By: Maggie CroninIssue: Resource Management Section: Business
Is it Shifting Towards Small Modular Reactors?
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Time is of the essence.” But, how often have you heard about “time” being a resource? Time is a resource just like any other “tool” we use to get from point A to point B. The mind, money, physical tools (cars, computers, etc.) are all resources, but if not used in conjunction with time, what can be accomplished?
Time is an intricate part of everything we do or that we accomplish. It is as essential as food and water. Without time, having other resources is a moot concept. No one can drive without time, have a child without time, or work and earn money without time.
Time isn't usually considered a resource because unlike resources such as energy, food, minerals, it can’t change. A person can't get more time within a business or within one’s life. Unfortunately, not everyone will recognize that time is indeed, a resource. Other resources are freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind, but not time. If a person loses money, he can make more money. But if time is lost, it’s gone forever.
Use of technology
Whatever one’s role in any organization may be, everyone is affected by time management. Every day we encounter time wasters. Every day we have to manage tasks in a timely and efficient manner. Every day we try to manage our own personal time well, in order to gain personal time. But with more types of mobile media now available, things and “times” are changing—and changing fast. Common Sense Media gives this perspective, “Today — 20 years after the birth of the World Wide Web, 13 years after the launch of Google Search, eight years after the start of the first social networking site, six years after the first YouTube video, four years after the introduction of the first touch-screen smartphone, three years after the opening of the first “app” store, and a little over a year after the first iPad sale—the media world that children are growing up in is changing at lightning speed. Fifty-two percent of kids under age eight have access to mobile media.” And, if our children are using so much of their time on new technology, one can only imagine how much this new technology affects our everyday business and personal lives.
What’s to be done? Pay ATTENTION!!!!!
At the heart of time management is an important shift in focus—a concentration on results, not on being busy. Many people spend their days in a frenzy of activity, but achieve very little because they are not concentrating on the right things. This is neatly summed up in the Pareto Principle, or the 80:20 Rule which argues that 80 percent of unfocused effort generates only 20 percent of results. The remaining 80 percent of results are achieved with only 20 percent of the effort. While the ratio is not always 80:20, this broad pattern of a small proportion of activity generating non-scalar returns recurs so frequently as to be the norm in many areas says a study by Mind Tools-Time Management.
By applying various management tips and skills, one can optimize time and effort to ensure concentration on as many high payoff tasks as possible, further ensuring achievement with the greatest possible benefit. As Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi notes in his bestselling book “Flow,” People experience the deepest satisfaction in their work when they are “marshaling full attention toward the work at hand.” Csikszentmihalyi claims that people report higher satisfaction in their work—even when the work itself is less intrinsically interesting—when they achieve the flow state, which is characterized by feelings of being “in the zone” and “losing all track of time.”
It’s hard, if not impossible, to lose all track of time when one’s overscheduled. It’s also hard to give full attention to one task when you feel that the task list is out of control.
The Four Types of Time
Many time experts agree that there are four types of time during our working hours, including boss-imposed, system-imposed, self-imposed, and subordinate-imposed time. • Boss-Imposed: when meetings run over and cut into other work time • System-Imposed: when you should automate some of the repetitive stuff. • Self-Imposed: spending time getting “lost” in thought or research on the web • Subordinate-Imposed: not empowering your subordinates to solve their own problems, instead of allowing them to add to yours.
Everyone is busy. Because of the daily rush, it’s tough to find the time to plan and strategize career development. Job seekers who are in this mode make the mistake of simply relying upon a resume to do the job for them, instead of finding the time to develop a list of networking contacts or attend local networking events. Dave Jension of Science says, “When you get home tonight and wonder where all of your time went, perhaps you should consider analyzing your day. You will never be free from the demands that people and circumstances place on you during any given time period, however, there are always some ways that you can find more time for those tasks that are of utmost importance. Imagine what you could do every evening if you had two extra hours.” Managing time by prioritizing tasks is key—and that includes the need for rest, thought processing, physical tasks (meetings, writing documents, preparing slide decks, etc.)—and those priorities can be a fluid throughout the day. When you need to eat—eat; if you have a deadline—plan to meet it; if you need a mental stretch—take it. Managing time is like managing anything else, it’s based on priority, ability, need, and cost.
In the age of the Smartphone, the iPad, the PC, and other technological breakthroughs, the world is more connected than ever. We are connected to emails, phone calls, text messages, the Internet, and social media sites—all of which give the perception of people having more time, when in reality, these devices may actually take valuable time out of our already hectic schedules. Because of these connections, we are expected, as a society, to meet more and more demanding deadlines. But using basic time resources and the right tools will help us all work smarter not harder. “Time evolved life at a very slow pace, and it probably had good reason. We have made a huge impact with the Internet, and everything is changing at a ferocious pace. We are building, demolishing, and then rebuilding at such a fast pace that we may not have the time to learn from our mistakes. We work and think and play fast, so much so that our lives are just units of time; we are negating our own time because everything is expanding today, with only one exception: time,” says author Gerry McGovern. He argues that inventiveness gives us more tools and ways to use our time and to save our time, and yet the process of learning to use each new tool means that we have less time now than we ever had. We squeeze so much learning, leisure and evolution into these modern times. We may be missing the time to enjoy, the time to live, and the time to relax and to adapt.