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  • Juan Ignacio Barenys 9:00 am on May 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , time management   

    The executive and correctly managing time 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    For any professional, correctly managing time is essential as from it comes, in almost all security, efficiency in all the tasks performed. For an executive even more so, as in executive positions, the pressure of the surroundings is high and tends to cause distortion in personal organization which, when frequent, causes a reduction in performance, a fatalist resignation, and undesired stress.

    As opposed to what is commonly thought, time management is not a natural skill that some people have and others don’t. We aren’t born with the ability to organize ourselves; it is learnt and thanks to it, significant improvements in performance are achieved in all tasks carried out. Nonetheless, we admit that some people possess a sense of order, a natural inclination that usually is shown at an early age.

    On the other hand, we must remember that time is a resource with three characteristics that make it unique:
    • It is available to anyone. Most resources have a “property”: money to invest, books to study, instruments of any type, etc. Time doesn’t; we all can have time.
    • Everyone has the same quantity of time. An hour, a day, a month… are exactly the same for everyone.
    • It is inevitably used. Whether we like it or not, in any task time will come into play, unlike other resources where their use is usually optional.

    As a result, managing time is no different to that of any other resources we have available.To do it correctly, you just need to combine good task management with the right management of the independence with which we can perform the task. And those are the skills in which in many cases can be improved with learning and training.

    Nothing better than to have a line-up of practical, short and concise advice, that when handled properly and subject to a strict discipline should result in the disappearance of the eternal “time problem”, captured in endless work hours, to-ing and fro-ing from work to home, “it’s Friday again”, etc. For executives, the need is two-fold. You are responsible for your own time and for others’.

    Tips for correctly managing time

    1. Stop interruptions, that come suddenly, without notice, or by rebound. Be a little selfish.
    2. Know your priorities. Know how to ask for them and do not take on tasks unless you have done it beforehand. Working blindly without priorities can generate subsequent errors and dissatisfaction.
    3. Be FIFO (first in first out). Don’t accumulate old tasks. Finish them off in order. Only change this natural order with the appearance of emergencies and, in some cases, with the change in the established priorities.
    4. Don’t be overconfident. Know your own limits and don’t exceed them. Doing it, generates barren exhaustion and detachment if it is directed at others.
    5. Handle five things at most at one time or homogenous time period.
    6. Don’t be a perfectionist. The best is usually the enemy of the reasonably good. From the point where the marginal benefit is zero, time becomes gold. Not before that.
    7. Know how to waste time every now and again. Releasing tension, resting, relaxing are activities that also have a place in our time resource.
    8. Be an owl. Watch, process, decide and act. If possible, without hesitation.

    Juan Ignacio Barenys de Lacha is Director at Odati and Eskpe Consulting. Member of AEDIPE, creator of the Odati Method for training executives and managers, ex-CEO of Olivetti Information Systems Spain and of Sligos Systems and chairman of the World Forum Congress in Washington in 1990.

    At Zyncro, we care about correctly managing time and we believe that an Enterprise Social Network can help you and your team to improve productivity. If you still haven’t tried Zyncro, try it free now and be convinced. If you don’t believe us, you can download the whitepaper in which we give you practical case studies of companies that have 😉

  • Billie Lou Sastre 9:00 am on April 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , time management   

    Tips for improving your email productivity 

    Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

    Recently on our Mexico Facebook channel, we posed a simple question that generated several responses, many of which surprised me and made me rethink about how we manage our email. Is it the master of our time?

    Having an empty inbox is not something we need to impose, but managing our inbox so that email doesn’t dominate our working day is essential. Let me share a few tips with you that can help you to achieve it.

    Managing your inbox with the 3 folder technique.

    It’s a simple method that aims to ensure that we spend the least amount of time on archiving our emails. How long each day do you spend archiving your emails? There are people who create folders by topic, by departments, by projects, and add subfolders to those folders… the list is endless and often you don’t know where to save an email because it probably complies with the requirements to go in more than one of those folders. The 3-folder system I propose is:

    1. Follow-up: Those emails you need to manage during the day without anyone else’s intervention.
    2. Hold: Those emails that you need the reply or supervision of someone else to be managed.
    3. Archive: All answered emails go in this folder

    Thanks to powerful search engines in the leading mail managers, you can find your emails quickly without losing 20% of your time archiving.

    Short, concise emails addressed to the right person.

    There are various currents of thought that seek to improve email effectiveness, like the one of the 3 sentences in which they assure that with 3 short paragraphs you can transmit the message, improving productivity and effectiveness for both the one writing and of course, the person receiving it. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything must be as simple as possible, not just simple.”

    If an email becomes an unending conversation, change the font!

    Emails are meant to transmit important messages, from one person to another. When it involves too many people in “email chains” or when it becomes more a conversation rather than a transmitted message, maybe it’s time you question whether it’s the right channel. For that, an Enterprise Social Network is the solution.

    Reduce notifications and email subscriptions as far as possible

    Your email shouldn’t be saturated with notifications from other social networks or subscriptions you read. The most important thing is to not become saturated, we should use email intelligently so it doesn’t become the only task that dominates our day, rather we can spend our time on our daily tasks. Don’t fill it with mails that you delete without reading.

    Compose the message subject properly

    The email subject is the way to communicate the topic you are going to discuss with the recipient, it’s the first impression and what will make the recipient decide when to open it. A good option is to write the subject after composing the email, include the topic you cover, try to use keywords.

    You can improve your productivity and enhance your work performance by managing your email properly. Let me close with a quote from Berto Pena: “Email isn’t a place to be. It’s a place to act. Read, process, decide, assign, and exit as quickly as possible so you can DO.”

  • Joan Alvares 9:00 am on February 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , time management   

    Looking to buy time… 

    Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

    Editor’s note: At Zyncro, we care about time management processes and work. We want Enterprise Social Networks to make these processes easier and let us save time for other things. If someone was selling time, you’d buy it, right?

    Looking to buy time from anyone who will sell it to me. From anyone who doesn’t know what to do with it. From anyone who feels that they are wasting it each day working in something that doesn’t motivate them or doing stuff they aren’t interested in.

    Is this you? I’m sure we can come to an agreement, don’t worry. The price? I don’t know. I’ve never thought about selling mine. Tell me what you think a fair price would be. Quote me by hours or years, whichever you prefer. In the end, it is your time. For now. How much are you selling it for to your boss? I’ll double that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not buying money from you, I’m buying time. I know, I know, you’ll tell me time is money. But for me, it’s much more than that: it is the most precious asset we have. Money comes and goes, but time never returns. Maybe it sounds nonsense to you, but I refuse to separate my time between “work” and “personal life”, between business and pleasure. In reality, anyone who works doing what they are passionate about can tell you that they work all the time or they never work. It depends how you look at it.

    I don’t know when you decided to sacrifice eleven months of the year doing something you don’t like in exchange for one month of vacations. I don’t understand why you think it’s a good deal. It doesn’t seem like one to me. In fact, if you do it in exchange for a really good paycheck, you’ll have realized that even money needs time to be enjoyed.

    When they see the end of life looming, most people ask for more time, not for more money. Some feel sorry for themselves when they realize they are going to die with their bank accounts fuller than their soul. They have sold their time at a loss. They realize then, when it is too late, that the richest person is not someone who has the most, rather someone who needs less.

    Joan Alvares is founding partner of Poko and lecturer at Istituto Europeo di Design


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