Time Management: Are You Late for Meetings: Try Procrastinator’s Clock

A clock that can be installed on your computer and displays the time up to 15 minutes early, you just don’t know. Good for those individuals who just can’t seem to be on time for meetings and appointments. The procrastinator’s clock shows time early to help those individuals be triggered to leave for meetings and appointments and hopefully arrive on time or maybe not as late.

Here are the options for Procrastinator’s Clock

  • clock on deskProcrastinator’s Clock: Free download from CNET
  • iGoogle: Google has their own procrastinator’s clock that you can add to your Google homepage.
  • Dave Seah designed a procrastinator’s clock that just opens in your browser if you prefer not to download any app.

Time Management: How Leaders Should Spend Their Time

time spent on activities_knowledge workersThe following is an excerpt and executive overview of the McKinsey Quarterly article, Making Time Management the Organizations Priority, published in April 2013.

Our research and experience suggest that leaders who are serious about addressing this challenge must stop thinking about time management as primarily an individual problem and start addressing it institutionally. Time management isn’t just a personal-productivity issue over which companies have no control; it has increasingly become an organizational issue whose root causes are deeply embedded in corporate structures and cultures.

 When we asked nearly 1,500 executives across the globe2 to tell us how they spent their time, we found that only 9 percent of the respondents deemed themselves “very satisfied” with their current allocation. Less than half were “somewhat satisfied,” and about one-third were “actively dissatisfied.” What’s more, only 52 percent said that the way they spent their time largely matched their organizations’ strategic priorities. Nearly half admitted that they were not concentrating sufficiently on guiding the strategic direction of the business. These last two data points suggest that time challenges are influencing the well-being of companies, not just individuals.

Recommendations

  1. Develop a ‘leadership time’ budget: allocate a percentage of time for each major project or initiative that requires leadership guidance and attention.
  2. Consider ‘time’ when making organizational changes: when making structural and hierarchical changes to an organization, consider the ‘time’ factor managers have with direct reports.
  3. Measure individuals’ time: conduct time analysis exercises to provide awareness of where executives and workers spend their time. This creates a baseline and a starting point for changing time allocations
  4. Refine the master calendar: Review all meetings and calendars and make an assessment of which meetings support organizational goals/ initiatives. Also have a coding system of identifying reporting, problem solving, or decision type meetings.

Executives at the highest-performing organizations we’ve seen typically spend at least 50 percent of their time in decision meetings and less than 10 percent in reporting or information meetings.

5. Provide high quality administrative support: Provide executive leadership quality administrative support that understands where to allocate executives time.

Of those who deemed themselves effective time managers, 85 percent reported that they received strong support in scheduling and allocating time.The time pressures on senior leaders are intensifying, and the vast majority of them are frustrated by the difficulty of responding effectively. While executives cannot easily combat the external forces at work, they can treat time as a precious and increasingly scarce resource and tackle the institutional barriers to managing it well. The starting point is to get clear on organizational priorities—and to approach the challenge of aligning them with the way executives spend their time as a systemic organizational problem, not merely a personal one.

 

Time Management: Recommended Apps

The following are some time management apps that can help workers manage, track and prioritize their time.

Prioritize: Priority Matrix centers on clock on deskproject lists. Once a project is set up then associated tasks are affiliated with the projects. The difference with this app is that you then must categorize each task into one of four quadrants based on Stephen Covey’s, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “urgent vs. important” model. The default quadrants are: critical and immediate, critical but not immediate, not critical but immediate, and not critical and not immediate. Priority Matrix provides this prioritizing structure that certain users might find useful to help them focus on the important vs. urgent task items.

Time Tracking: Harvest is a time tracking app that helps users determine how they are spending their time during the workday. It can track individual tasks, client billing or projects. If you use Harvest to track billable hours it has the ability to export a category of hours QuickBooks. It also has the ability to do reports and provide analysis of how and where users spend their time.

Task Integration to Calendar and Contacts: SmartTime integrates users daily tasks with their calendar and/or contacts on their iPhone. It also has the ability to email tasks with other SmartTime users.

Event Tracking: Last Time is an event tracking app that helps users remember the last time they did something. For example, when the last vacation was and what activities you did, or the last time you took your car in for maintenance or a tune-up. This app essentially acts as a recorder of events that you may need to recall in the future.

 Reaching Goals: Stickk is a platform designed for individuals to make a “commitment contract” with themselves to help achieve personal or professional goals such as exercising more, attaining a higher education or being a better email manager. This application was developed by a Yale University economist who developed the model through extensive field research on commitments and motivation.

 

Application Recommendations to Manage Contacts and Business Cards

A given individual today might have four or more phone numbers; two to three email addresses; as well as separate mailing addresses for home, work, and one or more satellite offices. It can be difficult to track all this data on a business card or in a paper format. It is recommended to have an electronic system or application to manage contacts and relationships. 

 Electronic systems offer a number of benefits over collecting and filing business cards. Often when we receive business cards, they end up scattered in a desk drawer or consolidated into a big stack. When we need that data, it is difficult to access or use. Relationships are a powerful tool in today’s business world. Utilizing your contacts as resources and potential sales maximizes your business potential. After you enter business and contact information into an application, you have the power to market and utilize these contacts fully through mailings and email.

 

Here are some contact management application and app recommendations:

 Productivity Applications

  • Microsoft Outlook: Most workers already have Microsoft Outlook installed on their systems. The folder ‘Contacts’ is where contact information can be entered to sync with most mobile devises.
  • ACT! : One of the market leaders for small and medium sized businesses, this productivity tool, was designed around contact records that manages calendar and tasks lists as well.
  • Mac Address Book: Mac has their own internal contact management application that syncs seamlessly with all other apple products.
  • Gmail Contacts: Google’s application to manage contact and business cards. The beauty with Google is that it syncs with almost all mobile devises and is cloud-based accessible. Easy to use but not a lot of contact management functionality.

Outlook 3rd Party Tools

  • Copy2Contact: This is a third party Microsoft Outlook plug that converts signatures into new contacts automatically.
  • Duplicate Contacts Eliminator: Scans Outlook Contacts and eliminates and/or merges duplicate records.

 Card Scanning

  • CamCard: This mobile devise application takes a picture of a business card and then translates into text and exports into Excel, Outlook or the primary address book on the mobile device.
  • CardScan: The leading card scanning equipment and software in the market. The system scans in business cards and then exports them into a wide variety of productivity and contact management systems. Great, system for those individuals who have lots of business cards that need to get entered electronically.

 Contact Sync

·         Plaxo: A web-based contact management tool that has been in the market place for awhile and now interacts with other platforms such as Outlook, Apple and Gmail. It will email your contacts for updated contact information usually annually or per request.

·         Companion Link: This application syncs contacts, calendar, tasks, notes from application to application and mobile devise to mobile devise.

A given individual today might have four or more phone numbers; two to three email addresses; as well as separate mailing addresses for home, work, and one or more satellite offices. It can be difficult to track all this data on a business card or in a paper format. It is recommended to have an electronic system or application to manage contacts and relationships.

 

Electronic systems offer a number of benefits over collecting and filing business cards. Often when we receive business cards, they end up scattered in a desk drawer or consolidated into a big stack. When we need that data, it is difficult to access or use. Relationships are a powerful tool in today’s business world. Utilizing your contacts as resources and potential sales maximizes your business potential. After you enter business and contact information into an application, you have the power to market and utilize these contacts fully through mailings and email.

 

Here are some contact management application and app recommendations:

Productivity Applications

 

  • Microsoft Outlook: Most workers already have Microsoft Outlook installed on their systems. The folder ‘Contacts’ is where contact information can be entered to sync with most mobile devises.

 

  • ACT! : One of the market leaders for small and medium sized businesses, this productivity tool, was designed around contact records that manages calendar and tasks lists as well.

 

  • Mac Address Book: Mac has their own internal contact management application that syncs seamlessly with all other apple products.

·         Gmail Contacts: Google’s application to manage contact and business cards. The beauty with Google is that it syncs with almost all mobile devises and is cloud-based accessible. Easy to use but not a lot of contact management functionality.

Outlook 3rd Party Tools

  • Copy2Contact: This is a third party Microsoft Outlook plug that converts signatures into new contacts automatically.

 

 

Card Scanning

  • CamCard: This mobile devise application takes a picture of a business card and then translates into text and exports into Excel, Outlook or the primary address book on the mobile device.

 

  • CardScan: The leading card scanning equipment and software in the market. The system scans in business cards and then exports them into a wide variety of productivity and contact management systems. Great, system for those individuals who have lots of business cards that need to get entered electronically.