10 Observations on Time Usage

Few of us have mastered multitasking. We are better off focusing on one task.

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Michael Wade

Ten observations on the use of time:

1. We don’t manage or organize time as much as we invest it.

2. You can do some things in two to five minutes but important tasks generally require more time. That’s why saving two minutes here or there might not mean that much unless your job is in emergency services or an equivalent arena.

3. Estimate the amount of time that you think a task will require and then multiply it by three.

4. Some jobs, such as supervising apprentices, require an open door policy. In other positions, however, an unlimited open door will invite unnecessary interruptions. Set aside some time for yourself.

5. The better your systems, the less you have to micromanage. But there are occasions when you have to delve into the details.

6. Always work beneath your full capacity so you’ll have the confidence, capability and attention that are produced by a reserve of energy.

7. When it comes to time wasters, it’s hard to beat the television. Want to gain some productive time on your next business trip? Don’t turn on the television in your hotel room.

8. It is unfair to expect your associates to respect your time if you fail to do the same for theirs.

9. Few of us have mastered multitasking. We are better off focusing on one task.

10. There are highly productive people with clean desks and equally productive ones with messy desks. Why squander time trying to create a particular order? Go with your personal style.

Michael Wade writes Execupundit.com, an eclectic combination of management advice, observations, and links. A partner with the Phoenix firm of Sanders Wade Rodarte Consulting Inc., he has advised private and public-sector organizations for more than 30 years.