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          Achieve Planner is a time management software system that helps you get
        organized, increase your productivity, and make better use of your time.

                         Organize your to-do list with hierarchical (tree-like) outlines

                         Set priorities and spend your time on what is most important

                                         Keep track of all your projects and their tasks

                             Manage your personal schedule and create weekly plans

                              Get a better sense of when your work will be completed

                               A better way to manage your time and get things done

                                                                     Software Features

 Achieve Planner is constantly being improved. We invite you to join the discussion
     forum where you can provide feedback, request features, and share your ideas.

                                                                About Achieve Planner

                              Capture, organize, and manage your projects and tasks.

Achieve Planner contains everything you need to get organized, plan your work, and
     track your progress. It uses hierarchical (multi-level) outlines to manage your
projects/tasks, which means you can break up large items into smaller steps using as
   many levels as you need. Separating projects and tasks gives you a smaller, more
                                     manageable and effective list to get things done.

                                       Set priorities to make the best use of your time.

 Achieve Planner supports the ABCD prioritization system to help you spend more
  time on what is most important and valuable. Prioritizing your to-do list helps you
                              do less and accomplish more by using the 80/20 rule.

                                                      Plan your work for better results.

    The schedule/calendar helps you make weekly and daily plans. Create "project
blocks" to get important work done, and schedule other meetings, appointments, and
  activities. The weekly planning wizard tool helps you plan your week, or you can
      do it yourself using drag and drop. You can also sketch out your ideal week by
allocating time for different activity zones like health & fitness, finances, and family

                             Get a better sense of when your work will be completed.

         Plan your projects in greater detail by tracking effort estimates for tasks and
          recording your actual work. Achieve Planner automatically computes the
 start/end dates for all your projects/tasks based on your effort estimates, priorities,
                                                                          and schedule.

             If you use Microsoft Outlook® (XP/2003), you can keep your tasks and
  appointments synchronized with your plans. You can even create projects/tasks to
keep track of your action-oriented emails (with a link so you can open the associated
                                                                   email at any time.)

                                                  Work your plan and get things done.

  Use your weekly plan and your prioritized to-do list to quickly remember what
you need to do next. The software will warn you if any tasks are overdue or running
      behind schedule based on your deadlines. You'll quickly realize whether your
                                                    deadlines are achievable or not.

                              Track ideas, thoughts, and other notes with the outliner.

  Achieve Planner Pro includes a hierarchical note outliner with keyword support to
                                       help you manage your personal information.

                                                    Some Features of Achieve Planner

                        » Use hierarchical outlines to manage your projects and tasks

             » Break large items into smaller steps using as many levels as you need

                                      » Use ABCD system to prioritize your to-do list

             » Reprioritize your items using drag & drop or by editing priority value

                                        » Remove priority gaps as you complete items

                          » Customizable views show you the information you need

                 » Outlook-like weekly schedule with recurring appointment support

                              » Drag & Drop project blocks into the weekly schedule

                                              » Track effort estimates and actual work

                 » Schedule status warns you if tasks are behind schedule or overdue

              » Plan large projects in greater detail with objectives, vision, risks, etc.

               » Generate project plan reports in MS Word, HTML, and PDF format

                                                   » Attach notes to projects and tasks

                                       » Set deadlines for projects/tasks

                        » Use time charts to sketch out your ideal week

                        » View schedule in 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 day modes

            » Use result areas to represent your life dimensions or roles

             » Customize keyboard shortcuts for application commands

                    Additional Features of Achieve Planner Pro Edition

      » Automatically compute the start/end dates of your projects/tasks

                   » Weekly planning wizard helps you plan your week

               » Get a better sense of when you work will be completed

                 » Synchronize appointments with Microsoft Outlook

» Track action-oriented e-mails from Microsoft Outlook using Projects

                » Full-featured RTF note outliner with keyword support

  » Organize your paper-based files and folders with the File Organizer

     » Manage your contacts and keep them synchronized with Outlook

                                   » Assign tasks to different resources

             » Establish predecessor/linking relationships between tasks

                 » Develop mission/vision statements for your life areas

   » Review your mission statement during the weekly planning process

                            » Capture your wish list for each result area

      Instead he advocates creating lists of tasks that are specific to a location, for
example, having a list of telephone calls to make or things to do in the kitchen. He
 also suggests that any new task which can be completed in less than five minutes
                                                        should be done immediately.

     The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, published in 1990, is a self-help
book written by Stephen Covey. It lists seven behaviors that, if established as habits,
  are supposed to help a person achieve "effectiveness" by aligning him- or herself
  to what Covey calls "true north"; principles of a character ethic that, unlike values,
                                                          he believes to be universal.

 A chapter is dedicated to each of the habits, which are represented by the following

        Be Proactive. Here, Covey recommends an attitude of initiative-taking and
            compares this to the less effective, but more common "reactive" stance.

 Begin with the End in Mind. This chapter is about setting long-term goals based
  on "true-north principles". Covey recommends to formulate a "personal mission
       statement" to document one's perception of one's own purpose in life. He sees
visualization as an important tool to develop this. He also deals with organizational
          mission statements, which he claims to be more effective if developed and
          supported by all members of an organization, rather than being prescribed.

  Put First Things First. Here, Covey describes a framework for prioritizing work
that is aimed at long-term goals, at the expense of tasks that appear to be urgent, but
       are in fact less important. Delegation is presented as an important part of time
     management. Successful delegation, according to Covey, focuses on results and
     benchmarks that are to be agreed in advance, rather than on prescribing detailed
                                                                          work plans.

   Think Win-Win describes an attitude whereby solutions are sought that benefit
   oneself as well as others, or, in the case of a conflict, people on both sides of that

 Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood. Covey warns that giving out
advice before having understood a person and their situation will likely result in the
         advice being rejected. Thoroughly listening to another person's concerns is
        purported to increase the chance of establishing a working communication.

  Synergize describes a way of working in teams. It is purported that, when this is
 pursued as a habit, the result of the team work will exceed the sum of what each of
                                      the members could have achieved on their own.

    Sharpen the saw focuses on regaining what Covey calls productive capacity by
                             engaging in carefully selected recreational activities.

The first three "habits" intend to take a person from dependence to independence, or
one's ability to do things for oneself. Adopting the second three is supposed to lead
  to interdependence, the ability to align one's needs and desires with those of other
      people and create effective relationships. The last habit encompasses all of the

       Time management teaches a number of techniques that aim to increase the
    effectiveness of a person in getting the things done that need to be done. Time
 management is somewhat of a misnomer as time passes without regard to what we
   do; the only thing we can manage is ourself. Hence time management is mostly
 about self management. There are a number of tools, techniques and attitudes that
                                                                          can help:

                                                                               Todo list

                                                                            Goal setting


                                                                 Win-win opportunities

                                                                  Understanding others

                                                                    Improving yourself


                                                                          Todo list
A todo list is a standard tool in time management. It usually is a flat list of tasks that
     a person needs to complete. To increase the efficiency of the ordinary todo list,
                                       prioritize the tasks in four different categories:

                                                                  important and urgent,

                                                              important and not urgent,

                                                              not important and urgent,

                                                          not important and not urgent.

Effective time management is learning say no to tasks in categories 3 and 4 to make
          more time for tasks in categories 1 and 2. Freeing yourself from doing the
             unimportant tasks leaves more time to focus on the important matters.

                                                                    Goal setting
                      There are three different type of goals you can set for yourself:

                                      Rational goals: specific goals for the short term

Directional goals (also known as Domain planning): general direction for the longer

     Muddling through: if the environment is in flux this might be your best option

                               All three types of goal setting have their application.

                                                                         Rational goals

    Rational goals are the most clear and definite from the three types of goal setting
  listed above. The primary application of this kind of goal setting is for short range
          only. Each goal of this type should be formulated according to the SMART

                                                          S imply stated and specific

                                                                        M easureable

                                              A s if now: written in the present tense

                  R easonable and believable i.e., within your control and influence

                                     T imed (with a date) and toward what you want

                                       and it should answer the following questions:

                                                      What do I want to accomplish?

                                                                Why am I doing this?

                                                                    Who is involved?

                                                   Where is this going to take place?

                                              When will this goal be accomplished?

                                                                      Directional goals

      Directional goals or domain planning is goal setting for the longer term. The
outcome is not predictable. These goals should answer the question: What do I want
                                                                    to accomplish?

                                                                   Muddling through

This kind of goal setting is applicable when the environment is in flux and the goals
                         are uncertain. It answers the question: What should we do?

                                                                  Tips on goal setting

To keep focussed you should aim high and visualize those goals. Then focus on one
   area at a time. Use reminders to not forget about the other areas. Remain flexible
                                        and adapt to new situations as they develop.

  To keep motivated you should first assess if there is support for your goals. Share
 your goals and commitments with others. Work on one or two things each day and

do the hardest thing first. Use subgoals and reward yourself appropriately along the
                                                way. Stay positive and keep active.

 To keep learning you should periodically look back and evaluate your goals, work
  and accomplishments. Be happy about your successes but equally important is to
                                                       learn from your mistakes.

                                                                 Read further
           The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey, ISBN

                                              Getting Things Done by David Allen

Common Time Management Problems at the Project/Task
              Management Level
 Effective project and task management is becoming increasingly important in work
     settings because it is an essential part of knowledge work, but it‟s also proving
                                                          useful in our everyday life.

         The main goals of the project management level are to help you get a clear
   understanding of all the projects that you are currently working on, help you plan
                            and organize your projects and track them to completion.

The primary purpose of the task management level is to help you determine the best
 way to use your time at any given moment during the day based on all the different
                                                      things you need to get done.

     Let‟s start by reviewing some common problems at these levels. My plan is to
          eventually provide links to the causes and cures for each of these ailments.

                                         Stress, Anxiety and Overwhelm
   The first common problem is feeling stressed, anxious or overwhelmed by all the
     things that we need to do and all the demands on our time and attention. In my
               experience, we feel stressed and overwhelmed for three main reasons.

    First, we feel overwhelmed when we have too many things going on at the same
time and we feel like we don‟t have a good handle on them. There are only so many
 things that we can keep track of using only our memory; when they start exceeding
 our capacity, we start to feel anxious because we realize that we can‟t keep up. The
 anxiety is telling you that the challenges you are facing may be beyond your ability
                                                                     to manage them.

Second, we feel overwhelmed when there are too many new demands on our time or
   attention. These things could be new projects, new requests, new information you
   need to process, new emails, unexpected errands, a crisis, etc. If you don‟t have a
 good way to process all this new stuff, it is only natural to feel overwhelmed as you
                                                                    see things piling up.

  Third, we often feel overwhelmed when faced with a large new project or task and
     we don‟t have clarity about what needs to be done, how to go about doing it, or
  where to start. We feel overwhelmed because we are unable to take that important
                                                                          first step.

     These feelings of anxiety and overwhelm can skyrocket when the three factors
combine together at the same time. When we already feel that we are having trouble
 keeping track of all the things we need to do, are having problems managing all the
  new stuff popping into our lives, and are then faced with large complex projects, it
                                                 is easy to feel completely paralyzed.

Root-cause worst practices: Using your memory to keep track of things, Attempting
                                    too much, Inadequate Workflow Management.

                                                        Running Out of Time
   Another common problem is running out of time before completing an important
     project. As the deadline approaches, you may find yourself having to work late
     nights and weekends just to keep up; even then you may still miss the deadline.
  While it is normal for this to happen every once in a while, if it happens regularly
and has become your normal routine, it may represent a real problem in the way you
                                                               manage your projects.

Root-cause worst practices: Poor planning, Perfectionism and gold-plating, Wishful
             thinking, Procrastination, Attempting too much, Always saying 'Yes'.

                                   Forgetting To Do Important Things
Have you ever gotten emails from your boss or a co-worker asking you about a task
     you were supposed to be working on, but you forgot about it and haven‟t even
     started it yet? Have you promised your boss you would take care of something
          important but forgot to do it? Have you missed important appointments or
meetings? Have you forgotten about an important action item or idea you got during
                                         a meeting only to remember it months later?

             Root-cause worst practices: Using your memory to keep track of things.

                                                               Too Much Work
  Do you feel overloaded with too much work? Is your schedule so crammed full of
  activities that you don‟t have any time to breathe? Overload is a common problem
 for people that have difficulty with the project and task management levels because
  it is very easy to fall into the trap of attempting to do too much. Overload is also a
                              natural result of many of the other problems at this level.

             Root-cause worst practices: Attempting too much, Always saying 'Yes',
                                  Perfectionism and gold-plating, Wishful thinking.

                                           Trouble Starting New Projects
Do you have problems getting started when you are assigned a new project? Do you
have trouble figuring out what you need to do? Do you find yourself procrastinating
          and putting it off? Do you have problems figuring out how to get it done?

                                           Root-cause worst practices: Poor planning.

                                                            Easily Sidetracked

      A related problem to having trouble getting started is having trouble finishing
projects. There are several reasons why this happens: getting sidetracked, becoming
      uninterested, avoiding the dirty work, trouble with details, etc. People that are
      capable of starting and completing important projects are more valuable to an
                              organization than those that can do either but not both.

                                      Root-cause worst practices: Drifting into trivia.

                       Routinely Working on Unimportant Things
  Do you feel busy during the day but realize when it‟s time to leave that you really
          didn‟t make that much progress? Do you routinely leave for home without
      accomplishing what you set out to do that day? Are your projects consistently
behind schedule? If this happens to you regularly, you may be spending too much of
 your time working on lower priority items instead of focusing on the tasks with the
  greatest payoff. This is one of the most common problems for the task and project
                                                                 management levels.

Root-cause worst practices: Drifting into trivia, Poor planning, Always saying 'Yes'.

                                            Getting Stuck in Crisis Mode
 Do you spend more than half your time dealing with crisis after crisis? Do you find
   it difficult to plan because there is always something unexpected that comes up?
  Getting stuck in crisis mode is problematic because each “crisis” steals your time
    and attention away from important things that may not seem as urgent. It is also
      more difficult to do meaningful planning in the chaotic work environment that
                                              results from constantly putting out fires.

               Root-cause worst practices: Management by crisis, Wishful thinking.

                                                    Constant Time Pressure
Do you feel under intense time pressure as deadlines approach? Do you have trouble
 starting your projects early enough to avoid the late time crunch? Time pressure is
    often a symptom of underlying problems at the tactical time management level,
                                  particularly if it is a recurring or chronic problem.

   Root-cause worst practices: Poor planning, Attempting too much, Always saying
                           'Yes', Perfectionism and gold-plating, Wishful thinking.

             Trashing is a term that was first used to describe what happened to large
  time-sharing mainframe computers when there were too many people trying to use
   them at the same time. These systems made it appear to each of the users that they
      were the only ones using the system by giving each one a small slice of time in
       charge of the computer and quickly switching between all of them. The act of

   switching from one user to another imposes some overhead on the computer. The
   problem comes when there are too many people trying to use the computer at the
     same time and the time slices are not adjusted properly. When this happens, the
computer spends more time switching between the users than doing actual work and
    can make the whole system slow to a crawl; people would say the computer was
 “trashing.” Trashing occurs when the unproductive overhead associated with doing
something is greater than the actual work performed. An example of trashing in time
  management occurs when you spend more time organizing, cleaning your desk, or
                       making and rearranging lists than actually doing useful work.

 Root-cause worst practices: Overscheduling and overorganization, Efficiency Trap.

                                 Disorganization - Lack of Adequate Organization

    Disorganization is a common problem that silently steals your time minutes at a
  time. The Wall Street Journal reported that the average U.S. executive wastes six
 weeks per year searching for misplaced information. That ends up being about five
  hours wasted each week. The US News and World Report found that the average
   American spends one year of their life looking for lost or misplaced items in the

   There is a saying that if you throw a frog into a boiling pot of water, the frog will
       immediately jump out; if however, you put a frog into a pot of cool water and
slowly raise the temperature, the frog will get boiled. Because disorganization steals
your time slowly over a long period of time, it is like slowly raising the temperature
    on the frog. You don‟t do anything about it because you don‟t realize how much
 time you are really loosing to it, just like the frog doesn‟t realize it‟s getting boiled.

    Root-cause worst practices: Piles of Paper, Poor planning, Inadequate workflow

                                            Related Articles (time management guide):

                                                   Tactical Time Management              
                                                  Levels of Time Management              
                        Time management worst practices at the project/task level        

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                                            DREAM MANAGEMENT
                                                          Phil Quirke & Steve Allison

                                       ELT                     UNSEEN
                                MANAGEMENT               OBSERVATIONS

  All too often in educational management we see quality teaching struggle against
administrative and paperwork constraints. This paper looks at a management policy
      that keeps the teaching and learning processes at the core of the institution. We
  believe that students and learning are at the heart of everything we do in ELT, and
therefore teachers, those closest to both students and learning must be the engine of
                                                             educational management.

   DREAM Management is a series of principles which keep teaching and learning
  at the heart of education. This short paper is based on Phil's ten years of experience
in ELT management and the mentoring discussions the two of us have had over the
      last year. It reflects the beliefs we attempt to live and work by in our day-to-day
                                                                       management life.

                                                                          DREAM is:
                                                                 Delegate and Develop
                                                                  Recruit and Respect
                                                                   Enhance and Enjoy
                                                                  Appraise and Attend
                                                                  Motivate and Mimic

  We DELEGATE responsibility to staff so that they can do their job. This means
             avoiding a top-down approach, involving teachers in every aspect of the
     institution's work and allowing them to take responsibility for the areas they are
              interested in, for example through Action Learning & Research Groups.
      We DEVELOP staff by promoting research and reflective working practices.
                           We RECRUIT staff that fit our team's ethos and approach.
       We RESPECT staff as professionals by allowing them to do the job we have
 recruited them for. This refers to how we, as managers, appreciate the professional
   standing of our employees and rely fully on their input in their areas of expertise.
  We ENHANCE staff skills based on their annual appraisals based on a portfolio
                                system that allows teachers to drive their development.
 We ENJOY working with those around us and show it. This is the central letter of
 DREAM and the central theme of DREAM management. It emphasises the belief
        that a happy staff creates the environment that is most conducive to effective
                                                              learning for our students.
 We APPRAISE staff, not evaluate them. This focuses on the development of our
  staff. Don't criticize every move, but appraise through constructive and formative

       We ATTEND to the details which affect the day-to-day jobs of the teachers.
  We MOTIVATE staff by supporting them in every way we can. We motivate by
     not asking teachers to do something that we are not prepared to do, which I call
                                              mimic for the purposes of this acronym.
  We MIMIC staff by never asking them to do something we wouldn't do ourselves
   and demonstrating that continually. Educational managers should teach alongside
their faculty, provide cover as they expect their teachers to cover and be available at
      the same hours that they expect teachers to be on-site. This provides the key to
                                                               DREAM management.

          In effect the philosophy reads most coherently when we read it as follows:
           DEVELOP and back to ENHANCE so we can continue the cycle again.

 If we follow these management principles, we should give ourselves more time to
   lead effectively. By taking Covey's Time Management Matrix (Seven Habits by
                 S.Covey: pg. 151), we can graphically demonstrate how this works:

As a management / leadership matrix model, there has to be (by definition) room in
 which the management aspects have the capacity to take place. Following Covey's
 lead we wish to create more opportunties for leadership, Quadrant II. We do this by
  making our Management practices more effective and reducing the time spent on
                                    management issues in Quadrants I, III and IV.

        This, then, should leave us time to spend on the leadership issues that Covey
    suggests are so essential to good leadership and which allow us, for example, to
define the ethos and approach discussed under Recruit. In time we would like to see
    Quadrant II developed under a DREAM Leadership heading which could match
                                                                    Covey's 7 Habits:

                                                               THE PERSONAL
                                                           HABIT 1: Be Proactive
         HABIT 2: Set a Personal Mission Statement (Begin with the end in mind)
    HABIT 3: Prioritise by Using your Organiser Effectively (Put First Things First)

                                                                  THE PUBLIC
                                                     HABIT 4: Think Win / Win
      HABIT 5: Active (Emphatic) Listening (Seek First to Understand, Then to Be

                                       HABIT 6: Synergise - Value the Differences

HABIT 7: Professional & Personal Development - Learn, Commit, Do (Sharpen the

   At the recent TESOLArabia Conference 2004 during a presentation on DREAM
  Management, one teacher offered that the principles only apply to managers and
  suggested the following five principles for the role of teachers within a DREAM
                                                           Management framework:

                                                  Discuss and communicate openly
                                        Reflect on your classroom practice and job
                                                  Enjoy alongside your colleagues
                       Activate your ideas through Action Learning and Research
           Move with the times and towards your management by being proactive

  This simple acronym provides us with a powerful set of principles, and this paper
    will be continued over the coming months with practical examples of how they
    work through links to the key words above. It is a tried and tested formula that

                                                                    Chapter 1

        Computers and Technology for
   Enhancing Effective Learning Time

Although most school systems use computers in some ways for instruction,
   what is often missing is a theory-based framework for making decisions
about the computer's place in the curriculum. Based on current educational
research, this book recommends using effective learning time as the major
factor in deciding whether or how to use the computer for instruction. This
 chapter explains the concept of effective learning time and describes how
     the computer can increase the effective use of instructional time in any
           subject area. Later chapters will describe practical guidelines for
   introducing computers into school systems and into classrooms in a way
         that maximizes effective learning time and improves the quality of

                                                  Effective Learning Time1

     Effective learning time (ELT) is the amount of time a student spends
  attending to relevant academic tasks while performing those tasks with a
 high rate of success (Caldwell, Huitt, and Graeber, 1982; Berliner, 1984).
     Whatever the subject area, effective learning time is likely to be more
   strongly related to academic success than any other variable over which
                                            the teacher can exercise control.

  Many of the practical books for teachers focus on ELT, even though the
   authors rarely use the term. For example, in The First Days of School :
     How to Be an Effective Teacher Harry and Rosemary Wong suggest
  numerous strategies for beginning teachers, most of which work largely
           because they result in a more efficient application of one of the
                                                      components of ELT.

   Even without supporting research, it seems fairly obvious that the more
        time we spend on a task, the more we learn about it. Research has
  suggested that this relationship exists for academic activities. But simply
   assigning more study time to a topic will not automatically increase the

    student's learning. The relationship is a bit more complex than that. For
   example, not all the time officially scheduled for a classroom activity is
    likely to be allocated to it. If an hour is assigned to working on a set of
      problems but the teacher devotes five minutes at the beginning of the
     session to returning papers and five minutes at the end collecting milk
         money, then only fifty minutes have been allocated to working the
 problems. As Figure 1.1 shows, scheduled time merely sets an upper limit
                                                             on allocated time.

                               Figure 1.1. Scheduled Time and Allocated Time.

         Moreover, not all students will spend all the time allocated to a task
  actively engaged in appropriate activities. While a teacher is lecturing, for
    example, a student may daydream. While doing seatwork, a student may
    stop to examine an insect crawling across the floor. While one student is
         giving a detailed answer to a question, other students who are bored
  (because they already know the answer) or confused (because they cannot
       grasp the question or understand the answer) may be engaged in other
 activities. It is the time the learner is engaged in appropriate activities that
is closely related to improved academic performance. As Figure 1.2 shows,
   scheduled time and allocated time merely set the upper limit for engaged

                     Figure 1.2. Engaged Time as a Subset of Allocated Time.

  For engaged time to be really useful, the student must be participating in
 useful activities at a high rate of success. Neither succeeding at worthless
             activities nor failing at worthwhile tasks will lead to improved
       performance. Improvement requires success at worthwhile activities.
        Research has shown, for example, that students who are tested after
  completing worksheets with 90 percent accuracy learn a great deal more
than students who spend the same amount of time on the same worksheets
  with 50 percent accuracy. Effective learning time, then, is defined as the
amount of time the learner spends actively engaged in worthwhile tasks at
 a high level of success. In Figure 1.3, the shaded area represents effective
   learning time. As this figure shows, scheduled time, allocated time, and
  engaged time all merely set the upper limit for effective learning time. If
     the outer circle in Figure 1.3 represents an hour of schedu led time, the
    shaded area represents about ten or fifteen minutes of effective learning

            Figure 1.3. Effective Learning Time as a subset of Engaged Time.

    One popular way to increase effective learning time is to increase the
  length of the school year or school day. Another is to "get rid of frills" -
   see to it that more time is devoted to essential topics rather than to less
 important information. Both approaches are designed to increase the size
                          of the outer circle (scheduled time) in Figure 1.3.

       Another approach is to make the classroom operate more efficiently.
  Perhaps the teacher could return papers within one minute instead of five
    minutes; maybe an aide could collect the milk money while the teacher
 explains the homework assignment. This approach (which is diagrammed
in Figure 1.4) would increase allocated time, and this increase in allocated
     time would eventually increase ELT. That is, the increased efficiency
  would bring the second circle in Figure 1.3 (allocated time) more in line
                              with the outer circle, as shown in Figure 1.4..

     Figure 1.4. An example of increasing ELT by increasing Allocated Time.

 Yet another approach is to ensure that students stay on task. The teacher
could use effective behavior modification to reward on-task behavior and
punish deviant behavior. Or the teacher could be careful not to bore other
      students while devoting attention to the unique problems of isolated
  learners. These approaches would expand the inner circle in Figure 1.3.

     A final approach is to assign tasks that breed success and to monitor
          progress and provide feedback as students complete appropriate
 assignments. This approach would increase the high success rate area in
   Figure 1.3, and the result would be the pattern shown in Figure 1.5. As
    Figures 1.4 and 1.5 indicate, any of these approaches could lead to an
   increase in effective learning time and to improved learning. The ideal
 strategy, of course, would be to apply simultaneously all the approaches
described here. Figure 1.6 describes the impact of this combined strategy.

  Figure 1.5. An example of increasing ELT by increasing High Success Rate.

    Figure 1.6. An example of increasing ELT by increasing all four component
                                                                factors of ELT.

      Do students ever perform at the level shown in Figure 1.6? Have you
   yourself ever used time that effectively? The answer is almost certainly
        yes. Students use their time this effectively when they are studying
  something they are deeply interested in and when they are unimpeded by
         outside distractions - perhapes while "studying" a favorite sport or
     "learning about" a favorite movie or popular song. Likewise, you have
         converted sheduled time into ELT at this high rate when you have
 voluntarily studied something you have really cared about. The challenge
 for teachers is to help students covert scheduled time to ELT at this high
         rate when they have lower levels of incentives to participate in the
                                                       instructional activity.

    Whatever the area of instruction, students learn efficiently to the extent
       that they turn their class and study time into effective learning time.
      Neither class time nor study time automatically qualifies as effective
  learning time, but both may become effective learning time to the extent
        that the student actively attends to relevant tasks with a high rate of

     A student who devotes 100 hours to effective learning time in a course
will learn more than an equally capable learner who devotes only 50 hours.
  However, as Table 1.1 shows, a person allocating only 50 hours to study
   and spending 90 percent of it in active effective learning will learn more
  than an equally capable student who allocates 100 hours but spends only
                                30 percent of it in active effective learning.

                                                                    Table 1.1
                                Two Students Using Scheduled Time Differently.

Time Scheduled for Study      Percent of Time in ELT       Level of Learning
               100 hours      30% in ELT = 30 hours                      Low
                 50 hours     30% in ELT = 30 hours                     High

   How does the preceding discussion relate to computers? Good teachers
       are good teachers precisely because they work toward the situation
    described in Figure 1.6. It is not essential for students to have access to
  computers to make effective use of their learning time. Nevertheless, it is
 obvious that the computer can make an important contribution to effective
                                                                 learning time.

      Simply stated, when computers do enhance learning it is because they
increase effective learning time. When computers fail to improve learning,
     it is very often because they do not increase effective learning time. In
   looking for areas in which computers can enhance instruction, therefore,
  we should look for ways in which they can help achieve this process goal
                                       of enhancing effective learning time.

   Computers can enhance effective learning time in
         two ways: by permitting learners to acquire
     information and practice skills related to topics
      covered in the curriculum (that is, by teaching
content skills), and by helping students develop basic
       tools of learning that they can apply in a wide
       variety of settings (that is, by helping students
    develop higher-order or learning-to-learn skills).

 By enabling the teacher to accomplish routine management tasks more efficiently,
     the computer can help minimize the time that must be devoted to tasks that are
                                      extraneous to active learning and instruction.

 By giving students access to a wider variety of information in the classroom, in the
   library or media center, and on the Internet, the computer can greatly expand the
  number of opportunities for students to seek answers and to apply information to
                                                                     solve problems.

By packaging activities in such a way as to require and stimulate student interaction,
the computer can permit even relatively non-specialized teachers to lead students in
achieving important insights rather than mere rote memorization of information. For
example, a teacher who has never piloted a spacecraft can help students benefit from
    a simulation of space flight, provided that the space simulation is well designed.

     By simulating experiences which would otherwise be too dangerous, expensive,
 time-consuming or for some other reason impossible to carry out in the classroom,
   the computer can help provide an exciting environment without the risk, expense,
                              and frustrations often associated with such activities.

      In short, by helping overcome many of the problems discussed in the
      previous paragraphs, the computer can help us enrich the curriculum.

            The computer is not a panacea that will solve all the problems of
    education. Putting a million dollars worth of computers in an ineffective
   school will merely produce a more expensive, ineffective school - unless
       substantial other improvements occur. Teachers still need training in
     pedagogical skills and in their areas of specialization, and teachers still
need to conduct many non-computerized activities in their classrooms. The
      thesis of this book, however, is that very often the computer can help
 enhance effective learning time and facilitate the application of effective
     principles of instructional psychology. Other chapters in this book will
  specify exactly how the computer can enhance instruction. It is important
                       for teachers to understand these underlying principles.

 Important Note: If you have understood our discussion of effective learning time as
 indicating that it is better to have students actively involved for 100 percent of their
  time in the pursuit of trivia than to have them actively involved only 75 percent of
the time in the pursuit of more important goals, then we have failed to communicate
  a very important concept to you. This failure in communication probably occurred
 because you held a previous "alternative conception" of effective learning time and
      let that override the concept as we described it in the preceding paragraphs. We
emphatically recommend devoting effective learning time to significant educational
   objectives. If you suffered from this misconception, we urge you to reexamine the
               preceding paragraphs in this section before continuing with this chapter.

       This book, therefore, does not recommend that the computer should
      become one more subject area for students to study, but rather that it
 should become a tool to help facilitate and enhance teaching and learning.

        Throughout the curriculum, the computer can provide a method of
   integrating subject matter and various thinking skills to provide a more
meaningful experience for the student. In addition, the computer can play a
   vital role by both motivating learners and focusing their attention more
                                            effectively on the task at hand.

    The more standard term used by these authors is Academic Learning
 Time (ALT). We have chosen Effective Learning Time (ELT), because
    our students understand it better and the term flows more easily in our
                                                 writing. {Click to return.}

                         Educational Media and Instruction

   In the past, teachers have integrated their own methodology with either
        printed or audiovisual media, such as books, films, filmstrips, tape
    recordings, or videotapes. In evaluating the computer's usefulness, it is
    appropriate to compare it to these traditional media. In some cases, the
  computer may offer a delivery system that will promote more active and
         intense interaction with the subject matter on the part of students.

                    Will Technology Ruin Education?

                                "This new technology will ruin education."

  "No, it won't. It will make education much more efficient than it is now."

  "I see the problem as one of depersonalization! If this new technology is
 done well, it won't even be necessary to have teachers at all. Students will
                  interact with technology rather than with human beings."

    "Not true! Teachers can permit students to learn basic information more
  efficiently from the new technology. Then the teachers will be able to use
their own time to focus on individual needs. The result will be an increased
                  quality of the interactions between students and teachers."

 "But almost no students or teachers know how to use the new technology.
    They'll be dependent on unseen technologists and mysterious forces to
                                                   control their learning."

"Then maybe students and teachers will have to acquire a certain degree of
                          literacy. The benefits will be worth the effort."

   This conversation between two educators took place five centuries ago.
         The "new technology" was the increased availability of the book.

      The opponent of the new technology in this anecdote had some good
    points. Some students are, in fact, required to read bad textbooks. Inept
teachers sometimes fail to supplement weak texts. A book written for mass
      distribution often fails to meet the needs of an individual student in a
        school never seen by the author of the text. And the lack of literacy
                       certainly inhibits the full, effective use of textbooks.

    Nevertheless, it would be foolish to argue that books have been bad for
  education. When poor reading material presents problems, the solution is
to find better materials - not to remove books from our schools. If students
  are not literate enough to use books, the proper procedure is to help them
                                                       develop this literacy.

      The computer is very much like the book. Education with the book is
   considerably different from education without the book. Education with
 the computer is likely to be considerably different from education without
                                                              the computer.

Some of us have learned a great deal by simply sitting down and reading a
  good book. Some of us will also learn a great deal by sitting down alone
    and interacting with a computer. In the classroom, however, books are
 most often used as an integral part of a curriculum. Likewise, computers
  will most often be used in combination with textbooks, films, comments
         from teachers and peers, and other instructional tools to provide a
                                         complete educational experience.

     Computers are mysterious to many of us. What we often forget is that
books were equally mysterious as they began their proliferation. We forget
   that for medieval people "to cast a spell" referred to the fact that people
     who could use written words held a mysterious power over those who
                                                                    could not.

      Used effectively, the computer has the potential to have an impact on
   education as beneficial as that of the book. Used unwisely, the computer
      can have the same negative impact as requiring students to read poor
 textbooks or forbidding them to use other helpful resources to supplement
                                                               their reading.

Tables 1.1 and 1.2 summarize the major strengths and weaknesses of three
   major media for presenting instruction. Tutorials, drills, and simulations
       can be presented through any of these media. (Note that multimedia
    presentations - which can integrate film, still photos, audio and written
  material into motivating presentations with the aid of the computer - can
   sometimes help us attain the advantages and avoid the weaknesses of all
 three of these media.) A unit of instruction is effective not because it uses
  one or the other of these media, but rather because it helps students meet
                           instructional objectives at a high rate of success.

                                                                       Table 1.1
                                                 Strengths of Three Major Media.

Text Materials                                            Computerized Materials
      Learner                                 Computer can either control rate of
 controls rate                         presentation or leave this up to the learner.
 presentation.                        If efficiently designed, computer programs
                  Graphics can be     can save time by enabling learners to begin
   Learner can       realistic and                              work immediately.
        review        interesting.
      previous                        Computter can make possible activities that
information as       Graphics and      would otherwise be dangerous, expensive,
       needed.    sound can focus      or otherwise impractical in the classroom.
   Learner can        effectively.        Computer can rapidly link to additional
    easily stop                        relevant information, even at remote sites.
      and seek          Visual and
     additional     auditory tracks       Computer can permit student to review
information as    employ different                       previous information.
       needed.    (complimentary)
                       modalities.     Computer can provide unique information
Most teachers                                        or prompts as it is needed.
 and parents
know how to                              Graphics can be realistic and interesting.
      use text

     materials.                          Graphics and sound can focus attention

                                       Audio and visual tracks employ different
                                                  (complementary) modalities.

                                               Computer can require interaction
                                               (eliminates passive observation).

                                     Computer can provide immediate feedback.

                                     Computer can record student performance.

                                     Computers play an active role in numerous
                                                          real-life professions.

                                 Table 1.2
                     Weaknesses of Three Major Media.

         Text        Audiovisual
                                                        Computerized Materials
     Materials         Materials
  enforce rate

  Graphics are
     static and   Learner cannot
                                              More expensive than other media.
   likely to be    control rate of
 uninteresting      presentation.
                                       Unfamiliar to some teachers and parents.
and inefficient
   in focusing     Learner cannot
                                             Not all programs have all the above
     attention.         easily and
                  exactly back up
   Learning is         and review
                                        If inefficiently designed, computers can
often passive.       information.
                                     waste time by requiring learners to teachers
                                     or learners to focus on getting the program
 Materials are        Learning is
                                                                           to run.
  written for      often passive.
  masses and
    are rarely
   attuned to

    Few quick

   links (as is
 possible with
 hypertext) to

    rarely take
  into account
  the needs of

                  Examples of the Computer Enhancing ELT

 Later chapters will go into specific examples of various applications of the
            computer for instruction and will integrate these examples with
instructional principles. Right now, let's just look at some examples of how
                                 the computer can be used in the classroom:

                                                   Amusement Park Physics

  How do physics laws affect amusement park ride design? This set of tutorials and
 simulations is based on the video series The Mechanical Universe...and Beyond, in
 the Annenberg/CPB Multimedia Collection. Similar programs on a wide variety of
     topics that integrate the World Wide Web with other media can be found at the
                                     Annenberg/CPB Multimedia Exhibit Web Page

                         ERIC Clearinghouse on Information Technology.

 This is the main web site for ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) for
 archiving and disseminating information with regard to computer technology in the
       classroom. This site includes access to the immense ERIC database, digests of
  information on important topics, information for library and media specialists, and
          links to other important sites. Note that many libraries &endash; especially
    university libraries with schools or departments of education &endash; may have
    access to ERIC resources that may be more convenient than those offered by this

                                           Hindi/Urdu Conversation Lessons

Learn the Hindi language online with these lessons from Syracuse University. Then
                                  listen to BBC News broadcasts in that language.

                                            McGruff in Indian Country

   This is an online version of the McGruff cartoon pamphlets, designed to promote
                                           health and safety among young children,

                                                               Journey North

  The journeys of a dozen migratory species are tracked each spring. Students share
   their own field observations with classrooms across the Hemisphere. In addition,
        students are linked with scientists who provide their expertise directly to the
     classroom. Several migrations are tracked by satellite telemetry, providing live
 coverage of individual animals as they migrate. As the spring season sweeps across
     the Hemisphere, students note changes in daylight, temperatures, and all living
                                          things as the food chain comes back to life.

                                                                        Online Links

                    The Role of Computers in Education

                  The Role of Computers in Education by Irma S. Jarcho

         Are computers the ultimate mind tool? Dr. Thomas Liao, Chairman of the
     Department of Technology and Society of the State University of New York at
        Stony Brook, posed this quandary at the Scientific Literacy Seminar at the

    Columbia University Faculty House, then discussed various aspects of possible
        answers, or, as he put it, five ideas to ponder. This is a summary of Laio's

         Critical Issues in Technology from the North Central Regional
                                                 Education Laboratory.

                          A discussion of critical issues with numerous useful links.

                          Using Technology to Support Education Reform

   Full text of 1993 report published by the U.S. Department of Education discusses
types of educational technologies, support for student learning activities and teacher
    functions, the effect of technology on student achievement, and implementation

                 Engines for Education by Roger Schank and Chip Cleary.

     Engines is a "hyper-book" written by Roger Schank, Director of ILS, and Chip
    Cleary, a graduate student of Dr. Schank, about what's wrong with the education
system, how to reform it, and especially, about the role of educational technology in
                                                                          that reform.

                                             Technology in Urban Schools

This is a special issue of Catalyst, an independent newsmagazine created in 1990 to
 document, analyze and support school-improvement efforts in the Chicago Public
      Schools. The Society also publishes The Chicago Reporter, an award-winning
                 newsletter created in 1972 to investigate issues of race and poverty.

                                               The Impact of Technology

    This web page from the Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory offers
 numerous links to surveys, bibliographies, literature reviews, articles, reports, case
    studies, and other resources related to determining the impact of technology on

  Technology Works Best When It Serves Clear Educational Goals by
                                               Donna Harrington-Lueker

         Complete text of an article on the topic from the Harvard Education Letter.

                    U.S. Department of Education Technology Initiatives

  This link provides information about the U.S. Deparment of Education's efforts to
 promote the use of technology in schools, libraries, and communities to achieve its
mission of ensuring equal access to education and promoting educational excellence
                                                             throughout the nation.

                                                    Resources for Practitioners

      This Canadian site offers an extensive collection of resources to help teachers
           decide which technologies to employ in their teaching. The site includes

                    Links to developers web sites, demos, and product information

                                                  Links to reviews and comparisons

Interviews with and papers from educators and trainers discussing their experiences
                                                       using learning technologies

                                        Trends Shaping the Digital Economy.

 This report by the Software and Information Industry Association goes beyond the
         scope of education, but it gives a clear and concise summary of where the
   technology people think we are going. Part of this report focuses specifically on

                                             Education Anytime, Anywhere

                                             Office of Educational Technology

      The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology (OET)
develops national educational technology policy and implements this policy through
                                Department-wide educational technology programs.

              The Learning Connection: Schools in the Information Age

    This article examines how educators are grappling with the difficult interplay of
  technological change and educational values. The organization that sponsored this
          article is a nonprofit group that conducts research on the social benefits of
 communications technology. The article provides an excellent overview of some of
                                   the problems of introducing technology to schools.

                                                            Virtual High School

  These people claim they can offer Web-based courses in everything from math to
                    English to participating private and public schools nationwide.

                             Click here to continue with next section of this chapter.

                                                         ELT Components
                                                                         Table 2.x.
                                             Components of Effective Learning Time

                                            Who          Impact
                   Who Mainly             Mainly              on
                                                                      Possible Role of
Component         Determines It       Determines       Effective
                     in School             It for      Learning
                                     Independent           Time

Scheduled           School                                   can use
                              Student    limit for
    Time     Administration                            computers for
                                                     If computers are
Allocated                                            used efficiently,
                   Teacher    Student    limit for
    Time                                                 they can save
                                                      classroom time.
                                                         If computer
                                                        programs are
                                                      interesting and
                                                       efficient, they
                                                             can keep
                                                          students on

                                                     Even if the task
                                                              does not
                                             Sets              directly
                                            upper     emphasize the
 Engaged                                 limit for           use of the
                   Student    Student
    time                                Effective      computer, the
                                        Learning       computer can
                                            Time        minimize the
                                                       time spent on
                                                     peripheral tasks
                                                      - as by finding
                                                        quickly - and
                                                     enable students
                                                     to stay engaged
                                                           in the main
                                                     If programs are
                                                       well designed
                                            Most            with good
 Effective                                 useful           corrective
 learning          Student    Student   predictor           feedback,
     time                                      of        students are
                                         success          likely to be
                                                        successful at
                                                     academic tasks.

         Table 2.x summarizes the major factors involved in setting the limits on the
                                      effective learning time available to students.

          As the table shows, in formal settings (such as schools), scheduled time is
     determined by someone outside the classroom. {Of course, teachers can extend
 scheduled time by assigning homework or making it possible to do additional work
outside the school schedule, and parents or students can schedule additional time on
                                                                   an informal basis.}

   Allocated time is largely under the control of the teacher. It is largely a matter of
being efficient - not wasting time for everybody in the classroom. The computer can
                                    often play a role by increasing teacher efficiency.

  Teacher and student activities work together to increase engaged time, where the
     goal is for the student to use as effectively as possible all the time available for
 instruction. The student is ultimately the person who must remain engaged, but the
          teacher (and instructional materials) can influence the rate of engagement.

Likewise, teacher and student activities work together to increase effective learning
   time, where the goal is for the student to be as successful as possible all the time
  he/she is engaged in instruction. The student is ultimately the person who must be
    successful, but the teacher (and instructional materials) can influence the rate of

                       Click here to return to discussion of Effective Learning Time.

                  Five Power Questions Best Practice
      As I mentioned in the Live Your Priorities article, questions have the power to
           instantly change your focus and put you into a productive frame of mind.

       The Five Power Questions best practice consists of five questions you can ask
     habitually throughout the day to help you make the best use of your time. These
      questions will immediately direct your focus, your attention, and your thinking
                              towards your top priorities and away from distractions.

                                   Time Management Question # 1
   The first question is what is the most valuable use of my time right now? This is a
slight variation of “Lakein‟s Question” developed by time management expert Alan
          Lakein. The purpose of this question is to focus your mind on what is most
 important and valuable at this moment. It is a perfect question to ask whenever you
            are unsure about what to work on next, whenever you face an unexpected
   interruption, or whenever you feel that you are not making good use of your time.

   For example, let‟s say you left some unscheduled time between project blocks to
 handle interruptions, and it‟s been an unusually calm day so you find yourself with
     an extra twenty minutes of unscheduled time. Asking yourself what is the most
valuable use of my time right now? will help you find an important task for the time
                                                                you have available.

      When asking this question, you‟ll often come up with the right answer almost
 instantly. Other times, you may find yourself struggling to come up with anything.
   A useful trick is to repeat the question to yourself several times while you review
 you master project list, time chart, and schedule until you find a meaningful task to
                                                                              work on.

If you adopt the best practices of Weekly Planning and Daily Planning, this question
         should be easy for you to answer almost any time of the week. The process of
    planning forces you to think about the answers ahead of time so you don‟t have to
 worry about it while you‟re focusing on your work. You‟ve already put in the effort
      to prepare a time chart so the most important result areas are well represented in
   your week, you‟ve selected which projects to focus on and have chosen MVPs for
   the week. Answering Lakein‟s question should be easy when you‟ve done all your

   Planning doesn‟t help you answer Lakein‟s question when you come face to face
with a true moment of choice; when something unexpected happens and you need to
decide what to do about it. In these situations, Lakein‟s question can help you make
      a good decision based on all the factors involved (see Live Your Priorities best
                                                               practice for examples.)

Sometimes it‟s easy to answer this question when faced with an unexpected event. If
      you get a call that your daughter is in the hospital after a car accident, it‟s not

     difficult to decide to abandon what you are doing to get to her side. But in other
                        situations, finding the right decision can be more challenging.

                                   Time Management Question # 2
   The second time management question, which was originally developed by Steve
Maguire, is what am I ultimately trying to accomplish? The purpose of this question
 is to focus your thinking on your real objectives and goals; the real reasons you are
                                                 working on your projects and tasks.

Asking this question habitually will help you avoid getting sidetracked, drifting into
trivia or falling into gold-plating or perfectionism. It is a powerful question that you
                                                    can use for every project and task.

In the gold-plating worst practice article, I described how easily you can get sucked
  into less valuable work while preparing a presentation when you start playing with
 the formatting, or adding bells and whistles, instead of working on the content. The
work seems important because it is connected to your presentation project, but when
     you take a closer look, you realize that you are wasting your time on details that
                                                                  don't really matter.

Asking Maguire‟s question regularly will help you refocus on your top priorities and
 away from trivial matters. If it turns out that the formatting details are important for
  this project, you'll recognize this as well and give them the attention they deserve.

 Remember that the priority of your projects and tasks are constantly changing. You
can easily waste your time on projects that were once your top priorities, but that are
no longer as important or relevant. Maguire‟s question will help you recognize when
  this is happening so you can stop working on things that are no longer helping you
                                                  accomplish what you set out to do.

            This question can also help you find and eliminate useless tasks that don‟t
    contribute toward your ultimate objectives. If you ask Maguire‟s question as you
    start each task, you‟ll quickly realize when a task is just busywork and when it is
                                                                       truly important.

                                                                    Question # 3
 The third question is what am I giving up to do this? Remember that whenever you
    choose to do something, you automatically choose not to do everything else you
could have done during that time. The purpose of this question is to help you realize
            what you are giving up in order to undertake some other task or project.

   Once you recognize the true cost of any activity, you may decide that it‟s not how
  you really want to spend your time. Asking this question before you take on a new
 task or project will help you stay focused on your top priorities and avoid the worst
                          practices of Attempting Too Much and Always Saying Yes.

   You should also ask this question about activities that you are already doing on a
     regular basis. These could be things like volunteering to do some work for your
    trade association, chairing a committee, or serving on the board of a community
  organization. While all of these things may be valuable undertakings, you may be
sacrificing something even more important to do them. Asking what am I giving up
                                     to do this? may turn out to be a real eye opener.

 A simple test is to divide a page into two parts. On the left side, list all your regular
  activities and commitments. Then, for each of the activities, list all the other ways
                         you could be spending your time if you gave up that activity.

  In addition to things like more time for fun, recreation, relaxation, spending time
 with your family, and extra sleep, be sure to look at all your „C‟ projects and goals
     that you might want to do some day but don‟t have enough time for right now.

     Once you complete your list, you‟ll be able to see exactly what you have been
    giving up in order to spend time on these extra activities. Then you can make a
 conscious choice to either continue spending your time as you have, or make some
                                                                  necessary changes.

                                                                    Question # 4
   The fourth question is what are my three most important projects or tasks today?
     The purpose of this question is to help you make use of the 80/20 rule each and
     every day by identifying the top two or three most important projects and tasks,
     which could account for up to 80 percent of your day‟s value. If you follow the
  Weekly Planning and Daily Planning best practices, you‟ll recognize this question
  as part of the process of selecting your Most Valuable Projects. Make it a habit of
  selecting your MVPs on a weekly and daily basis and ensuring that you give them
              top priority even if you have to reschedule or postpone other activities.

 During your weekly planning routine, you can change this question to what are the
         three most important projects for this week? to select your weekly MVPs.

                                                                    Question # 5
    The fifth question is should I continue doing this? This is a slight variation of the
first two questions but shifts the focus toward what to stop doing rather than what to
  start doing. As the Workload Management best practice describes, deciding to stop
     doing something that is no longer valuable is often more important than actually
                                               deciding to start doing something else.

 This is a perfect question to ask whenever you feel you may be wasting time trying
                                    to perfect something that should already be done.

                                                               Keys to Success
        The keys to success when using the Five Power Questions best practice are:

  Make it a habit – At first you‟ll have to keep reminding yourself to ask these 
questions over and over again. If you keep asking consistently, eventually they
                 will become a habit that will serve you for the rest of your life.
Remember the four steps described in the Live Your Priorities article: pause to 
  think before you react, use questions to put you in the right frame of mind, be
                                            ready to listen, and do the right thing.
 Keep asking until you get an answer – Sometimes you won‟t get an answer to 
 these questions right away; just keep asking while you review your time chart,
                                                    master project list, and tasks.
                                          Related Articles (time management guide):
                                                Live your priorities best practice 
                                                 Effective to-do list best practice 
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Effexis Software makes a terrific time management software system called Achieve
                                          Planner that is based on these principles.

          If you've been looking for a tool to help you get organized, increase your
              productivity, and work more effectively, give it a try free for 30 days.

 Want to be notified when a new article is posted? Subscribe to our free newsletter.
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                             Goal Setting Guide
       Texas oil billionaire H.L. Hunt once said that there are only two ingredients
necessary for success. The first is that you have to decide exactly what it is that you

     This is where he believed many stumble. They never decide what it is that they
       really want. They may think they want something from time to time, usually
       something generic and vague like "being rich" or "a better job," but it's just a
                                         fleeting thought; they never truly commit.

 Hunt said that once you've decided what it is that you want, the second ingredient is
to determine the price you have to pay to get what you want, and then resolve to pay
                        that price by establishing your priorities and getting to work.

     Many who get past the first ingredient never apply the second one. They don't
   understand that you have to pay the price in full before you can claim your prize.

You can think of goal setting as a process that helps you to decide exactly what it is
     that you want, and then to systematically pay the price in order to get it. It is a
 process that helps you focus your time and energy on your targets through careful
                                                             and deliberate planning.

                                        Introduction to Goal Setting
                                                                   Why set goals       
                                     Difference between wishes, dreams & goals         
                                                   Goal setting personality types      

                           How to Figure Out What You Want
                                          How to figure out what you really want       
                                      Define your major definite purpose o
                                     Writing a personal mission statement o
                                                Writing a vision statement o
                                                      Wish brainstorming o
                                          SWOT analysis for goal setting o

Effexis Software makes a terrific time management software system called Achieve
                                          Planner that is based on these principles.

           If you've been looking for a tool to help you get organized, increase your
               productivity, and work more effectively, give it a try free for 30 days.

Want to be notified when a new article is posted? Subscribe to our free newsletter. You
                                                          can unsubscribe at any time.

                  Live Your Priorities - Best Practice
  The first step in putting first things first is to identify the “first things” in your life
 by prioritizing your projects and tasks (see Putting First Things First best practice.)
  The second, and often the hardest, step is to actually put the “first things” first: to
                                                                         live your priorities.

 It doesn‟t do any good to write „A1‟ next to an important project and then spend the
rest of the week working on other less important things, or saying that you are going
     to make exercise a priority but not scheduling any time to exercise. To live your
                            priorities by putting first things first you need two things.

 First, you need a system that can help you determine what is the most valuable use
     of your time throughout the day, helping you face distractions while remaining
  focused on your most important tasks. The time management best practices work
                                            together to establish just such a system.

    Second, as Stephen Covey points out in First Things First, you need to have the
         discipline and willpower to “exercise integrity in the moment of choice.”

 Just because you‟ve thought about your priorities and prepared a schedule doesn‟t
 mean that life will cooperate with your plans. Unexpected things will happen; your
  plans will require adjustments as opportunities and challenges present themselves
                                                                   during each day.

    Following your plans and schedules rigorously to the exclusion of anything else
         may help you get things done, but it will also cause you to miss wonderful
         opportunities, create strain in personal relationships, and ultimately lead to
                          frustration as you ignore the real "first things" in your life.

     Remember that your plans and schedules are guides to help you determine your
 most important and valuable tasks during each day, but you can‟t possibly know in
    advance the unexpected events, interruptions, and opportunities that will present
 themselves each week. Any one of these unexpected things could become the “first
                                           thing” in your life the moment it occurs.

Ignoring or postponing it just because you didn‟t plan for it is not putting it first, it‟s
    putting it last. Your priorities, plans, and schedules should be a reflection of the
   most important things in your life. When the most important things change, your
                                   priorities, plans, and schedules should also change.

     The key is to recognize when an unexpected event, interruption, or opportunity
       really is a “first thing” so you can reprioritize around it, and when it is just a
         distraction that should be ignored or postponed to a more appropriate time.

                     Here are some things to consider to help you live your priorities:

                                  Pause to Think before You React

 An essential step in living your priorities is to pause when you have an unexpected
event or interruption and recognize that you are about to decide whether it is a “first
                                                                        thing” or not.

       Instead of just reacting to the unexpected based on your immediate needs and
        pressures, you can pause to make a conscious choice based on a longer-term
        perspective, taking into account your mission, goals, and guiding principles.

       Your power to consciously choose how to react to the unexpected events and
       circumstances around you lies at the very core of effective time management.

Suppose, for example, that you are working on an important project and are making
  good progress when a colleague drops in and wants to talk. If you feel under time
       pressure to get your own work done, your first reaction might be to tell your
  colleague you are too busy to talk right now and to come back later. On the other
      hand, if you are itching for a chance to procrastinate, you might welcome the
                                                interruption and start a lengthy chat.

 In either case, your first reaction may not represent the best use of your time. In the
     first case, your colleague may be working on something important and may just
need a few minutes of your time to clarify something that would allow him or her to
        continue working; or maybe your colleague wants to notify you of a potential
   problem that should be looked at right away to avert a major crisis. Ignoring your
colleague in this situation would allow you to continue your work uninterrupted, but
                                                 it may not be putting first things first.

In the second case, your colleague may just want a break from his own work to chat
   about an upcoming vacation trip, or get into a philosophical discussion regarding
 your profession. While spending some time to chat may be valuable, doing it at the
        expense of your important project may not be the best way to use your time.

   Instead of just reacting one way or the other, you can instead pause and politely
        request more information. You acknowledge that your colleague may have
something important to discuss, but you also don‟t immediately start a lengthy chat.
Once you know more details, you can make an informed choice and decide whether
               you should interrupt your work or postpone the chat for a later time.

    Use Questions to Put You Into the Right Frame of
        Questions have the power to instantly refocus our attention to what is most
important and valuable. There are several questions you can use to help you find the
  answers you seek (see Five Power Questions best practice.) The right questions to
                               use will often depend on the particular circumstance.

  In the previous example of a colleague dropping in to talk, once you‟ve requested
  more information and have a good idea of what the general subject is, you need to
     decide what to do next. Two powerful questions you could ask at this time are:

  “What is the most valuable use of my time right now?” and “What am I ultimately
                                                           trying to accomplish?”

          If your colleague is working on a project you delegated and needs to clarify
  something to continue doing meaningful work, the best use of your time may be to
    interrupt your own work for a few minutes to clarify any remaining doubts. You
 realize that what you are ultimately trying to accomplish is based on more than just
           your own work; the work that you colleague is doing is also important and
                                                    contributes to your ultimate goals.

 You realize that part of being a manager and team leader is helping your colleagues
 and staff be as productive as they can be; it would be a waste for your colleague to
 have to wait a few hours until you are done, so you decide to interrupt your project
                                                           for a few minutes to help.

  Under the same situation, you could also decide that the best thing to do is to refer
                        your colleague to someone else who has more time to help.

   If your colleague wants to talk about project planning for the next few weeks but
   does not need your immediate help to continue doing meaningful work, you may
 decide that the best use of your time is to say, “I think it is important we talk about
    your plans for the project; right now I‟m in the middle of something, how about
meeting at 2:30 to discuss it?” and make an appointment at 2:30 to discuss the plans

 If your colleague really does want to chat about a vacation trip, you may decide it‟s
     best to postpone the chat for later saying, “I‟m in the middle of something right
                                               now, would you mind if we talk later?”

                                                         Be Ready to Listen
         To utilize the power of questions to help guide your actions, you need to be
                                       prepared to listen to the answers you receive!

   When you truly listen, you feel good and at peace with your decisions; you know
deep inside that you are doing the right thing. If you attempt to make some excuse to
     justify choosing something else, you will know instantly based on the way your
                                                                choices make you feel.

The more urgency and pressure we feel, the more likely we are to create excuses for
  choices that may relieve our immediate needs but that are not the right long-term

                                                                 Do the Right Thing

 The final step is to have the courage, integrity, and character to do the right thing in
                                           spite of the pressure and urgency you feel.

     This may be the most difficult part of living your priorities, but as you practice
     pausing, asking, listening, and doing the right thing, you'll find that it becomes
                  easier and easier to follow your conscience when it really counts.

                                          Related Articles (time management guide):

                                                Putting first things first best practice

                                                  Five power questions best practice

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Effexis Software makes a terrific time management software system called Achieve
                                          Planner that is based on these principles.

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                                 Under Intense Pressure? Exhausted & Overloaded?
                                                 Never Enough Time In Your Day?

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                                                         Time Can Be On Your Side!

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                                                 A Course That's Uniquely Powerful

  Some of the skills we explain in this course are general, well-used techniques that
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     Make Time for Success! was written by James Manktelow and Namita Anand.

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      During this career he learned the self-organization skills within Make Time for
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 Now, using his experience, you can learn these same skills in a fraction of the time.

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                         Make Time For Success! Puts You On A Proven Life Plan

When you read Make Time For Success! and put its techniques to work for you, you
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                                                        Where Does The Time Fly?

                   The Big Picture: How To Know What You Really Want In Life

                                                             How To Set Life Goals

                                      How To Make Time For Your Real Priorities

                                                       How To Manage Your Email

                                   The Insider Secrets Of Planning And Scheduling

                                                 Powerful Ways To Cut The Clutter

                                                           Ways To Beat The Blues

                                                     Trusted Telephone Techniques

                               How To Deal With People Who Interrupt Your Day

                                 Ways To Use The “No” Word To Your Advantage

                                                        The Best Ways To Delegate

                        How To Define Tasks In Ways That Will Get Things Done

                                                 Understanding Your Energy Cycles

                                           Effective Ways To Leverage Technology

                          The Power Of Money To Leverage Your Path To Success

    How To Win With Other People‟s Time And Energy - To Your Mutual Benefit

                                        How Delays Can Work To Your Advantage

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 This shows you some of the many ways that Make Time For Success! can help you
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 "I particularly enjoyed the module about recognizing energy cycles and individual
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 do. These are sorted by streams in my business and then I have another section for
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                                                                   Midgie Thompson
                                                             Bright Futures Coaching

        More than this, these are serious, industrial-strength techniques that take the
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   Order Make Time For Success! today. It is the first step towards a productive and
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Published by Mind Tools Ltd, Hardwick House, Prospect Place, Swindon, SN1
                                                        3LJ, United Kingdom.

For help with your order, please contact our customer helpdesk. Please allow 24
      hours for us to respond to account for differences in international time zones.

    To talk to us directly, please call +44 7767 478545 (normal UK working hours).

   Order Now - More Information - Price & Guarantee Information - Read On...

                   Find Out More With Our Make Time for Success! Fact Sheets

We understand that you may need more information before ordering Make Time for
      Success! That's why we're please to offer our fact sheets explaining how the
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  To receive the fact sheets, enter your name and email address below and click the
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                                   Make Time For Success! Can Be Yours Risk Free!

So that the greatest possible number of people can take advantage of Make Time For
                                       Success!, all we charge to download it is $37.

     And of course, Make Time for Success! comes with Mind Tools' full guarantee:
     Order Make Time For Success! today and put these life lessons to work for you.
Take your time to use the course and experience its benefits. If (for any reason) you
are not completely satisfied with the results, then just contact us at the address at the
                                                                    bottom of this page.

As long as you contact us within 365 days of your original purchase, we will refund
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 evaluate the course, try it out, and prove to yourself that the techniques we explain
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This guide usually sells for $19.95 – and it can be yours free just for taking the time
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 when you are not only managing your time better, but also reducing stress as well!

                                                 The Time Is Right To Order Today!

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                                   Organizational skills you never thought possible.

"Make Time for Success! is the most comprehensive yet concise course I've seen on
        this very important subject. The authors give a clear presentation of practical
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life-application points, and lists of additional resources. The material is presented in
             a very user-friendly and intuitive format, and is sure to help you increase
                                                           productivity and efficiency."

      "I promise to teach you the secrets of Time Management or your money will be

 an                       Richard LeKander is a Master Certified Coach and has been
                              executive coach for the past 20 years. He founded The
                            Business Coaching Company in 1988. He is available for
 at                        coaching executives, leaders and teams and can be reached
                         805-384-0348 or e-mail at Richard@business-coaching.com

   "Over the last 20 years, I have worked with hundreds of executives to help them
 master their ability to be more effective and productive. Many of them had battled
    time management for many years without any satisfactory resolution until they
                                                               learned the secrets"

    Would it surprise you to learn that time can not be managed? Everyone gets
24 hours a day no more, no less. Thinking we can manage time and approaching the
   problem as if time can be managed is our biggest problem. This video will reveal
      the secret to increasing 'free' time and eliminating all those activities that waste

        Until you understand the origin of time and how time is connected to our
        ability to make requests and promises, you are unable to control the time you
           have. Master and control your requests and promises and you will control
                                                      time. Learn how this is done!

Until you understand the nature of taking action and the fundamental principles
  of making requests and promises, you are doomed to fight the clock every day.

 I was unaware of the secret until 1982 when I met Dr. Fernando Flores and had the
        privilege of being his student in Berkeley California for over five years. He
              introduced the concept of The Ontology of Language and the power of
 conversations and language in our business organizations. He introduced me to the
    phenomenon of making and keeping commitments and the true nature of taking

  Time, I discovered, was a linguistic phenomenon and it was totally connected with
                                   our ability to make requests, offers and promises.

We worked with something we called "The Cycle of the Promise" and the algorithm
  developed formed the basis of a patented process used in 'group ware' software.

 Since that time, I have used the "Cycle of the Promise" distinctions in my business
coaching and consulting work. I have used it for process design, workflow analysis
               and most importantly in coaching executives in "Time Management".

   "You can now learn about "The Cycle of the Promise" and its application to time

   This 45 minute video seminar was taped in March 2005 at the St. John's Hospital
      Physicians Learning Program in Oxnard, California. Addressing the universal
  concern about time management, I discuss some radical new thinking about "time
      management" based on the work of Dr. Fernando Flores and the "Cycle of the
Promise". I also diagram and explain the 'Cycle of the Promise' and present over 20
tips on how to get control of your time using the distinctions of the 'Action Cycle'.

 Entertaining and educational, this video presentation is available for download or it
                                  can be viewed via video stream from the website.

                          You can view a 3 minute segment of the 45 minute video

                                                                          Click Here

The video uncovers the origin of time, the relationship between time and our ability
    to make requests, offers and promises. The cycle of the promise is discussed in
depth and numerous specific recommendations are made that are guaranteed to help
                                    you manage your commitments and time better.

    In addition, the video addresses some of the major issues that cause breakdowns
when we coordinate action with others. Whether you have time management issues
or whether you are concerned about increasing your productivity, this video seminar
                                                         will provide new answers.

  As an added bonus, you will also be able to download my 43 page e-book in PDF
                            format on Leadership and Language in Organizations.

       This e-book explores the powerful theory of organizations and leadership as a
    linguistic-conversational phenomenon, a theory popularized by Dr. Flores in his
    work and used in out business coaching and leadership development programs.

   This same paper has been used as the foundation of George Mason's Universities
program on Coaching and Organizational Learning which I directed for four years.

You will gain new understanding of the power of conversations in organizations and
            how leadership is about having the right conversation at the right time.

For only $14.95 you will learn the secrets of time management and how they can be
                                             applied to everyday business concerns.

                         ‫مهم‬Time Management
      "Time Management for Entrepreneurs - What to do, When & Why" -

                 General: Developing a good mind set for managing your time use.

                    Planning: Creating a framework for tips, techniques and topics.

         Meetings: Avoiding downtime or causing productive sessions, you decide.

                          Telephone: A useful device needing skillful management.

                            Interruptions: Remain in control of these time wasters.

Personal Habits: Don't blame your parents and teachers. Look in the mirror for the

              Relationships: Are people holding you back or pushing you forward?

                                               Effectiveness: Doing the Right Thing

                                                          Efficiency: Doing it Right

       21 Questions to Assess Your Readiness for Time Management
Are you ready to begin improving your time management skills? Much is written on
HOW to manage your time while little mentions the first step of time management...

                                                       Follow the Red Threads

 To spot an area where you would like to improve your management of time keep a
  log of your activities. Often time management difficulties are caused by common
                                                            threads or red threads...

                           A Word About Time Management Fanaticism

          Do you have a fear of being labeled as a Time Management freak by your
        associates? Do people say to you, "I don't want to be so obsessed with Time
           Management that I can't enjoy life!" Perhaps you are taking this thing too

                                                                   Time is Money

  Benjamin Franklin was frugal with time and money. When we think of money, as
    business persons, we soon begin thinking of budgets. We think, too, of the best
                                   investments for our money. So it is with time...

                                                 Overlook Two Things Today

Are you a busy person who adds tasks to your "To Do List" because it seemed like a
                                                            good idea at the time?

                                                 Call in the Fire Investigators

      Do you have an "arsonist" in your midst? A person who boasts of excelling at
   solving crises could be a suspect for being the person who started the crisis. You
        may find that some time management issues may be the result of sabotage...

                              Put a Price On Your Info, Time and Advice

We all know the value of a dollar, but do you know the value of your time? Why not
 calculate a dollar amount for your time? If your time is worth a hundred dollars an
                       hour you and others will treat your time with more respect...

                                              Attempting Too Much At Once

        A common mistake of many managers is to miscalculate the amount of time
   required for performing a task. Learn how to avoid the stress of having attempted
                                                              too much at one time...

                                                    Unrealistic Time Estimates
Unrealistic time estimates are a common mistake in the management of time. These
         poor estimates could relate to a reluctance to make logs of your activities...

                                                 Reluctance to do a Time Log
      Good data is the first step in problem solving. If you expect to solve your time
                                         management problems you need good data...

                            Apply the Concepts of Critical Path Methods
  Critical Path Methods aren't just for big business. The principles can be applied to
                                                         the smallest of enterprises...

                                                Reap the Benefits of Planning
   The return on investment of planning time has a high yield. Planning reduces the
                                         amount of time wasted during execution...

                              Lack of Objectives, Priorities and Deadlines
   Lacking objectives, priorities and deadlines is an internal time management issue
                                  requiring modification of your personal behavior...

                                           Calculate Your Per-Minute Wage

        Want to be able to answer the question: "is this a good use of my time?" Try
                                                 calculating your per-minute wage...

                                            Plan Your Earliest Quitting Time

A well-written news story is written in such a way that after the first few paragraphs
an editor can lob off paragraphs without destroying the critical elements of the story.
                              Your working day can be organized in the same way...

                                          Challenge Every Call to a Meeting

  Meetings are a great time waster. Whenever possible find a valid reason to excuse
 yourself from a meeting or a reason to avoid calling the meeting in the first place...

                                                       Hold Stand-up Meetings
Managers tend to spend a lot of time in meetings. One method to reduce the amount
                          of time spent in a meeting is to hold stand-up meetings...

                         Make Use of Your Time at Obligatory Meetings

 There are some meetings you just can't avoid. This doesn't mean you have to waste
                                                           the entire meeting time...

                                            Manage Telephone Interruptions

   If any time waster can benefit from a log analysis it is the interruptions caused by
                                                  random incoming telephone calls...

                                                     Outgoing Telephone Calls
     The standard advice for managing outgoing calls is batching. There are several
              methods you can use to effectively batch your outgoing phone calls...

                                                 Shorten Incoming Sales Calls

  If you know anything about selling techniques you know a good sales presentation
progresses through several stages. You will save time if you can intercept at any one
                                                                       of the stages...

                                                       Identify the Interrupters
 Interruptions are a major factor in time management. Learn to identify who or what
                                                                is interrupting you...

                                          Have an Inventory of Stops

Have you ever wanted to end a conversation because you had other matters to attend
 to? Develop a number of phrases and actions designed to cut conversations short...

                                                             Drop-in Visitors
  Drop-in visitors can consume a lot of your time (Usually when you don't have any
        time to spare). Eliminating visitors is a key aspect to managing your time...

                                                         Know What to do Next
     After completing a task, take notice of the time it takes for you to start the next

                                                       Personal Disorganization

  Personal disorganization is another time management 'red thread'. Disorganization
                                         can be a major cause for your lack of time...

                                                                          Do It Now!
One cure for preventing your Do List from becoming an overwhelming stressor is to
                                                     reduce additions to the list...

                                                Indecision and Procrastination

               A key factor in time management is the elimination of indecision and
 procrastination. Although they may seem to be caused by others, difficulties in this
             area are internal matters requiring modification of your own behavior...

                                                   Lack of Self-discipline
 We have all experienced some form of discipline. Some of us have done quite well
      when it was imposed by others. Discipline's not the obstacle the self part is...

                                                          Think Departure Time

      Improve punctuality and reduce stress by thinking of the departure time when
                                                        recording a meeting time...

                                  Earn Respect for the Value of Your Time

Your success in business will improve if you can do fewer less important tasks. The
  first step in achieving this goal is to condition others to respect the value of your

                                             Overcome the Fear of Delegating

  Is your reluctance to delegate tasks based on fear? Until you confront your fear of
                   delegating to others, your management of time will not change...

                                                         Know How to Delegate
Delegating is a time management skill that must be learned if you expect to use your
   time efficiently. Why waste time on a task if someone else can do it for you? The
                                          delegation of tasks offers many benefits...

                                     Asking for Results Sustains Delegation

   Do you want to manage for results without appearing dictatorial? Do you want to
    guide your associates toward positive outcomes as promptly as possible without
                                                                  appearing bossy?

                                                   Have a Regular Quiet Hour

       Setting a regular quiet hour is an effective way to accomplish a task without
    unnecessary distractions or interruptions. One or two quiet times a day is a good
                                                                   habit to develop...

                                Since Time is Money, You Have to Earn It

   Instead of assuming the right to say, "No," to the demands on your time, earn that
                                      right by having the reputation of saying, "Yes."

                                Record Your Inefficiencies as They Occur

 People in Time Management workshops often have difficulty making a list of their
 inefficiencies. An effective way of listing your time wasters and inefficiencies is to
                                                         record them as they occur...

                     Save Hours of Time by Reducing Excess Handlings

  Excess handlings accumulate to wasted hours. Excess handlings refers to handling
    an object a number of times when one single handling would have completed a

                                     Handling To-Do's Requires Efficiency
 When you leave your "To-Do" projects exposed in your active work space, you are
                                          putting yourself at risk to waste-time...

                                        Processing Email Efficiently - Part 1

   Do you waste a lot of time processing your email? Here are some tips to improve
                                          the efficiency of your email processing...

                                                   The Principle of Materiality

     In accounting there is the Principle of Materiality that guides a record-keeper in
  deciding when and where to place insignificant items. Basically, if it requires more
effort than it's worth - forget it. This principle can be applied to your management of

                                                 Shorten Time Between Tasks

 Have you ever completed a task and wasted time admiring your handiwork? Or, do
you tend to be distracted between tasks? Do you plan only one task at a time instead
          of a sequence of tasks? This is valuable time slipping through the cracks...

                                          Involvement in Routine and Detail

 Routines and paying attention to details are important aspects to any manager's life.
   What is more important is how these consumers of valuable time are managed...

                                                                A Cluttered Desk
People make jokes by saying a cluttered desk is a sign of a sick mind. Advocates for
            the clean desk believe a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind...