestresource of the manager;if it is not managed,nothing else canbe managed.”—Peter Drucker,management guru and author(1909–2005) The 86,400 seconds in aday may sound like alot, but they go fast. Nomatter how quickly timeseems to fl y by for you, even themost skilled time manager’s hours,minutes, and seconds tick by atexactly the same rate. TI ME MANAGEMENT2HOW DO YOU PERCEIVE TIME?Read each of the following state-ments and indicate whether youagree, somewhat agree, or disagree.Then check your score and study theanalysis at the end.1. Most of the things I do all day atwork are mechanical and not per-sonally gratifying.  Agree Somewhat agree Disagree2. Most of the things I do all day areimportant to my employer but notto me.  Agree Somewhat agree Disagree3. Most of the things I do all day areroutine, and my employer doesn’treally benefit from them either.  Agree Somewhat agree DisagreeSelf-Assessment Quiz PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME34. At home, most of the things I doare routine and don’t really benefitme or anybody else.  Agree Somewhat agree Disagree5. At home, most of the things I doare important to other people butnot to me.  Agree Somewhat agree Disagree6. At home, most of the things I doare mechanical and not personallygratifying.  Agree Somewhat agree Disagree7. My priorities are set by others atwork.  Agree Somewhat agree Disagree TI ME MANAGEMENT48.My priorities are set by others athome.  Agree Somewhat agree Disagree9.If I had the choice, I woulduse my professional time muchdifferently.  Agree Somewhat agree Disagree10. If I had the choice, I woulduse my personal time muchdifferently.  Agree Somewhat agree DisagreeSCORINGGive yourself 3 points for every ques-tion you answered “Agree,” 2 pointsfor every question you answered“Somewhat agree,” and 1 pointfor every question you answered“Disagree.”Self-Assessment Quiz PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME5ANALYSIS23–30 You see yourself as a victimwho has been robbed ofcontrol over your time. Youdon’t feel empowered toset your own priorities or todetermine how your time isused. As a result, much, ifnot most, of your time feelswasted.17–22 You might be ambivalentabout the demands on yourtime. You accept the factthat life is about compromiseand have compromised yoursout of necessity and apathy.10–16 You have a healthy outlookon how to use time andkeep your priorities straight.In your life, you maintaina healthy balance betweenwork and play. TI ME MANAGEMENT6Some people seem to get so much more done.It’s not because they have more time, however,it’s because of their skill at time management.Managing your time will positively affect yourdaily output, your career and fi nancial goals,and, ultimately, your success. THE WASTED HOURA manager earning $75,000 per yearwho squanders just one hour a daydue to lack of organization costs anemployer some $9,000 per year. Usingthe same formula, here’s what othercomparable time-wasters cost theircompanies: Salary$45,000$55,000$65,000$85,000$95,000$105,000$200,000 Lost annual profit$5,625$6,874$8,125$10,625$11,875$13,125$25,000If all of these managers worked for thesame firm, they would drain $81,294from the company’s bottom line eachyear.SOURCE: The Organized Executive by StephanieWinston (Warner Books, 2001).Behind the Numbers PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME7“Time is the substance of our lives,” writesAlexandra Stoddard in her book, Time Alive. Sheexplains that we don’t create time in our livesbut instead “create our lives in time.” But peopletoo often feel that, in their personal and profes-sional lives, time is running them. They feel theyonly have time for one life—personal or profes-sional—but not both. The difference in givingyour time more meaning or making it moreproductive is not found in trying to speed up orslow down your days. It is what you choose to dowithin the time frames that constrain us all thatmakes the difference. Are you taking advantageof the time that’s available to you?Some people seem to have been born with anatural understanding of time management.Fortunately for the rest of us, it’s a skill that canbe learned and developed. Leading organiza-tion expert and best-selling author Stephanie“One cannot even thinkof managing one’s timeunless one fi rst knowswhere it goes.”—Peter Drucker TI ME MANAGEMENT8 Winston claims that senior executives and CEOsseem to possess unique time management andorganization skills that enable them to dramati-cally increase their productivity. Indeed, peoplewho are good at managing their time have strongskills in several key areas. They have a clearvision of their big-picture goals at work and inlife—long-term, yearly, monthly, weekly, anddaily goals. They are skillful at breaking thesegoals down into smaller units, and they knowhow to translate these small units into action-oriented to-do lists fi lled with tasks. Finally, theyunderstand that achieving long- and medium-range goals means crossing off every task theycan on their to-do list, every day.PRIORITIES IN GOAL SETTINGMichael Gerber, the best-selling busi-ness author, explains that professionalpriorities are an essential element of asuccessful business. He believes thatmanagers should set appropriate goalsand then specifically choose to spendtime on productive tasks that will helpachieve those goals.His bottom line: Don’t waste timeon things that don’t bring more life toyour business.SOURCE: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E.Gerber (Collins, 2005).The BIG Picture PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME9Ultimately, how well you manage time boilsdown to your level of personal willing are you to learn from the mistakes you’vemade about using time in the past? How will-ing are you to go after the things you know areimportant to do for the future? Most peopleknow what needs to be done; they even knowhow to do it. They just don’t have their ties straight at the moment they make decisionsabout how to spend their time. Being more effi cient in the present will help you achieve themotivation. Howpriori-THE ELEMENTS OF GOAL MANAGEMENTManaging your time is predicated onsetting and accomplishing your goals.These are the three elements of goalmanagement:• Long-term goals – These are the pur-poses toward which you direct yourefforts. Typically, long-term goalsare completed in a year or more.• Objectives – These are the stepsneeded to achieve a long-term goal.Objectives are typically completedin a month or more.• Tasks – These are the series ofdaily and weekly actions required tomeet your objectives.• POWER POINTS • TI ME MANAGEMENT1 0future of your dreams. First, however, you needto motivate yourself to change some of yourthinking and your habits.MANAGING TIME AND In one sense, time management is about manag-ing your goals. If you know what you want toachieve in the future, you can fi gure out how touse your time in order to get there. To help youget the right things done—that is, get where youwant to go at work and in life—it’s important toline up your daily actions and your goals. Thus, the fi rst step is setting the right term goals and then making sure your objectivesand daily actions support those goals.GOALSlong-termlong-GoalsA goal is a purpose toward which you directyour endeavors. For example, your goal could beto increase your company’s sales revenue by 15percent. A soccer team’s goal might be to win theannual championship. Another goal might be toearn an MBA degree.There’s an art to setting goals. The mosteffective goals are specifi c and measurable andshould be motivating. If a goal is too vague—for example, the resolution to make your fi rmthe “best company in the world”—you willnot be able to monitor your progress towardthat goal, or even know whether or not youhave achieved it. Does the “best company inthe world” mean “greater sales than any other”or “a greater return on sales than any othercompany”? Does it mean that your employee PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME1 1retention rate is the highest of the fi rms in yourfi eld? If the goal you articulate can’t be mea-sured, take another stab at defi ning it.An effective goal is also ambitious but notimpossible to achieve. For instance, a goalKEEPING YOURSELF MOTIVATEDIt’s important to keep your energy andmotivation high when you’re trying toimprove your time-management skills.To avoid losing momentum, considerthe following: Do write down your goals and postthem in a prominent spot whereyou’ll see them regularly. Do remember what you ultimatelyhope to achieve. Keep your eye onthe prize, so to speak. Don’t forget why you’re doing whatyou’re doing. Do work with a teammate who willkeep you honest about your prog-ress—and compliment you on yourefforts. Do celebrate and reward yourselfwhen objectives are met and goalsare accomplished.Dos & Don’ts R TI ME MANAGEMENT1 2of earning an MBA within 6 months is notrealistic; getting the degree within 2 or 3 yearsis reasonable. Assigning a reasonable amount oftime for the completion of your goals is essential.Only if you’ve established a clear and realisticdeadline will you be able to determine how tobest accomplish that goal. How you defi ne along-term goal is, to some degree, up to you: Isit a goal you want to achieve in 5 years, 1 year, 6months, or 3 months?Regardless of what that time frame is, strongtime managers break down their goals into objectives. If your long-term is to fi nish a particularly complex projectlong-termgoalTHE BASICS OF GOALSA goal is a purpose toward which youdirect your endeavors.• Goals should be specific andmeasurable.• Effective goals are ambitious butnot impossible to achieve.• Assigning a reasonable amountof time to complete your goal isessential.• To successfully achieve your goals,break them down into objectivesand tasks.• POWER POINTS • PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME1 3within a year, for example, your objectives willstate what you need to do in the next month,3 months, 6 months, and so on to meet yourlong-term goal.To move toward achieving these objectives,effective time managers break these objectivesdown further into tasks—things that you needTHE BEST TIMESome times are better than others forcertain tasks. When the sun comes up,so does your blood pressure. With high-er blood pressure, you’re good to riseand shine. Your temperature goes up aswell, and your metabolism gets readyfor work as you do. At midday, yourliver enzymes spring to action, ready todeal with your lunch. After dinner, yourpineal gland cranks out melatonin, thehormone that makes you drowsy. Youneed to pay attention to your own bodyclock to determine which part of theday is best for you to make decisions,avoid making decisions, engage inphysical activity, do your most creativethinking, and mentally process newinformation.SOURCE: “Unwinding the Body Clock” by DanaBauer, Research Penn State (October 7, 2004).Outside the Box TI ME MANAGEMENT1 4to do in the short term—within the week, theday, or the hour. This process of dividing a long-term goal into smaller segments is also knownas chunking. Look at a goal as you would a bigbar of chocolate. It’s just not possible to stuffthe whole thing in your mouth at once, even ifthat’s your fi rst impulse. So you break it intopieces: First, you divide it in halves or quarters,and then you break apart the individual squares.Most people eat the chocolate bar a square at atime—and it doesn’t take long for the whole barto disappear.The most important thing to rememberis not to obsess about your long-term goal,though you are thinking about it, discussing itas appropriate, and perhaps jotting down notesto yourself about it on occasion. This will helpyou remember the direction you’re headed,as you focus on the chunks that you havedetermined will take you there. Keeping yourultimate goal in the back of your mind ‘fl avors’the chunks you’re doing at any moment andgives them more meaning than they mightotherwise have.Remain focused on implementation andaction. Achieve your tasks and objectives, andyou’ll hit the big target right where and whenyou’re supposed to. As long as your achieves the proper traction, you’ll reach yourdestination, no matter how far down the roadit is. When working toward your goals, remem-ber the Eastern proverb that wisely states “ajourney of a thousand miles begins with asingle step.”goal-setting PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME1 5 Objectives Objectives are smaller goals that must be com-pleted in order to achieve a long-term goal. Forexample, the soccer team that wants to qualifyfor the annual championship play-offs (their goal) must win enough games during the season.Winning each game is their objective. If they winenough games—that is, meet their objectives“Don’t say you don’thave enough time. Youhave exactly the samenumber of hours perday that were given toHelen Keller, Pasteur,Michelangelo, MotherTeresa, Leonardo daVinci, Thomas Jefferson,and Albert Einstein.”—H. Jackson Brown,author of Life’s Little Instruction Book TI ME MANAGEMENT1 6during the season—the soccer team will achievetheir long-term goal of making the play-offs.Reaching objectives moves you closer to achiev-ing your long-term goals.If you’re responsible for the performance ofothers in your department or work area, youneed to be sure your employees understand the long-term goals everyone is working toward.Then explain how the objectives you’ve set foreach employee help to achieve those goals. Describing how these objectives fi t in thelarger picture will give meaning and purpose toeach employee’s work.When monitoring the progress of youremployees’ objectives, don’t be too rigid. Whensomeone is meeting objectives like monthlysales or production goals with aplomb, don’tlong-termTHE BASICS OF OBJECTIVESObjectives are incremental steps onthe way to achieving a long-term goal.• Failing to reach objectivesjeopardizes the long-term goal.• Reaching objectives buildsconfidence.• Completing objectives on timekeeps goal achievement onschedule.• POWER POINTS • PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME1 7tell him, “That was great. Now give me 12 moreweeks just like that one.” The pressure mightbe too much and the bar set too high, leadingthe person to bail out emotionally. It’s better toencourage the employee incrementally. Say, “Let’stry for those numbers again next month.” TasksReaching your objectives requires a series ofactions or tasks. Tasks are the most specifi c stepsneeded to achieve an objective, and, in turn, along-term goal. The amount of time required tocomplete a task can vary from a couple of hoursto a couple of weeks.In order for a soccer team to win games(objectives) and reach the play-offs (the team members must practice before each game,goal),IT’S UP TO YOUThe only one who can decide whetheryou are using your time productivelyis you. Ask yourself: Are you achievingwhat you want for yourself and yourfamily through your use of time? If theanswer is yes, then you’re managingyour time well. But if you’re constantlyswinging into periods of frantic activ-ity, you need to rethink your use oftime and learn how to manage it moreefficiently.The BIG Picture TI ME MANAGEMENT1 8review the roster of players, and strategizeaccordingly. Winning a spot in the play-offsultimately comes down to how well the teammembers accomplish these tasks. Tasks areactions that you can accomplish and check off.They give “traction” to objectives and, ultimately,to goals. Without tasks, you’re spinning yourwheels. Tasks help you catch hold of the pave-ment and move forward.When goals seem overwhelming or intimi-dating, you break them into objectives. Whenobjectives seem daunting, you break them intotasks. If a task seems too time-consuming orTHE BASICS OF TASKSAlthough tasks are the smallest incre-ment in time management, they leaddirectly to the successful attainment oflarger goals.• Tasks are critical to achieving long-term goals.• Tasks can be accomplished in a fewminutes, hours, or days.• Tasks must be taken as seriously asyour larger objectives and goals.• Tasks that seem intimidating shouldbe broken down into smaller actionitems.• POWER POINTS • PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME1 9complex to tackle all at once, give some thoughtto how you can break it down into “actionitems”—items that can usually be completedwithin hours or a day.Don’t ignore or minimize the importance oftasks just because they’re small. If you make apoint of accomplishing each day’s tasks, the bigpicture will take care of itself. If you tell yourselfthat you’ll get a task or a certain number of tasksdone by 10:00 a.m. and then succeed, the feelingof accomplishment is gratifying. You feel thatmuch closer to achieving your objectives andreaching your ultimate goal, which is an encour-aging feeling on its own.PRIORITIZINGIn our complex business world, you can’t waituntil you have reached one long-term neatly moving on to the next. On any givenday, you will be working on short-term tasksassociated with multiple objectives. So how do you decide which to dofi rst? You prioritize them.But how do you decide which tasks takepriority over others? Which tasks should becompleted fi rst, second, third, and so forth?The fi rst step is to have a clear understandingof what’s involved in each task by asking thefollowing questions—who, what, when, where,why, and how.Who? Who needs this to be done—your boss,a customer, a coworker, or a subordinate? Whowill be performing the task? Who will benefi tfrom this? Does the person asking you to do thisgoal beforelong-term goals and TI ME MANAGEMENT20task understand the demands it will make onyour time and energy?What? Exactly what are you required to do? Isit valuable in the big picture? Does the benefi t ofdoing the job justify the investment of your time,energy, and resources?When? By what date do you need to completeyour task? Do you have the time to accom-modate this request? Former president DwightD. Eisenhower explained that truly importantthings are rarely urgent and urgent things areBEING EFFICIENT VS. BEING EFFECTIVEIt’s possible to be efficient withoutbeing effective. In other words, youcan be busy without moving towardyour goals. In order to determinewhether you are using your timewisely, answer the following ques-tions, “Am I efficient only at doingunimportant work? Am I busy justdoing things, or am I getting thingsdone?” To ensure that you are beingboth efficient and effective, it’s criti-cal that you match your priorities withthe right tasks, and focus most ofyour attention on those things thatwill help you reach goals. That’s timewell spent.THE BOTTOM LINE PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME21 PRIORITIZING TIPSIf you are having trouble dealing withyour workload in a reasonable amountof time, it might be time to considerthese tips. Followed routinely, they willmake a seemingly endless list of tasksmore doable. Do ask yourself the basics:Who, What, When, Where, Whyand How. Do make lists and stick to them.According to experts, lists areone of the most effective timemanagement tools. Do allow yourself more time thanyou think you need to performnecessary tasks. Don’t let distraction sabotage yourlist of tasks. Don’t forget to factor in timesinks like e-mail and returningphone calls. Don’t fall into time traps likeprivate net surfing or excessivechatting with coworkers.Dos & Don’ts R TI ME MANAGEMENT22rarely important. Unimportant things usuallybecome urgent because of poor planning. Keepyour priorities in mind as you take on new work.Where? Are there any geographic differencesthat will have an impact on the timelines of thetask you’ve been assigned? Are there time-zonedifferences, for example, that will need to betaken in consideration? If you are working withsomeone in a different offi ce, state, or country,do you need to consider the time it will take totraffi c communications or documents back andforth between those two locations?Why? Why have you been asked to completethis task? Why is it necessary in the context oflong-term goals? Understanding the big picturewill help you stay focused and prioritize better.SIGNS OF POOR TIME MANAGEMENTWhen a workplace is in a constantstate of emergency, it’s usually a resultof poor time management. In managingyour own time, be sure to anticipatethe possibility that others may be oper-ating in a state of chaos. Watch out for:• Constant last-minute pleas to beginor finish projects• Exhausted staff members• Harried and harassed bossesRed Flags  PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME23TAKE ACTIONCREATE A TO-DO LIST OF TASKSSET OBJECTIVESDEVELOP LONG-TERM GOALSREPEAT DAILYWORK FLOW TOOLSMANAGING TIME BETTER TI ME MANAGEMENT24How? How should you complete the task? Howwill your completed task be measured or evalu-ated? “How” something needs to be done has ahuge effect on time management decisions andon the quality and cost of the task.MAKING You’ve heard the advice a thousand times:“Write things down.” Yet you still try to carryLISTS“We are far moreproductive than perhapsany other generation inhistory. We now havethe tools—technological,strategic, and personal—that can help us inour efforts to manageour time, enhance oureffi ciency, and bettermanage our lives.”—Marc Mancini,author of Time Management PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME25things around in your head. Busy, stressed-outmanagers are in a class by themselves when itcomes to the number of important details oraction items they need to be on top of. It goeswith the territory.Writing things down has a surprising benefi tbeyond merely helping you remember importantinformation. After writing down your list ofTHE COMPUTER TO THE RESCUEComputers and the digital age havegiven us the ability to do more—andkeep track of more—than ever before.These are some of the benefits of usingtechnology to manage your lists:• Updating a list on a computer isfaster than rewriting a list on paper.• Knowing where your list is saves youthe time of searching for it.• Storing old lists digitally allows youto refer back to them if needed.• Setting up e-mailer reminders—afeature of many programs—alertsyou when something is due.• Sharing lists with others is easy todo when lists are created and storeddigitally.Outside the Box TI ME MANAGEMENT26what has to get done, you’re more likely toexperience a sudden “aha” moment about thebest way to accomplish it and the order in whichto get specifi c things done. That will help you domore in less time.According to many time-management experts,writing down lists of tasks is the key to effec-tive time management. Lists help you organizeTHE ART OF THE LISTIf you have more on your plate thanyou think you can deal with, making alist is the single most important stepyou can take in the planning process.A written record allows you to see it allin front of you. Do write things down. Don’t try to rely on memory aloneto remember important notes. Writethem down on a piece of paper,which can always be referred todown the line. Do list your tasks in order of prior-ity. Complete the most urgent tasksfirst and then get to other pertinentbut less important tasks.Dos & Don’ts R PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME27your goals, objectives, and tasks. Effective timemanagement is less about saving time at any costthan about using the time you have effi ciently. Lists work on many levels. First, they are greatmotivators. Time-management experts knowthat almost nothing motivates most people morethan crossing things off a to-do list. Second, listsimprove your results. Without a list, it’s easy to Do use your list as a referencewhen confronted with new tasks.You will have a good idea of exactlyhow much time you can dedicate tothese assignments. Don’t get bogged down by a seem-ingly endless list. Do make schedules using softwareprograms such as Microsoft Office,which will send you an e-mail togently remind you of an impendingdeadline. Do have a particular place whereyou keep your list so that it is easyfor you and others to refer to it. Don’t forget to remove tasks thathave been completed from your listso they do not clutter the list ofwhat still needs to be done. TI ME MANAGEMENT28forget all the small tasks that need to be accom-plished toward reaching an objective.Finally, lists make you feel in control. Whenthere is a carefully planned strategic people have a road map for their time. Evenmore important, creating lists forces you tomake decisions about how to use your time. Thebest lists are based on the importance and urgency of the things you needto accomplish. If you fi nd yourself wonderinghow best to use your “now,” check the list. If it’s asound and comprehensive list, the answer will beright in front of you.With a good list, you won’t ever have to rear-range your priorities on the fl y. You won’t haveagenda,priorities or relativeTHE BENEFITS OF LISTSWriting down the things you need toaccomplish as a to-do list offers manytime-saving benefits, including:• Prioritizing what is most urgent,second most urgent, and so on• Showing other people what you’redoing and how your time is spent• Keeping you focused on the impor-tant tasks• Providing a visual reminder of yourlong-term goals• POWER POINTS • PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME29to formulate plans during a also organizes your thinking, which is extremelyimportant to effective time management. Scat-tered thinking wastes time.Organized thinking, according to experts, isalso the most creative and innovative thinking.Diane Deacon, president of the Creative Think-ing Association of America, and Mike cofounder of that organization and the fi rst deanof Disney University, the legendary trainingorganization inside the Walt Disney Company,explode the myth that creativity comes out ofchaos and disorder. On the contrary, they argue,crisis. Making listsVance,KEEP YOUR FOCUSCaving in to others’ demands on yourtime can cause you to lose sight ofyour goals and derail them entirely. Donot become distracted by attending toeverything and everyone around you.Remember what’s important to you andwhat work means on your terms. Yourtime belongs to you first and foremost.If you’re not careful, you can wind upso consumed by other people’s busi-ness that you have no time left toaccomplish your own goals.SOURCE: T ime for Me by Helene Lerner (Source-books, 2005). Plan B TI ME MANAGEMENT30organization and well-ordered time managementopen up space and time for Not only do lists help you get organized, theyare a constant reminder of what you’re workingon and can improve how you communicate yourefforts to others on the job. This is not to sug-gest that you should post all of your offi ce—although shared electronic creativity.lists for thecalendars onMANAGE YOUR LISTSIt’s one thing to create a to-do list oftasks, but quite another one to manageit effectively. To get the most out ofyour list, follow these suggestions:• Arrange tasks in order of theirimportance and urgency.• Rewrite your list as prioritieschange or fluctuate.• Tackle your list by completing thefirst item on it, then moving on tothe next one.• Clean up and rewrite your to-dolist every day before you leave theoffice.• Take an upbeat attitude towardyour tasks so that each one seemsworthy of your time.• POWER POINTS • PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME31computers and ments are increasingly popular—but when alists for entire teams and depart-ORGANIZATION AND CREATIVITYMany people think that being orga-nized and structured creates a rigidenvironment that stifles creativity andcreative impulses.Not so, according to authors MikeVance and Diane Deacon. Creativitydoes not tend to flourish in a disor-ganized environment. This is wheremany team leaders and project teamsgo wrong. They approach a project inan unstructured manner in hopes thatcreativity and innovation will abound—only to be disappointed.Creativity, innovation, and big resultsoccur faster in an organized environ-ment. For example, Disney Imagineersuse “displayed thinking” or life-sizedstoryboards that cover entire walls topost ideas, draw correlations betweenthem, and capture new ideas thatspring from old ones. None of thatwould be possible without organizingthe ideas first.SOURCE: Think Out of the Box by Mike Vance andDiane Deacon (Career Press, 1995). Plan B TI ME MANAGEMENT32supervisor or coworker imposes a new demandon your time, consulting your to-do list will helpyou give a reasonable and realistic date and timefor fi nishing the task. You won’t need to guess.Although you can’t tell your boss to adjust her priorities, you will have a ready answer when sheasks if you’re busy or if you can help: “Let’s takea look at my to-do list and see what I can workout.” It also avoids one of the most frustratingsituations in business, which is to be over-whelmed with work without anyone else beingaware of it.DON’T JUST SAVE TIME—MANAGE ITThere is nothing on your to-do listthat can’t be accomplished with pro-fessionalism. Your motto should be:“Excellence everywhere and in allthings.” Put another way, if anythingon your to-do list isn’t worth doing withenthusiasm, why are you doing it atall? A positive attitude will make timeseem to pass more quickly. So whynot make the time-management deci-sion to make all your time, even timespent doing mundane tasks, qualitytime—that is, time doing a good joband doing it with a positive attitude?The BIG Picture PRIORI TI ZE YOUR TIME33How to Make a Making a list can be as simple as writing thingsdown on a piece of paper and numberingthem sequentially or as sophisticated as usinga software program. Some software, such asList Microsoft Offi ce Suite Outlook, allows youto enter and schedule action items and set e-mail reminders of upcoming tasks. Thereare dozens of calendar, time-management,“Highly productivepeople know exactlywhat they should beworking on during theirdiscretionary time. Theybreak projects down intomanageable pieces, sotheir short-term actionstranslate into long-termsuccess.”—Laura Stack, author of Leave the Office Earlier TI ME MANAGEMENT34project-management, personal informationmanagement, and customer relations softwareprograms that help you create and managelists, designate priorities, and set up multiplereminders and alerts. People in your company’sIT department can help you identify tools thatwould be particularly useful.Some people prefer to j...

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