Top 10 Time Robbers and How to Overcome them
We are here with the list of top 10 Time Robbers and incredible ways to cope with them.
PROCRASTINATION AND TIME ROBBER:
To procrastination is to delay or defer and a procrastinator is one who puts off till tomorrow, the things which should be done today. To put off till tomorrow what should be done today is a sign of laziness, a lack of courage and an efficient way of wasting precious time.
‘Do it now’ is the solution to procrastination. In the office environment, it is recommended that you handle each piece of paper only once. This implies that you take any action required immediately on a letter, memo, and mail e.t.c at once. This helps to decongest your table fast.
TIME ROBBERS AND INDISCRIMINATION:
Ask yourself ‘If I do this, Will it make any difference? “If the answer is no difference”, then do not spend time doing it. It is, therefore, a waste of time. Learn to discriminate. It can effectively overcome the outcomes of time-robbers.
INDECISION TRIGGERS TIME ROBBERS:
Decision making is a process in which we evaluate alternatives and then make a choice from them. Some people are afraid of taking decisions for fear of making mistakes. Such people waste their own time by being unable and/or unwilling to take decisions. August Kekule advised that ‘A man would do nothing if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find faults with what he has done. So adequate and timely decision making can minimize the time robbers.
INTERRUPTIONS ARE TIME ROBBERS:
INDEED, interruptions are a real-time robber. Frequent interruptions in the performance of set duties lead to time robber. A well planned and organized job could be executed poorly if interruptions are many. Interruptions can be in the form of
- frequent and unwarranted visits
- phone calls
- power failure
- negative physical factors in the environment such as noise in the form of loud arguments, laughing, criticizing, chatting, and telling stories.
LACK OF AND INSUFFICIENT DELEGATION:
The most commonly accepted definition of management is getting things done by and through other people. It also triggers the time robbers’ effect. Most ineffective and inefficient supervisors and managers fail to delegate. Such a person develops the illusion of omniscience and contempt for his subordinates whom he believes are incapable of doing anything right. He, therefore, hordes all authority and refuses to delegate any responsibility.
Sooner or later, he finds himself swamped with too many things to be done. His span of control is already exceeded, he experiences work overload.
And thus, he consumes so much time to achieve so little both for himself and for the organization in terms of completed jobs.
Engaging oneself in functions that some other people should do guarantees an ineffective and inefficient use of time. Delegation of important tasks enables the supervisor to concentrate on major functions.
This is described as occurring when an employee brings to the supervisor a decision to make which the employee should. Delegation involves giving responsible and adequate authority to a subordinate to perform it. Sometimes, however, the subordinate gives his boss a partially completed job, expecting him to finish it. This induces the boss to be a time robber in doing a job that should be avoided inefficient time management.
CHATTING AND CONVERSATION:
As the maxim goes, friends are the time robbers. Chatting with people or unnecessary conversations regarding personal affairs, national affairs, or even international affairs during the working period is a big-time robber. Such conversations neither lead to the achievement of personal goals nor organizational objectives.
REGRETS ARE THE TIME ROBBERS:
Time spent in regretting past events is also a time robber. Devoted precious time in wishing that yesterday was today and last year was this year. And regretting that if only you had money last year, you would have bought a car or built a house this year, are all exercises in futility and a sin against effective use of time.
As Alexander Woollcott said, many of us spend half our time wishing for things we could have, if we did not spend half our time wishing. Therefore, good time management should be in the full realization that today is all we have to work with and the past is irretrievably gone while the future is only a concept and an uncontrollable variable.
UNNECECCESSARY OR PROLONGED GROUP MEETINGS:
Holding group meetings frequently for the sake of it and with no clear objectives or plans for discussion, wastes the time of the supervisor and manager, the time subordinates, and the entire organization. It is also a time robber. Assuming the meeting lasts for one hour and there are ten people in attendance, the total time wasted is ten hours.
People oversocialized at work both with fellow workers and external customers. It is the most common way of time robber. It is common for employees to spend their official hours organizing birthday parties, naming ceremonies and funerals. They also relate in rather and unnecessarily informal manners. They mix domestic issues with official matters with relative ease. Oversocialisation is an obvious means of time wastage and it should be controlled.
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GUIDELINES FOR ORGANIZING AND CONDUCTING EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE MEETINGS
- Give adequate notice to all invitees.
- Draw up a concise agenda.
- The agenda should be strictly used to steer the course of the meeting.
- Meetings should not last not more than one hour especially if regular.
- Meetings should be focused on.
- Clearly identify action plans and their drivers.
- Avoid over-debating.
- Do not hesitate to postpone the conclusion if not immediately resolvable.
- The minutes of meetings should be released within 48 hours of rising from the meetings.
In conclusion, effective and efficient time management consists of achieving the maximum output in the minimum time available. Good management practices and effective time management are mutually supportive since an effective and efficient supervisor is also a good manager of time. The successful time manager must run away from the time robbers.
The secret of getting things done is doing them now. One minute lost is one minute lost forever since time is irreplaceable. Therefore we should identify our specific goals and objectives, prioritize them, establish deadlines, delegate functions which other people can perform, work in blocks of time, avoid interruptions and reverse delegation that occasionally questions our use of time and be sure we as managers are doing the right thing at the right time. We should appreciate the need to differentiate matters of urgent from those that are important, avoid indecision and procrastination, plan our life and our time and finally remember what the anonymous philosopher said “Yesterday is a canceled cheque. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is ready cash. Use it”