Archive for the ‘Time Management’ category

Grab It Before It Grabs You! 7 Key Steps To Get A Grip On Stress In Your Life.

September 12, 2008

It was another ultra packed and fast paced day for me yesterday. After wrapping up the 2 full days training on “Time and Stress Management” for a major statutory board, I sped unto the next venue to conduct the “What Women Want” seminar in the evening. Time was of the essence while I had to cover the contents of both these trainings and still move from one place to another in double quick time. What a “stressful” day… And I LOVED IT!!! 😀

Stress does occur in our lives. It is a respond to our characters, our attitudes and our lifestyles. The key difference lies in how you grabble with it, turning whatever is seemingly negative into a positive motivator in your life.

Here are the key steps to enable you to better assess your stress causing factor and grab it before it grabs you:

1. Find out what stresses you, the stressor.

2. Talk about it with some coach or mentor or simply someone you can trust who is positive. If there’s no one, talk to yourself.

3. Discover if there could be other inner causes that lead you to feel this way. Decide if it’s an integration of factors or an isolation of one.

4. Test out your respond to your own stress level by removing that stressor or those factors. How do you feel now?

5. Note down what changes occurred if you view that stressor differently? For example: giving it less importance, making it so overwhelming?

6. Commit to view it from a positive paradigm that you’ve developed and allow it to be a “push-motivational” factor from now on.

7. Adjust and re-adjust your lifestyle to work around that stressor.


7 Time Management Tips Of Multitasking For The Busy Modern Man

May 28, 2008

Another dynamic run of “Time Management” training was conducted today for a statutory board. It was approached from a more unique perspective to help the participants realize the importance and value of managing time well. I’m extremely pleased they had put what they learn to good use.

Undeniably, the modern times set in further demands for the modern man. It adds to the hustle and increases the need for multitasking effectively.

Hence, some of the tips for better multitask and manage time are as below:

1. Ensure the spam guard in your email is turned on so that your spam mails are filtered out. Avoid wasting time by being bogged down by spam mails.

2. Seek to delegate where possible and cooperate with your colleagues by redistributing the specialized tasks amongst each other.

3. Have a really clear idea of what truly demands priority and what can be done later.

4. Keep the end vision in mind. Avoid the trap of being busy for the sake of being busy. Instead work on being busy for the results.

5. Make a list of tasks; insist on a reasonable duration with specific time to accomplish them. This will help sort out all the jumbled-up thoughts and prevent being overwhelmed by the things to do.

6. Keep an organizer to help you schedule your time. This will also allow you to manage with a bigger picture in mind.

7. Understand thoroughly the flow of a standard operating procedure or system. This will speed up the regular tasks that you have to do because you already know what to do. Don’t have a procedure? Create one now.

In a general sense, do take care to also manage your overall life and dreams with these tips. Work on them and you’ll discover that you can further Excel Beyond Excellence!

What You Must Really Know About The Myths and The Facts Of Managing Your Time At Work

March 28, 2008

It has been a series of runs for this particular course. As usual, today’s training on “Time Management” is carefully designed to be fun-filled, address real-life practical issues and invoke reflective thoughts.

I especially appreciate the hearty responses by my participants, the enormous sharing of learning and the quick one-two punch-lines delivered by them. Thank you for your participation, my friends!

For this article and today’s training lessons, there are a number of myths about time management at work that I would like to highlight:

Myth 1: It’s all about deciding what work to do.

Fact 1: Managing time is not just about deciding which work to do. If it were that simple in practice, then everyone will be super time managers and maximizing their time. When it comes to real application, you must also watch out for negative relationships and office politics at work. These are two of the major time wasters at work. Work towards healing the negativity and develop quality work relations.

Myth 2: Oh, it’s just writing out what you want to do.

Fact 2: Managing time is not just about charting out your list of tasks. Your emotions, values and attitudes towards work play even greater roles in determining the way you plan your time. It affects your priorities and your motivation in getting your list done. Get these factors in tuned with your work first.

Myth 3: There is simply too much work on my hands.

Fact 3: Managing time at the workplace is not to be ignored or forgo just because there are too much work you have to do. In fact, the more work you have to do, the more you have to manage your time. For efficiency’s sake, you’ve got to ‘manage the chaos’ and ‘organize the troops’. That’s productivity.

Myth 4: Why bother to even mange time? Other things just suddenly pop out anyway and disrupts whatever I want to do.

Fact 4: Managing time should not be forgotten just because unexpected things occur anyway. Proper time management provides you with even greater control over the ‘seemingly’ unexpected happenings. It also reduces the drastic impact of the unforeseen. Your knowledge and sense of priority also comes into play here.

In addition, you should also re-look critically at your working structure and communication systems to truly resolve things issues at the roots.

Myth 5: I’ve really got no time to manage time. Don’t waste time planning for it.

Fact 5: No time to manage your time? Then all the more you must manage your time! When you manage your time well, you actually end up with more time on your hands.

This is the part where you really have to work it out to experience the full effects and benefits of managing. It’s sort of a contradictory fact. You gain liberty by limitation. As you limit your time, you have more time. A paradox, no doubt. But nonetheless, a workable one.

When you can take a closer unadulterated look at the way your time is used, you will discover insights and uncover the facts behind practical time management.

Learn to use these facts and apply them in your favor.

And you’ll soon find yourself Excel Beyond Excellence in life and career.

What You Must Understand To Better Manage Your Time And Run Your Life

February 20, 2008

The desire to manage our time and our life better does not come from the external forces. While we can be triggered by what is outside of us, the true want to run our lives for the better must be internally motivated. This is part of what we had also discussed at today’s “Time Management” training for a major statutory agency.

We further know it’s most prudent and economical to treat our limited time with respect. Hence, to better manage time and ultimately our life, here are some important understandings you ought to know:

1. Know that every moment you spend and what you spend doing has some value in it. The sooner you can derive a real worth to your time, the more you will realize its true cost on your terms. Some of these numbers might even surprise you.

2. Learn to make a call on your priorities. While different tasks and demands do emerge during the course of our daily living, they ought to be treated with varying degree of importance and urgency. Being able to make quick decisions to what is truly important (or prioritizing) will help you to better move things along, rather than to stagnant and hesitate.

3. Focus on getting progress instead of getting busy. Just being busy does not imply progress is made for your life. It can end up as a routine repetition of hovering on the same ground—busying doing the same things over and over again without getting any closer to your goals. Critically reflect and reevaluate what you have been doing every single day.  Then make sure your actions bring you progress toward what you want instead of mere numerous robotic tasks.

As you manage what is scarce, you will begin to appreciate the need to treasure time and life well. Give it a better worth by tagging your dreams to it.

Apply these understanding competently and your life will Excel Beyond Excellence!

How You Can Create A Practical, Applicable And Detailed Plan?

October 25, 2007

Whenever we embark on a major project, we need a plan. It is often not just a generic plan for general purpose, but rather one that must be practical, applicable and detailed. The tendency and temptation to merely have an airy, fairy plan is there. After all, even the planning itself can be tedious work. However, the grander the project is, the more it must be well planned.

In order to ensure that it fulfills the Practical, Applicable and Detailed (PAD) criteria, you can implement the follow:

1. Examine how your plan will affect the others a) in your team; b) who are not in your team but in related units/sections/departments. Take account of the way your actions will relate to the rest becomes a vital issue in your planning. People around you will be changed by your plans and the consequence of your action.

2. Get a trusted friend to purposely be the critical critic and keep asking you questions on contingencies and possibilities. Some examples include  “What if you run out of budget?”, “What if it rains?”, “Isn’t this too risky?”, “Can’t this be done faster and cheaper?”, “Isn’t this too much for a person to do?”

The intention has at least 4 basic purposes:

a) to tease out the blind spots in your planning,

b) to ensure that all areas are covered,

c) to force you to create alternative plans for the “just in case” scenarios, and

d) to offer you other ways of working things out.

3. Take another perspective. See how others will see the plan and if they will accept and understand it. It’s very much of putting yourself in other’s shoes. This will offer you a deeper appreciation of the overall impression and harness the ability to execute your plan.

4. Hear from others in your team. Planning is not just a one man’s job. It takes cooperation and unity from other people. Therefore, listening to others, getting their feedback and willingness to follow the plan become the essential part of planning.

5. Test it. Wherever possible, take a sample portion of the plan and test it. Do dry runs if needed. Examine the venue, logistics and equipments beforehand. Rehearse for what you intend to put up. This too, will give you the peace of mind.

6. Back it up with finance and people power. These two factors are the moving forces of any project or event you intend to carry out. Without finance, things cannot be obtained. Without people power, actions cannot be done. In many situations, the more you have of both, the better and the easier the project. Be sure to have the project fit whichever amount you have. Get the support of both where possible.

7. To plan well is to always be prepared. As the saying goes, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’. There is hardly any fault to being well prepared. Do everything to ensure you are ready for the major plan.

Every big dream requires a plan to fulfill it. Every grand project takes major coordination to execute it. Planning is not an empty talk. It is a series of workable actions within the deadlines. Hence to bring your dreams into reality, you must first plan to excel beyond excellence!

Crunch Time! What Must You Do To Master Over It?

September 23, 2007

There are often times where you are put through extremely tight situations. When I mean ‘tight’, I do mean so tight that even a minute of difference count. A rushing, a scurrying, and a meeting in a nick of time.

Some pointers that you can use to overcome it:

1. Use breathing technique

2. Keep your mind clear

3. Manage between rational and emotional aspects of yourself

4. Be precise with time planning

5. Get friends to support you and take over some tasks

6. Coordinate extremely well and work closely with them

7. Charge your phone and have sufficient sms

8. Keep fit

9. Smile to defuse anxiety

10. Keep people and purpose in focus in whatever you do

11. Begin with the end in mind

10 Key Reasons Why People Don’t Treasure The Things They Have

August 28, 2007

Ever give someone a gift and to your disappointment, it was merely left at a corner? Did you invite someone to an event only to have the person being absent despite numerous assurance of his attendance? What about those times where you notice people wouldn’t care less about certain things they own? How about that uneasy feeling that you were somewhat taken for granted as your effort and dedication didn’t seemed to be appreciated? What really happened to these things?

When we talk about the things, these things can refer to the tangibles, the intangibles, the inorganic, the organics. These may perhaps come in the form of a toy, a photograph, a plan, a bouquet of flowers, time, an emotion, a promise, a friendship, integrity, love, an insurance policy, a birthday gift, a Barbie doll, a medal, a degree, or even a life.

Why don’t people treasure the things they have? Here are the key reasons:

1)  It’s too cheap. It is obtained at the price they wouldn’t care. The cost is too neligable to mean anything. So what if they have wasted their money? It’ll never make a dent in their “fortune”.

2)  It’s free. Since it is freely given to them, it doesn’t matter if they spoil it, abuse it or lost it. They hardly care if they missed an important meeting that could change the rest of their lives. It’s free anyway…

3)  It’s not meaningful or purposeful to them. As it does not make sense to have it, why be bother with it? A present from a person whom they cannot relate to might be discarded as there is “no point in keeping junk.”

4)  There’s no value to it. It’s just not worth it. Not worth it’s weight in gold. Seen it has no value, it need not be treasured. ‘Nuff said.

5)  There is no pain involved. When the person does not feel the inner “Ouch!”, there is no external commitment.

6)  There’s no effort in getting it. As there’s no need to work for it, there’s no effort to obtain it. Then…. who cares?!!

7)  They feel no loss. Well, since they never had it in the first place, it’s no loss to them if it’s gone anyway. No vested interest. It’s merely back to square one. No big deal.

8)  They take it for granted. Oh… since they will get it no matter what, why should they care at all? Ever know people who behave as if they are immortals and will live forever? How about some who spend like there is no tomorrow?

9)  There is no depth of thought. The mentality is one of where people are thinking of “where ” to throw away rather than “How” to use it to their advantage.

10)  They have a lack of maturity, emotionally and rationally. Perhaps emotionally, some people have not learnt the art of appreciation  and the beauty of memory. Or poor emotional intelligence causes them to go into a bout of tantrum, insisting on their own willful ways, ignoring everything else.

Remember all these are just mere perceptions in the mind of the person owning these items. It does not imply that all things are useless. Neither does it mean that all things must be treasured equally. But the choices one makes does speaks of the mentality, the direction and the life’s focus of that individual.

May you treasure all the things that make your life worthwhile and those that help you excel in life!

5 Purposes For Being Awake In The Middle Of The Night

August 16, 2007

As some of you might have already known, I work in the middle of the night from time to time. It’s often quiet and I usually have some things in mind that I want to accomplish.

Being awake in the middle of the night does serve certain purposes:

1. It’s a time to reflect. The night allows me to recall what I’ve done for the day as well as to reflect on my thoughts and actions.

2. It’s a time to plan. I take the night to plan through what I need to do for the next day so as to better maximize the limited time that we all have… that 24 hours.

3. It’s a time to appreciate. As I enjoy the silence of the night, I also get to appreciate the beauty of nature’s creation. It recharges me to remind me of a world that I can love.

4. It’s a time to learn. Learning to me is so essential that I always seek to discover that extra something. It is with this discovery that I grow in knowledge and in skills.

5. It’s a time to grow. When I take everything in perspective, I get to experience an everlasting growth in all aspects.

How about you? What’s your favorite time to grow and prepare to excel?

What Time Management Really Is And The Truths Behind Your Managing of Time

July 26, 2007

Had a wonderful time conducting the seminar on Time Management yesterday. We had a roaring good time, especially with the jokes, quizzes and massive participation by everyone. My thanks and appreciation to everyone who attended the event. It is truly your contribution that made it so exciting, enriching and empowering.

Time management is one of the oldest subject ever discussed. Time has been with us since the dawn of err… time. (pun intended.). Man has always been attempting to measure it, organize it and understand it.

The one fact that we can all be sure of is: Everyone of us have the same amount of time everyday. In absolute terms, that is.

Beyond that, it’s interpreted differently. So here’s another thing we can be sure of: Everyone see time differently… subjectively.

Since we see time differently, we, as a result, use time differently. Internally, our own notion of time is subjected to our upbringing and our projection of the future.

In addition, the value of time is directly dependent on the way we use time. If we use it by idling, then it becomes worthless. If we made use of that hour to build our own dreams, then it’s has become one of the most meaningful and “gold-worthy” 60 minutes in your life.

Therefore, time has a cost. Hence it has a value attached.
So what is time management is really?

1) Time management is really about Life management. It is really about how you decide to run your life and what you intend to achieve during your living years. From a macro perspective, it is also the reason why it is also called your “lifetime”. For every life we have, we have a certain amount of time to make certain things happen.

Conversely, poor time management usually reflects a lesser quality of life. Less worth thus is derived from that person’s lifetime in this world.

2) It is a reflection of your life’s REAL priority. When we talk about management of time, we are also talking about what activity we decide to use that specific hour for. The way we put into use hence is an indication of our priority in life. For example, if a person verbally says he wants to pursue a professional degree academically but spends most of his time sleep and eating, then his REAL priority in life is actually to sleep and to eat his life/time away.

3) It carries your values, beliefs and character. As you allocate time, it begins to form patterns. When you continuously do similar activities, it will clear indicate your inner beliefs about different issues and corresponding perspectives. Over time, the activities and the inherent meaning become ingrained in your character, giving you your life’s purpose.

4) Time management demands steadiness of mind and a fair sense of rationality to maximize time. Just as everything we do demands time, we have to remain firm and steady if we are to stick to our time management plan. We must also sometimes resist temptation to do some other things no matter how much we desire it, emotionally. Therefore, steadiness and rationality enables us to keep to our plans, duration and deadlines.

5) Given effective and efficient time management, it can make most (if not all) of your life’s dreams come true. If you can manage time, you can manage our life. We become capable of allocating tasks that brings in purpose to our lives. With whatever dreams we have, time is required to bring it into fruitation. Therefore, when we can manage our absolute time well (meaning effectively and efficiently) and keeping to it, the dreams of our lives will simply be achieved.

6) Lastly, time management is also your essential tool to excel beyond excellence. (‘Nuff said.)

A Tight Time

June 16, 2007

A rather short weekend for me. A tight time of rushing as I booked out of camp only to book in a few hours later. Yet, in the midst of planning and preparing my mind for the outfield exercise starting tomorrow, I have to maximize the use of my time for designing the courses that come.

Exciting isn’t it?

Hence, it is imperative for me to take the following steps:

1. Keep my mind clear and calm.

2. Sort out and list out the things to do, either written down or mentally (if you’ve a trained mind.)

3. Prioritize according to urgency and importance.

4. Set duration and deadlines for every single item to do.

5. Just to do.

6. Reflect and evaluate at the end of event for efficiency and effectiveness.

7. Make it even better the next time.

Since I’ve worked out the training tasks, it’s time to get to doing them.

Excellence begins here!