So That’s Why I Can’t Manage My Time!

We run many programmes on how to get the best out of your time, and it’s uncanny how many delegates tell us they can’t manage time.

Well, that’s because time can’t be managed! Duh, time does what it wants to do, which is move on without waiting for you to catch up, buddy!

Time is the continuing sequence of events occurring in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. It can’t be managed, so don’t even try.

What is really interesting is how incredibly over-optimistic people are when they estimate time. Or, specifically, how long something will actually take them to complete.

When you ask your team mates to estimate how long something will take to accomplish an unfamiliar task, expect them to be overly optimistic. We tend to underestimate because we want to make an impression or we genuinely think that a task will take us a shorter time than in reality.

Here are some tips when asking people when they think a task might be completed:

a) If one of your team starts a job for the first time, and they can devote time to do it, then double the amount of time they say it will take

b) If they have other tasks to do, then triple the estimate they give you

c) If the task requires them to work with other people who need to input information, find out their estimates of how long their share of the tasks will take, and double that.

You’ll be surprised how accurate these assessments are.

You might allocate a certain time to complete a project or a part of a project, and you find afterwards that time has run away. This is probably because of your over-optimism when you first started it.

Be more realistic with your time estimates. That way, when you tell your clients when they can expect results from you, you are more likely to be accurate, rather than having to apologise for your over-optimism.

Many thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training

(Image by Grant Cochrane)

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Mark-WilliamsMark Williams

Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.