Friday, January 5, 2018

Workshop - Time Management Techniques at Gap Miners

The team at Gap Miners is almost totally new. It's been a while since we have had a session there. So when Ram asked me to do a half day workshop for the team specifically on 'Time Management Techniques' I was glad. It got the year off to a good start. It's a new topic for a workshop for me.

The entire team was present - Venkat, Dayakar, Swapna, Arun, Harsha, Siva, Srikanth, Avinash, Ketan, Praveen, Akshara, Sucharita, Supraja, Monisha, Shivasanker, Pavan, Veena, Subbaraju.

We started off with a general question on time management and what they thought it was and how it will help. They said it would help them plan better and be more productive. That was a good starting point.

Time and Energy - Two Resources

We looked at time and energy as the two main resources we have. We discussed that time management would increase productivity and efficiency and thereby lead to personal growth. One will be able to achieve more with less. And lastly, that time management involves planning ahead for productivity

Why Do People Plan?
Here, we stopped to get a perspective on the entire idea itself. I asked the team how many of them save money. Only two hands went up surprisingly. I asked them what they were saving up for. They wanted to buy a bike they said. So the next question was - why were those two planning and saving every month?

All their planning (management) was because they had a goal. So goals, are important to plan. Plans are important to be of different time frames so we can drill down to daily tasks. And then, we can use the time management techniques on these tasks.

The connection Between Goals and Planning
So we quickly discussed the importance of goals to bring in planning. If there are no goals there is no need to plan. It was a very young team and I was glad we could do the exercise.

Personal goals
I guided them through the broad personal goals - Career, Financial, Relationships, Material, Health, Spiritual. All of them were asked to write one goal for each over three periods of time - 20 years, 5 years and 1 year.

An example - Financial Goals
The simplest to address were financial goals - Monisha said she would like Rs. 1 crore in her bank by the 20 year mark. So I told her that if she saved 100 bucks a day starting today and saved 3000 rupees every month, she would end up with Rs. 36000 in a year. In ten years without any interest it would be 3.6 lakh and in 20 it would be 7.2 lakh. Withe the most basic of financial investing, she could easily reach her goal. It looked so easy I wondered why I had never done that. Perhaps I could start now!

I gave them the age old method of setting goals - SMART Goals - Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable and Time Bound - and explained what they meant.

We looked at how, once we have a goal, we can work backwards and plan. Like I said, please save 100 rupees a day, Rs. 3000 a month from this month on. You will be better off for this practice.

Goals at the Work Place
Then we set goals for work - what were the goals they wanted to achieve at work for 1 year, 3 months and 1 month. Then they drew broad plans to achieve the same. The plans were broken down into tasks on a daily level.

The To-Do List
We drew a list of 25 tasks to do at work. This became the To-Do List.
Once we had the To-Do List we looked at the tools for time management

We broke for tea and joined again to discuss the tools for time management and productivity

1) Steven Covey's Time Management Quadrants.
Analysing time spent in the four quadrants - Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4.
Q1 Urgent/Important (Crises, some calls, problems, deadline driven projects etc)
Q2 Important, Not urgent - (prevention, Personal Capability activities, relationship building, new opportunities, planning, recreation)
Q3 Urgent, Not important (Interruptions, some calls, some reports, some meetings, popular activities)
Q4 Not important, not urgent. (trivia, busy work, some mails, some phone calls, time wasters, pleasant activities)

Analyse how you are spending time and how much in each quadrant. Reduce Q4. Even Q3. Try to convert Q1 by working on Q2. The key is to finally get into Q2. Most people spend very little time in Q2.

2) The second tool we discussed was a productivity tool and also a time management tool
6 Important things to-do list
This includes making a list of the 6 most important things the next day and then doing them one by one. Only after the first one is competed should one go to the second one. It's a classic.

3) The third tool was the Pareto's Principle 80:20
Or more specifically how 20% of things bring 80% results. To identify the 20% in the tasks that can get 80% results. The team worked on their to-do lists.

It was a good session. I am certain that they would have got some clarity on some basics like goal setting, planning and executing well. Mostly I hope they start saving. I liked the four hour structure with a specific topic. Thanks Ram and Venkat and Dayakar at the Gap team!

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