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time management training

Time Management Training

Reviewed May 2013



In these days of increasing global competition, rising health care costs, and labor shortages, employers are constantly striving to increase productivity. One of the best ways to increase productivity is to make sure that employees are effectively managing their time at work. Training all new and retraining current employees in the principles and techniques of effective time management is essential.

This sample presentation is intended for presentation to all employees. It is designed to be presented by an individual who has knowledge of time management principles and techniques. This is a sample presentation that must be customized to include and match the employer’s own policies and practices.


At the close of this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of managing time effectively
  • Understand ways in which we all waste time
  • Follow tips for effective time management
  • Avoid two major challenges to effective time management – unproductive and unnecessary meetings and e-mail overload.
the importance of managing time effectively
The Importance of Managing Time Effectively

“By labor we can find food and water, but all of our labor will not find for us another hour.” – Kenneth Patton

  • In other words, time is finite – there’s only so much of it.
  • By effectively managing our time, we can avoid a stressed and less productive workplace and avoid cramming work and family and other personal needs into finite hours.
  • Just as we spend so much effort managing money, we need to spend equivalent effort managing time.
what are some of the ways we waste time
What are some of the ways we waste time ?

We waste time due to factors beyond our control but also due to factors within our control.

  • What are some of the factors beyond our control that result in our wasting time?
    • (To make this interactive, you may want to ask this question and put responses on flip chart of white board.)
  • What are some of the factors within our control that result in our wasting time?
    • (To make this interactive, you may want to ask this question and put responses on flip chart of white board.)
ways in which we waste time factors beyond our control
Ways in which we waste time: Factors beyond our control
  • Interruptions – phone calls, questions from coworkers and customers
  • Computer and other equipment problems
  • Holding and attending unnecessary and unproductive meetings
  • Staffing shortages – covering for absent coworkers
  • Unplanned work and changed priorities
ways in which we waste time factors within our control
Ways in which we waste time: Factors within our control
  • Lack of good planning and organization, failing to set and maintain priorities, losing focus on task at hand – jumping from project to project without completing any
  • Holding and attending unnecessary and unproductive meetings
  • Spending too much time on phone calls, e-mails and the internet
  • Procrastinating until a project becomes urgent
  • Inability to say “No” when appropriate – taking on too much
  • Failure to delegate when possible
  • Socializing too much
tips for effective time management
Tips for Effective Time Management

To manage your time effectively:

  • Plan and organize your day and week
  • Manage and control interruptions.
tips cont d planning and organizing
Tips (cont’d) - Planning and Organizing
  • Planning is the most important activity in managing your time effectively.
  • As the old quote goes,

“Failing to plan is planning to fail”

tips cont d planning and organizing1
Tips (cont’d) - Planning and Organizing
  • Plan each day in as much detail as possible. Do this ideally at the end of the preceding day or the first thing at the beginning of your day. ( Plan your week on a “big picture” basis making notes in your day-timer or desk calendar.)
  • Make a daily to-do list of your objectives in order of priority. Use whatever system you prefer to record this list – handwritten, computerized, day-timer, blackberry. Cross out items as they are completed. Move items that cannot be done that day to another day in the week.
tips cont d planning and organizing2
Tips (cont’d) - Planning and Organizing
  • Batch routine tasks together – separate from your high priority tasks
  • Break any large task or project into smaller pieces
  • Work on priority or routine items during that time of day which matches your work habit preferences.
    • For example, if you are a morning person and like to tackle tough assignments when you first start working, batch your priority and harder tasks in the morning hours. Do more routine tasks in the afternoon.
tips cont d planning and organizing3
Tips (cont’d) - Planning and Organizing
  • Handle each piece of paper or document only once if at all possible. Refer it on, file it, or discard it.
    • (Another idea is to have a temporary hold until discarded file – keep a file, perhaps under your desk where you place documents you are not quite ready to discard. Last ones on top so it is chronological. If you have not needed the document in 3 months, discard it when you periodically review the stack.)
tips cont d planning and organizing4
Tips (cont’d) - Planning and Organizing
  • Delegate to others if appropriate and possible.
  • Set aside uninterrupted blocks of time for difficult and lengthy projects. Close your door, forward your calls to your phone mailbox, refrain from checking e-mails.
  • Throughout the day review your objectives for that day and update or reprioritize.
tips cont d planning and organizing5
Tips (cont’d) - Planning and Organizing
  • Give yourself a break or several breaks during the day. Get up and stretch, leave your desk for lunch. Getting away even for a few minutes from your work will help you return alert and refreshed.
  • And Last but Not Least -- Maintain your work/life balance. Put family and other social activities on your daily and weekly lists. Avoid the habit of ignoring these constantly for work!
challenges to effective time management
Challenges to Effective Time Management

Two workplace challenges to effective time management that are within our control:

  • Unnecessary and unproductive meetings
  • E-mails
challenges cont d meetings
Challenges (cont’d) - Meetings

Ways to avoid unnecessary and unproductive meetings.

  • Determine if the meeting is really necessary

Reasons NOT to have a meeting:

  • You can more effectively accomplish your purpose by telephone, memo, report, e-mail, or a one-on-one discussion
  • It is premature to meet – the subject is too uncertain or too insignificant to justify a meeting
  • The group needs a cooling off period – currently too much anger or hostility among members.
  • Also, consider having one day each week when no meetings are held

Reasons to have a meeting:

  • To allow attendees to collaborate – review, evaluate, discuss, problem-solve, decide – with each other
  • To present significant information
challenges cont d meetings1
Challenges (cont’d) - Meetings
  • Start on time
  • Always make and follow an agenda. With each agenda item, include:
    • the topic stated in question form
    • the person responsible for leading the discussion
    • the information relative to the issue
    • the time allotted for that issue
    • the action/reason/purpose of the exchange

*Tip: Include with the agenda a not-on-agenda list of topics that are off limits for this meeting. Indicate when these items might be expected to be on a future agenda.

challenges cont d meetings2
Challenges (cont’d) - Meetings
  • Avoid attending your subordinates' meetings unless specifically invited to discuss a topic and limit your time attending to the discussion of that topic
  • Limit presentations to 10 minutes. If a presentation is longer than 10 minutes, schedule the presentation separately as such and not as part of a meeting.
  • Avoid having a meeting lasting over 90 minutes.
challenges cont d e mail
Challenges (cont’d) - E-mail
  • Unless you are awaiting an urgent message, check e-mails only at specified times during the day. When you have planned to devote a block of time to work on project, do not interrupt it by checking e-mails.
  • Set up folders to save appropriate e-mails – possibly one folder for messages to review later and delete or respond to and another folder for reference/retention.
  • Touch each e-mail just once – same as for paper documents. Decide whether to delete, save to respond to later, save for reference or retention, or to respond to immediately.
challenges cont d e mail1
Challenges (cont’d) - E-mail
  • Agree within your own department or company-wide on subject-line protocols
  • Some suggestions:
    • No reply needed – NRN
    • Thank you – TY
    • Need response by date and time – NRB (date) (time)
    • End of message (EOM)
    • Use subject line for entire message, example Meet 10 am on 03/01 Okay? (EOM)
challenges cont d e mail2
Challenges (cont’d) - E-mail
  • Keep e-mails short – no more than 1-10 sentences. Communicate main point in first or second sentence.
  • After two rounds of trying to solve a problem via e-mail, use phone or talk in person.
  • If you can’t respond immediately, let the other party know when you can if you can’t respond to avoid repeat messages
challenges cont d e mail3
Challenges (cont’d) - E-mail
  • Remove yourself from as many distribution lists as possible
  • Use filters or rules to eliminate or assign junk e-mails to a special folder
  • Use “No response required” to end messages and discourage unnecessary replies.
  • If someone is sending you messages or jokes that you do not need and want, ask them politely to stop.
challenges cont d e mail4
Challenges (cont’d) - E-mail
  • Develop boilerplate or stock responses for frequently used messages and save them in your draft folder using the subject line for easy recognition and retrieval.
  • Time is finite – there is only so much of it. That is why it is so important for us to manage our time effectively at work.
  • By effectively managing our time, we can avoid a stressed and less productive workplace and avoid cramming work and family and other personal needs into finite hours.
summary cont d
Summary (cont’d)
  • There are ways in which we all waste time. Some are beyond our control. But many are within our control and these are the ones we need to work on.
  • To manage your time effectively plan and organize your day and week.
  • Manage and control interruptions paying special attention to meetings and e-mail.
course evaluation
Course Evaluation

Please be sure to complete and leave the evaluation sheet you received with your handouts.

Thank you for your attention and interest!