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Taking Control of Your Time

Like most people I struggle with managing time and ensuring that my day to day activities are being spent on things that add genuine value and are ultimately God honouring. So I am always keen to read books that are helpful in this area. The recent one I read was the Harvard Business School's Taking control of your time . It is a collection of pieces written by various experts on the subject. Here are seven insights that are worth remembering :
1. When launching any important piece of work, visualise the end result. Conceive as much detail as possible the desired outcome of your individual effort, or that of your team.

2. The goal of enlightened time management is to allow you to spend most of your time on work that is truly important, but relative non-urgent.

3. Avoid meetings with more than 12 participants. Nothing will be accomplished. And before calling a meeting, you’ve really got to ask yourself, ‘What is the point?’ Do I really have to have this meeting’?

4. Do your own analysis. It is better to get the facts and do your own analysis. Unless you are really an expert in a field, you don’t know how accurate someone else’ analysis is! As Descartes said, “the work of one is often better oftentimes better that the work of many…”

5. Successful management depends on doing the right thing rather than doing things right. You need to identify the few activities that are most important for you to do and concentrate your efforts on them.

6. It is better to make a decision quickly and be right seven times out of ten than to delay while searching for the perfect solution.

7. True managerial wisdom lies in a kind of forgetfulness- the ability to ignore prior investments, costs and benefits, and to focus instead on the expected marginal investments, costs, and benefits of the particular decision at hand.
All of these are nuggets, thats why I have written them, but one which I found very informative is number 3. I struggle to remember a very effective meeting I have attended that has more than 12 people in it! Those tend to be gatherings rather than meetings. There's never any deep interaction or sharing of ideas - and certainly not everyone is heard! Sadly, many leaders are tempted to think the meeting is a success when many people turn up! I have fallen into the trap many times! 

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

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