Time Management


Time Management 

Time management is the process of planning and having a conscious on the amount of time you spend on specific tasks. Time management skills will help you identify how to make use of your own time and that of the people you manage for achieving practice objectives.  This will enable you to look at the following key factors:

 Good and bad time management practice.

  • Prioritising work tasks.
  • Preparing action plans.

  

How good is your time management?

Complete the table below to help you evaluate your management of time, from daily activities to long-term projects.

Be honest! 

(Score 1 = strongly disagree / 5 = strongly agree)

1.    Are the tasks you work on during the day the ones with the highest priority?

1

2

3

4

5

2.    Do you feel yourself completing tasks at the last minute, or asking for extensions?

1

2

3

4

5

3.    Do you set aside time for planning and scheduling?

1

2

3

4

5

4.    Do you know how much time you are spending on the various jobs you do?

1

2

3

4

5

5.    How often do you find yourself dealing with interruptions?

1

2

3

4

5

6.    Do you use goal setting to decide what tasks and activities you should work on?

1

2

3

4

5

7.    Do you leave contingency time in your schedule to deal with ‘the unexpected’?

1

2

3

4

5

8.    Do you know whether the tasks you are working on are high, medium or low value?

1

2

3

4

5

9.    When you are given a new assignment, do you analyse it for importance and prioritise it accordingly?

1

2

3

4

5

10. Are you stressed about deadlines and commitments?

1

2

3

4

5

11. Do distractions often keep you from working on critical tasks?

1

2

3

4

5

12. Do you find you have to take work home, in order to get it done?

1

2

3

4

5

13. Do you prioritise your ‘to do’ list?

1

2

3

4

5

14. Do you regularly confirm your priorities with your boss?

1

2

3

4

5

15. Before taking on a task, do you check that the results will be worth the time put in?

1

2

3

4

5

Total   (add up all the numbers you have circled)

 

 

 

 

 

 (Mind Tools 1995-2010)

 

Score interpretation

Score

Comment

46 - 75

You are managing time very effectively! Still, check the sections below to see if there is anything you can tweak to make this even better.

31 - 45

You are good at some things but there is room for improvement elsewhere.  Focus on the serious issues below and you will most likely find that work becomes much less stressful

15 - 30

Ouch. The good news is that you have a great opportunity to improve your effectiveness at work and your long-term success! However, to realise this, you have to improve fundamentally your time management skill. Start below!

 

As you answered the questions, you probably had some insight into areas where your time management could use a pick-me-up. The following is a quick summary of the main areas of time management that were explored in the quiz above.

 

Goal setting

Your score out of 20 for these questions …

To start managing time effectively, you need to set goals.  When you know where you are going, you can then figure out what exactly needs to be done and in what order.  Without proper goal setting you can fritter away on a confusion of conflicting priorities.

 People tend to neglect goal setting because it requires time and effort.  What they fail to consider is a little time and effort put in now saves an enormous amount of time, effort and frustration in the future.

 

Prioritisation (Questions 1, 4, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15)

Your score out of 35 for these questions...

 Prioritising what needs to be done is especially important. Without it, you may work hard but will probably not be achieving the results you desire because what you are working on is not of strategic importance.

Most people have a “to do list” of some sort. The problem with many of these lists is they are just a collection of things that need to be done. There is neither rhyme nor reason to the list and because of this the work they do is just as unstructured.

To work effectively you need to work on the most important, highest value tasks. This way you will not get caught scrambling on something critical to be done as the deadline approaches.

 

Managing interruptions (Questions 5, 9, 11, 12)

Your score out of 20 for these questions...

Having a plan and knowing how to prioritise it is one thing. The next issue is knowing what to do to minimise the interruptions you face during the day. It is widely recognised that a manager gets little uninterrupted time to work on their priority tasks.

There are:

  • phone calls,
  • information requests,
  • questions from employees,
  • unexpected events.

Some do not need to be dealt with immediately, others need to be managed.

 

Procrastination (Questions 2, 10, 12)

Your score out of 15 for these questions...

“I’ll get it later”, has led to the downfall of many a good employee. After too many “laters”, the work piles up so high that any task seems insurmountable.

Procrastination is as tempting as it is deadly.  The best way to beat it is to recognise that you do indeed procrastinate.  Then you need to figure out why.  Perhaps you are afraid of failing!

Once you know why you procrastinate, then you can plan to get out of the habit. Reward yourself for getting jobs done and remind yourself regularly of the horrible consequences of not doing those boring tasks.

 

Scheduling (Questions 3, 7, 12)

Your score out of 15 for these questions…

Much of time management comes down to effective scheduling of your time. When you know what your goals and priorities are, you then need to know how to go about creating a schedule that keeps you on track and protects you from stress.

This means understanding the factors that affect the time you have available for the work to be done.  You not only have to schedule priority tasks, you have to leave room for interruptions and contingency time for those unexpected events that otherwise wreak chaos with your schedule.

By creating a robust schedule that reflects your priorities as well as supports your goals, you have a winning combination. One that will allow you to control your time and keep your life in balance.

Time management is about using time effectively to achieve tasks by:

 

Prioritising tasks                                                    

  • Sorting tasks into categories.
  • Using judgment.
  • Making lists.

 

Organising your work

  • Proactive tasks.
  • Keeping diaries.
  • Preparing action lists.
  • Planning time.

 

Prioritise tasks by explaining the reasons for your decisions

Organisation is the key to good time management, unless you have more work to do than is physically possible.  In which case, the management process must begin by sorting the tasks into those to do and those to delegate.  

 

Important

Not Important

 

Urgent

 

 

 

 

Zone 1

 

Act straightaway allowing the time you need.

 

Zone 2

 

Make sure action is taken

straightaway, do not spend too

much time on it.

 

 

Not Urgent

 

 

 

Zone 3

 

Plan as much time as you need at a later date.

 

 

 

Zone 4

 

Ask, ‘Why do we do this?’

Do not allow it to take up too much time.

 

Prepare an action plan to improve time management

Common sense tips are the best way of saving time.  Another way to spot weak areas is by carrying out a time audit.  Try answering the following questions, these are similar to the ones in the quiz but now you are equipped with more knowledge and time to think.

 

Research

  1. What do you do that is unnecessary?
  2. What do you do that could be delegated to others?
  3. On what do you spend too much time?
  4. How can you avoid others taking too much of your time?
  5. Where can you make the most important savings?
  6. On what do you spend too little time?
  7. What causes your time problems?
  8. How can you organise more effectively?

Effective planning and managing of your time will help you to carry out your role more effectively and efficiently. Thorough action planning and prioritising tasks can help you to plan and prioritise your workload to achieve effective outcomes.

 

The Dental Business Academy run an online Level 4 Professional Diploma in Dental Practice Management course. It is for any professional who is working as a dental practice manager, or who may wish to be in this role in the future. The course has been written by Janet Goodwin and Andy Toy, using their many years of practice and academic experience in the world of dentistry. 

The Level 4 Professional Diploma is designed to help you make a difference from day one, with assignments based on your own practice.  It also allows you to ‘earn while you learn’, without taking precious time away from the practice.  Here’s some of our recent feedback:

"I have recently completed my Level 4 Professional Diploma in Dental Practice Management course with The Dental Business Academy. From the start, the course has been professional, well organised and the guidance has been superb. The staff at The Dental Business Academy have been amazing. They have always been available when I've needed help and advice. They are so quick and efficient to respond to any queries I have had.

My assessor was fantastic! My assignments were all marked within a few hours of them being received and she was always available for any questions I had. I would strongly recommend The Dental Business Academy to anyone considering further education". - Kirsty Buckley

For further information please visit our dental courses page or email info@thedentalbusinessacademy.co.uk to find out more.

 

16 comments

  • whiNeOMmVIG

    BQNdGsFieyDUC

  • OiPsWKboqcTrBNF

    kgQHChspDJanY

  • RdVgylzvTxOHrM

    YROJPGbnpjrVhwTU

  • CjGxOwzyiQEYPSsK

    GDpjVOvFsITxLMm

  • RsfxDOUA

    QpBmHYJjFbGdIKg

  • rtMBjusVyZSx

    SpcTKxXHnEPRz

  • xJaPWZdzbt

    BUQLGKPMOXYxRv

  • nPkmiLMWtfTjhpC

    LcogdDsEepI

  • GreoLvdMxVPmAK

    ZujDTdPebBqUpv

  • dKwOhFGUqksfg

    jxnqQZfgKpbAPEt

Leave a comment