Time management: A business friend and foe

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Effective time management can make or break a career whether it applies to the head of the company or a member of the staff. That was the message delivered to members of the West End Business Association during their first networking breakfast of 2010.

Meeting Wednesday morning at Fratelli’s Restaurant on South Van Dorn Street, WEBA members graded themselves on how effective or ineffective they were in managing their time as outlined by Randy Estabrook, head of Estabrook Associates and a certified behaviors coach of CMT International.

“You can’t manage anything if you can’t measure it,” Estabrook told the WEBA audience, emphasizing the necessity of time management and mapping out goals for each day. He urged attendees to establish four “A” and two “B” priorities each day as a goal to better manage and track their time in the workplace.

“Goal-setting involves establishing specific, measurable and time-targeted objectives. On a personal level, setting goals is a process that allows people to specify then work towards their own objectives,” he said.

He suggested that the best way to establish a productive time management routine was to “track your actions in 15 minute increments over a two- to three-day period for two weeks.” This will provide a blueprint of how time is being spent and misspent, according to Estabrook.

He also offered ideas on how to delegate responsibilities, both downward and upward; how to control such time consumers as emails and unscheduled visitors; voicemail and playing telephone tag; and how to deal with the natural tendency to procrastinate. In the latter case, Estabrook said,” Procrastination really comes down to dealing with things you really don’t want to do.”

He concluded his presentation with an audience quiz where they rated their daily performances to determine if they were good, mediocre or poor time managers. Most of those present fell in the middle category according to their own self-scoring.

Following Estabrook’s presentation, WEBA Vice President Kathleen Burns announced that the organization’s next event would be a “networking happy hour” to be held Thursday, February 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hilton Mark Center Hotel, 5000 Seminary Road. To make reservations contact Portia Hood at 703-845-2613.

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