RA Clark Consulting
Resources

Search Jobs

Client Resources

Candidate Resources

Volume 3, Issue 6       July 2009

 

Highly Effective Time Management

By changing how you think about your tasks, you can create a better return on investment for your time

Do you have more 'to-dos' than time in your day? Is lack of time preventing you from reaching more of your goals? If you had more time, what would it mean to your business, your finances, your family - your life? No one is given more than 24 hours a day. How then do some people accomplish so much while others drown in incomplete 'to-do' lists, missed deadlines and unmet objectives? Effective time management is the process of ensuring that all of your time is spent on activities that move you closer to your goals. What you do is far more important than how quickly you do it. The bottom line, how you spend your time determines your success. The most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs invest their time very carefully. Those who develop effective habits for time management create a competitive advantage. The secret is understanding where time is best invested and developing systems, processes, behaviors and habits for effective use of time and priority management.

Change Your Attitude

To change results it is necessary to change behavior. Significant behavior change requires a change in perspective or attitude; in other words, how you think. Effective time habits require effective time attitudes. Think about your time as a limited resource to be invested rather than spent.

Know What You Want

Make a list of your top priorities, both personal and professional. This process helps clarify where to focus your energy and speeds decision-making when events arise that are not top priorities. Daily, weekly, monthly and annual prioritization is a powerful time management habit.

Establish Your Personal 80/20 Rule

Typically, 80 percent of success comes from 20 percent of your effort. Determine what your most profitable 20 percent is and spend the majority of your time in those activities.

Eliminate Unproductive Activity

One of the most practical exercises for better time use is a personal time study. Track activities in 15-minute increments for 3-5 days. Look for opportunities to eliminate unproductive behaviors that do not pertain to top priorities. Often the greatest gains in productivity are the result of eliminating bad habits and non- value added activity.

Automate

Use technology to your advantage. Automation is a great way to multiply your efforts. Review your time study for opportunities to memorize transactions, create automatic activity series, sort e- mail, auto-complete fields, etc. While it takes time to set up, it is always a wise investment.

Delegate

If the return on your time investment is less than the cost, yet the task is too important to eliminate and cannot be automated, consider delegating it. Opportunities abound to use staff, a virtual assistance, contract professionals, temporary help, family members, etc. Eliminate dependency on specific individuals by creating checklists and procedures for each delegated task. This helps bridge the gap if you have to do the task again and improves training effectiveness with new people.

Simplify

Look for every opportunity to simplify processes, decision- making, communications, proposals, customer tracking, etc.

Leverage

This concept refers to multiplying the return you get from every effort. Perhaps creative work can be re-purposed or meetings can serve multiple functions. Look for every place to consolidate your efforts and get greater return on your time investment.

Vision

Take time to create a clear, succinct vision for both yourself and your organization. Don't stop at the words; create pictures of what it will look like once you accomplish your vision. Imagine what it will feel like once you get there. The more emotionally tied you are to your vision; the easier it is to remember the success habits you are trying to create.

Time Blocking

Complete similar types of work all at the same time. Opportunities for blocking include client visits, telephone work, computer work, writing, e-mail correspondence and completing personal tasks. This strategy maximizes your time investment far better than moving from one unrelated task to another throughout the day.

Analyze

Keep track of what's working really well, personally and for the business. Also, track opportunities for improvement. Review your list regularly and implement new habits, processes and systems at every opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs create highly effective habits. If time management is actually effective priority management, then creating habits for better self-management is critical to your success. Think about the impact that one or two new time habits and/or attitudes could have on your business over the next year. Perhaps your best time investment right now is creating your personal action plan for highly effective time habits.

Reprint permission granted by author Allison Darling, ManagementConcepts

 

Structure + Analysis = Hiring Success

 

Just like anything else, the key to an effective hiring process is to identify the steps that contribute most directly to achieving success, and then implement and practice those steps, continuing to make improvements along the way.

First and foremost is the creation of a standardized hiring process. Through the creation of such a process, you can better identify the things that work best for you and your company . . . and the things that don't work at all. That's not to say that some steps in the process should be eliminated altogether, just that some should be weighted more than others, in accordance with what's most effective. Below are the basic steps that any hiring process should include:

  • Criteria-based screening of candidates

  • A standard background check

  • Assessments and/or tests

  • Structured interviews, both over the phone and in person

Remember, these are just the basics. Depending upon the position being filled, you can add steps or elaborate and build upon existing ones.

The other half of the equation . . .

A thorough analysis of the open position will further help you to fill it with the best candidate possible. Unfortunately, many companies overlook this aspect of the hiring process, instead focusing their attention on the candidates that they're screening and interviewing. Those candidates represent only one-half of the equation.

After all, you have to know exactly what you're looking for before you can know that you've found it.

That's why, after you've established a standardized and structured hiring process, the next step is to thoroughly analyze the open position and the job description associated with it. This should be done before interviews are scheduled and conducted. In addition, the position should be analyzed in regards to the three main areas below:

  • Knowledge - Although this is often considered the most obvious qualifier, it must be examined in an exhaustive fashion, since a miscalculation could be costly if not caught before a bad hire is made.

  • Skills/abilities - This refers to the application of knowledge needed to perform the tasks required by the position, whatever forms that application might take.

  • Personality/attitude - This one is often overlooked, since it pertains to the "soft skills" necessary for the job, as opposed to the "hard skills."

As you can see, achieving hiring success starts before the process itself even begins. Through the combination of a standardized process and an extensive job analysis, you can dramatically increase the chances that the next person you hire... is the best person for the position.

Copyright protected. ©Gary Sorrell - NewsletterVille.com

 

 

Employment Laws You Should Know

Health Information Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") is a federal law that protects confidential medical information belonging to all individuals. In the employment context, HIPAA means your employer may not have access to your confidential medical information unless it is necessary for the business (i.e., your employer views the results of a drug- screening test to ensure workplace safety, or you submit medical certification to your human resources department to confirm your eligibility for FMLA leave).

National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") is a federal law that regulates the employment relationship between certain employers and employees. Although the NLRA is most commonly associated with unionized employers and employees, and most of its scope is devoted to regulating that relationship, some of its coverage actually extends to all employers and employees.

Retaliation for making a claim or reporting a violation is prohibited by most of the federal and state laws relating to the workplace. In the case of Title VII and other federal antidiscrimination laws, a retaliation claim may be maintained even when an employee cannot show that he or she was discriminated against.

The Healthy Families Act has been introduced in the both the House (H.R. 2460) and Senate (S. 1152).  The bill would require employers to provide employees with up to 56 hours of paid sick leave. SHRM believes a paid sick leave mandate as outlined in the Healthy Families Act would limit an employer's flexibility in designing a benefits package that meets the needs of their unique workforce, resulting in significant costs for employers as well as a potential loss to employees who prefer other benefits rather than paid sick leave. To learn more about this and other upcoming bills subscribe to HR Voice by clicking HERE

 

Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him.

- Booker T. Washington


Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

- Theodore Roosevelt


If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

- John Quincy Adams

 


3101 Towercreek Parkway, SE • Suite 420 • Atlanta, GA 30339 • Phone:(770) 857-0002 • Fax:(770) 857-0007