Catch The "tempus" Before It "fugits"–Time-Management Tips

One of the best incentives for getting organized is to be aware of the statistics. For example, a recent survey of  250 professionals, conducted on behalf of Objective Corporation, shows that more than a full week of work is wasted every year  wasted every year searching for s that have not been saved on shared servers or in an appropriate folder. Beyond this, nearly a quarter of American employees, spend three and a half weeks a year looking for this misplaced or lost information. If you’re not well-organized, you are not as productive as you could be. Worse yet, you are wasting the time of your life–irreplaceable time. Statistics like this should prompt you to “clean up your act.” You’ll be more productive and less stressed if you do.

Here are a few tips to help:

Handle it once. As papers come in, deal with them immediately–file, toss or read. Don’t make stacks to be dealt with later. Spend 10 minutes a day–preferably first thing in the morning–getting organized. (As Mark Twain once said, “If you have to swallow a frog, don’t stare at it too long.”)

Develop an action plan.
Ideally, you’ve absorbed a lot of new information/ideas/insights/facts while reading this article. But……knowledge is not power, contrary to what you’ve been told. (If it were, librarians would rule the world!) Power lies in having knowledge and transforming it into action. Now it’s time to develop a plan showing how you’ll use the learning you’ve acquired. Specifically, consider:

Outline your plan of action now. It can be far-reaching in scope (like those BHAG’s recommended by Built to Last author Jim Collins and like those recommended by this anonymous author: “Make no small plans, for small plans have no power to stir the soul”). Or, it could be more short-term and immediate (such as those plans endorsed by Mother Teresa when she noted, “We can do no great things—only small things with great love.”)

Your plan should not be something that’s already underway. Nor should it be something that fails to contribute to the organizational mission and to customer satisfaction. Your plan should be new, different, and designed to improve the way time is managed.

Revisit the plan from time to time.

Career succes is never achieved with one successful plan. Continue new action plans throughout the year, throughout your career. These questions will help you determine effective action.

How can I effect positive change in my workplace?
What alliances can I form?
How can I best utilize my potential for productive outputs?
What time-saving proposals can I make to my manager?
What changes can I make in my basic operating style?
What more needs to be done?
How can I involve others in continuous improvement?
What weaknesses do I need to strengthen?
How are my goals?
How can I become more empowered?
What time-wasters have I identified?
What have I learned about the ways in which others manage time well?
What will I do to improve my problem-solving/decision-making skills?

Dr. Marlene Caroselli is the author of numerous business books and one e-book–Principled Persuasion, named a Director’s Choice by Doubleday Book Club upon its initial release. You can reach her at
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