Time management is goal-driven and results oriented. Success in time management is measured by the quality of both your work and your personal life.
Setting and achieving goals and objectives
Time management outlines the importance of identifying goals and making plans , in order to achieve the goals/objectives that you set and where the progress toward them could then be measured. What do the words ‘goal’ and ‘objective’ mean? Defining them can assist in setting your goals/objectives. A goal is the end towards which effort or ambition is directed. As a word it has its origins in ‘the point marking the end of a race’ or ‘posts between which a ball is to be driven’. Goal-setting is a successful way to approach life-planning.
An objective (a word with military associations) is an end towards which effort is directed. So goals/objectives define the end or purpose which is being aimed for. Goals and objectives can be used in your personal and business/professional life and successful outcomes result from taking a strategic approach to your life and your work. In a strategic approach, your aspirations need to be fixed in the form of goals/objectives. Strategy is then the way of devising plans and using stratagems (the devices/means) towards achieving the goals/objectives. (Objective and strategy are both words with military connotations and origins).
Decision-making and problem-solving
Decision-making, along with leadership and communication is one of the top three attributes a successful manager needs. It is a direct result of ‘thinking’ and you need to be able to ‘think until it hurts’.
Decision-making is directed to reaching a goal/objective. It is about the how, what, why, when (and where) of a course of action and of how to overcome obstacles and to solve problems. Decision-making is what turns thought into action: it implies change and requires a decision to be made against a background of uncertainty and risk.
Creativity and innovation
Really good managers (and all successful businesses have them) are capable of having, or recognising, good ideas and using them to make things happen in a new way: of translating ideas into useful, practicable and commercial products, services or systems. Innovation (to bring in or introduce something new – a new idea, method or device) draws together new ideas and their implementation, whereas creativity is the having of new ideas which, in an organisation, are generated or spotted by individuals or teams. It is important to:
• understand creativity and creative processes
• eliminate impediments to creativity
• widen the field of view
• build on ideas not merely criticise them
• tolerate doubts and uncertainties
• adopt a creative attitude in listening, observing and reading
• be confident in your own creative skills
• make time to think
• participate creatively as a leader, manager or member of a team
• use teams to innovate effectively
• manage innovation in your business.
A survey of successful chief executives on the attributes most valuable at top levels of management indicated the following in order of rating:
1-Ability to take decisions
6-Willingness to work hard
8-Understanding of others
9-Ability to spot opportunities
10-Ability to meet unpleasant situations
11-Ability to adapt quickly to change
12-Willingness to take risks
14-Capacity to speak lucidly
16-Ability to administer efficiently
18-Ability to ‘stick to it’
19-Willingness to work long hours
22-Capacity for lucid writing
24-Skill with numbers
25-Capacity for abstract thought
There is (has and probably always will be) a debate about the differences and overlaps of leadership and management. Current opinion is that they are different concepts but they overlap considerably.
Motivation and people management
Getting the best from people, achieving results through individuals and teams, maintaining consistent high performance, inspiring oneself and others into action – all depend on the skills of motivation. Self-motivation can be as difficult as motivating others and you cannot have one without the other
Communication and presentation
It is self evident that written and spoken communication skills are of crucial importance in business (and personal) life. Managers and leaders in particular must be effective communicators, good at getting their message across to, and at drawing the best out of, people. Communication skills in all forms, including non-verbal communication, need to be worked at and improved to ensure you understand people and they understand you.