Series on Time Management – Control of time

A lot of people feel content with their life, how it’s progressing and if it is what they expected it to be. They experience stress when they are not able to see that picture or are not satisfied with it. Take a look at the research study for a better understanding.


Many college students may find the academic experience very stressful (K. J. Swick, 1987).165 students completed a questionnaire assessing their time management behaviour’s and attitudes, stress, and self-perceptions of performance and grade point average (GPA). The study revealed 2 major findings. Students who perceived control of their time reported significantly greater evaluations of their performance, greater work and life satisfaction, less role ambiguity, less role overload, and fewer job-induced and somatic tensions. Findings are consistent with theory and advice on time management (e.g., R. S. Schuler; 1979) but also indicate that the dynamics of time management are more complex than previously believed.

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Series on Time Management: Could loving what you do help you manage time better?

A lot of times for a lot of people, success is a need. It denies them clarity and aid in figuring out what’s important. Prioritizing though, is easier for people who are satisfied with their work and excel by means of careful planning and implementation.


Take GOTHAM CONCIERGE for example,in the summer of 2008 at its peak, Alison Kero, Gotham’s founder, was running errands and handling tasks for more clients than she could handle, from busy housewives to disorganized lawyers and hedge fund managers.

WHAT WENT WRONG As home prices and the stock market plummeted in the fall of 2008, Ms. Kero’s clients began cutting back. She spent thousands of dollars on advertising that did not work. Worse, she became increasingly frustrated with the tedium of running errands. In July, when one of her two remaining clients forgot about a meeting — and then blamed Ms. Kero for not reminding her about it — she decided to close up shop.

“I realize now I didn’t love what I did,” she said. “I loved running a business.” In late October, she moved to Denver and started a pet care business, Alicat Pet Service, which is doing well for itself.

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Series on Time Management: How long a delay?

Procrastination concerns a person’s ability to meet deadlines hence temporal dimension is clearly important to this personality construct. Person’s with arousal motives, like the rush last moment gives to complete a task so they put it off until then. Avoidance motivation of procrastination pushes the person to keep aside the feelings of anxiety and hence the tasks associated to it. Read on to see that there are times that brilliant people work like this too but the ball will drop sooner or later. You cant get away with this all the time.


The last of “Five Good Emperors,” Marcus Aurelius ruled Rome from AD 161 to 180, when its empire controlled most of the western world. He was a great warrior and statesman, but is best remembered now as a philosopher. This is what he had to say about procrastination, in his famous Meditations: “Think of all the years passed by in which you said to yourself-‘I will do it tomorrow’, and how the gods have again and again granted you periods of grace of which you have not availed yourself.” 180 AD though, now, we do not necessarily think on the same lines.

Set aside a time to worry and be averse of the task at your disposal. As the deadline approaches however, get yourselves to work and be as efficient as you can. The great American architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed his most famous house at the age of 67—in two hours. Wealthy Pittsburgh businessman Edgar Kaufmann Sr. commissioned Wright to create Fallingwater, a house in rural Pennsylvania, in 1934. Wright visited the site in November and wrote to Kaufmann assuring him that he had been working on the plans, but had not actually drawn a thing.

So imagine Wright’s surprise when Kaufmann called him at home early on Sunday morning, on September 22, 1935, to announce that he would be visiting before lunch, and couldn’t wait to see the design. Wright calmly finished breakfast and, while a group of extremely nervous apprentices looked on, drew the plans in the time it took Kaufmann to drive up from Pittsburgh. This time the procrastination paid off: Fallingwater was listed as National Historic Landmark in 1966.

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Series on Time Management: Is it time well spent?

Time management behaviours are closely related to perceived effectiveness and work-related morale. The belief of a good result helps a person to manage his time and tasks well.


The study conducted by Kearns and Gardiner (2007) tests the claims that people who manage their time well perceive themselves to be more effective and feel less stressed. University staff and students were utilized to investigate the relationship between time management related behaviours, perceived effectiveness, and work‐related morale and distress. Results suggested a hierarchy of time management behaviours.

Having a clear sense of career purpose was most important for perceived effectiveness at work, followed by planning and prioritizing. This study has significant practical implications for staff and students. If the aim of using time management strategies is to improve performance and reduce stress, people need to learn to identify the purpose in their career, then plan their time accordingly, rather than tidying desks and hanging ‘do not disturb’ signs on doors.

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Series on Time Management: Plan ahead

Planning helps us in understanding the steps that need to be taken towards achieving our goals. Time management just ensures that we most appropriately divide our time between the specific activities so that we can accomplish the desired task at hand punctually.


To conceive and execute an idea step by step, it is important to bring future to the present. It helps in understanding what is more important to be done. It enhances the focus of one who ideate’s. It also helps him or her in not procrastinating or getting stuck.

Todd Henry is the Founder of Accidental Creative. He says, “My biggest method is to end with the beginning in mind. Whenever I’m working on a long-arc project, I always end every work session knowing where I’ll pick up the next day. I don’t procrastinate because I want to avoid the work, I often do it because I’m uncertain of the right next step. This tactic keeps me from getting stuck.”

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Series on Time Management: Document and build playbooks

How do we replicate and scale a successful model in diverse situations and circumstances? An important aspect of time management is also detailing tasks at hand, understanding what is necessary and what can be eliminated.


To understand what works, it is always a good idea to document how many times it did. For anything you do more than three times, write down your process in detail. Build playbooks that you can hand off to someone else, so they can execute something exactly the way you would. Never get held up by people asking what the next step is or whom they should ask about a process.

This is how Uber in particular scaled so quickly. They’ve grown to over 70 cities and they’ve killed it in all of them. How did they do it? With a playbook. They have a list of the things they do in every single city when they launch, with slight regional adjustments. They have practiced this method and tested it and wrote it all down. So now they just execute, like turning a key.

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Series on Time Management: Make a list and simplify

Single tasking is the new buzzword – can it really work in a frenetic paced world where multiple things demand attention all the time…


There’s probably not a job description in the universe that doesn’t call for multitasking. And yet, the trend that is taking hold in many quarters is single-tasking.

Instead of trying to be all things to all people, successful executives are streamlining their work and seeking Zen-like focus. Another trick is to prioritize what is important, focus on that and do the next most important thing.

Take, for example, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan. He has streamlined the way meetings are administered, allocating a maximum of one hour and 30 minutes for single-topic meetings.

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Series on Persuasion: Social Proof – Validation from what others are doing

Dr. Robert Cialdini defined social proof as people doing what they observe other people doing. It’s a principle that’s based upon the idea of safety in numbers. Social proof plays off our insecurities and desire to do the “right thing.”


Occasionally, in studies, users state that they don’t care about user reviews, they don’t trust other people’s opinions, and they make all of their decisions based totally on their own independent perspective. Unfortunately, thousands of psychology studies prove this statement false — another example of why we should base design decisions on what users do rather than what they say.

Several websites use this to make sure that a viewer is converted to a customer. Take Amazon for example, before purchasing a product, its reviews and star ratings are considered by the customer. If the product has been reviewed favourably, especially by a certified buyer then it must be good. To ensure sales, Amazon also has ‘customer who viewed this also viewed’ section. It tells the viewer that if people like him who viewed the product have viewed the others in the aforesaid section then there must be a cause and he should too.

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