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Self Analysis -
Manage Your Time Better

Time Management Guide Part 14

To carry out this self-analysis, estimate the following common activities:

  1. How much time do you take to draft a short letter?

  2. How much time do you take to type a short letter?

  3. How much time can you take for a paper presentation?

  4. How much time can you take for a seminar?

  5. How much time can you keep talking to a group of people?

  6. How much time do you need for a smoke?

  7. How much time do you need to have a cup of coffee?

  8. How much time do you take to sign a paper?

  9. How much time do you need to read a printed document A4 size?

  10. How much time do you need to send an email?

There are no correct answers as such. It varies form person from person.

I like my coffee cold. That means I let it stand for five minutes before I drink it. And then I just gulp it down in 5 seconds. But that is by no way the right way to drink coffee and I cannot tell you that the correct time for a coffee break is 5 minutes 5 seconds.

That was not the purpose of this exercise anyway. What we were trying to do is to find out whether you have an accurate picture of how long you take for each of the actions mentioned above. If you do, then you are quite time conscious. If you do not, then you know where you need to improve.

Once you understand how long you take for the various activities that comprise your work, you will be a better position to understand how long you will need to accomplish tasks and naturally you will be able to manage your time better.

But here is an important question:

How long do you spend talking to people?

This question clinches it all; because in most cases, that is where all the time goes. I donít mean that you should behave like a hermit and stay away from people. But ask yourself if you really talk too much.

Or a better way would be to try and remember everything you say the next time you talk to somebody. You could even try carrying a voice recorder in your pocket and press the record button the moment you start speaking.

And once you get back to your own ground, replay the tape and hear what you said. What you have to do is find out if there is a shorter and faster way of saying what you did. If there is a shorter way, then certainly you do spend a lot of time talking.

Work on that and try to bring down the time you spend talking because that is where all our time goes. We have absolutely no idea how much time is lost by mere parleying.

Such a self analysis is certainly a positive step towards effective time management.

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