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Time Management

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Abstract

Time management is a critical aspect when planning the improvement of a system’s performance. It is with time management that innovation and production capacity of an organization become enhanced. Getting Things Done (GTD) describes a powerful approach of managing commitments, communication and information. The approach is the consequence of 30 years of consulting services, training, private coaching and organizational programs from millions of individuals internationally. GTD has earned a reputation of the gold benchmark in organizational and personal productivity. In fact, it facilitates enhanced performance, innovation and capacity. Several GTD application software will be discussed in this assignment. Among the application software, the following will be discussed. In addition, the assignment will concentrate on developing a new time management software application, in the market, through research.

Introduction

Time management is one of the most effective ways of meeting organizational and personal goals. Constructive utilization of time by individuals and organizations is usually viewed as a critical issue. In the present age, individuals have become innovative in coming up with effective approaches of time management (Walsh, 2008) (pages 22-29). Since individuals are increasingly finding value in managing time, time management application software has emerged in the international market. The introduction of this software to the market has made time management easy to cope with. This has resulted to increased use of time management software by organizations and individuals. Most organizations and individuals are using time management applications in scheduling and managing tasks. The use of this software has led to an increased productivity of organizations since organizations are capable of meeting their goals.

Project Objectives

One of the key objectives of this assignment is to build up a fresh time management application software, which will aid in managing time. The project will also have an objective of comparing different computer-based time management application software, which will find out the best time management application to utilize. Another objective of carrying out this assignment is to understand how every application shows a reflection of the key David Allen’s GTD techniques. An analysis of various software applications will be done in order to see their relation to David Allen’s GTD techniques. Different software applications will be analyzed in order to find out, which ones are user friendly and which ones are not user friendly.

Statement of the Problem

Time management is key to achieving organizational and personal goals (Allen, 2001) (pages 83-85). Thus, time management is a problem that individuals and organizations face in the accomplishment of goals and objectives. Stemming from the vast need to increase productivity of organizations, the management is seeking different time management approaches, which target at enhancing productivity. Therefore, there is an increased use of time management techniques. Getting Things Done (GTD) approach is being vastly used by organizations. Getting Things Done (GTD) application software is being currently utilized in eliminating the problem of time management.

Research Questions

When writing this assignment, the following are key research questions, which are vital to this assignment: what approaches are available to organizations and individuals in managing time? Which techniques can individuals and organizations use in managing time? Does time management require implementation? Also, which computer-based time management application software can individuals and organizations utilize in managing time? What differences exist between different computer-based application software used in time management? Are there similarities in the way different time management application software is working?

Literature Review

Literature indicating the benefits of time management is remarkably popular; however, there is a lack of organizations and individuals taking time management seriously. Probably it is because time management is viewed as a fad making researchers not hold high esteem in the field. Nevertheless, most organizations enhance efficient use of organizational time and usually spend a vast deal of resources in making employees learn time management behavior. The evolution of web-based time management software has led to easy ways of managing individual and organizational time. According to Therese (1994) (Page 383), there is a strong relationship between time management and productivity; time management increases productivity as it has an impact on reducing employee stress. According to Allen (2001) (Page 106), organizations are increasingly using the GTD approach in ensuring time management in organizations. This has increased productivity immensely.

Time Management Approaches

There are various time management approaches. One of the approaches include ABC analysis, which is usually combined with Pareto analysis. ABC analysis involves grouping of vast data into categories that are marked A, B and C. Category A contains tasks that are viewed urgent and vital; B comprises of vital tasks, which are not urgent, while C comprises of tasks, which are perceived as neither vital nor urgent. On the other hand, Pareto analysis entails the design that 80% of tasks become accomplished in 20% of disposable time. This implies that the remaining 20% of the tasks consume 80% of time (Pausch, 2008) (pages 49-52). Another approach entails the Eisenhower approach. According to this approach, tasks become evaluated through the criteria of vital/non-vital and urgent/not urgent. Urgent and vital tasks are given first priority while non-urgent and non-vital tasks become delegated for an end date. Task list organization is another approach to time management. In this approach, to do list is generated and tasks are prioritized. Tasks become attended daily depending on their priority. In addition, another time management approach involves the use of software applications. In this approach, software applications are utilized in ordering and filtering the task list. The software applications assist in determining the best task, which relates to a given moment. This approach is being currently utilized by most organizations since it is considered effective and economical.

Time Management Techniques

When managing time, individuals have a significant problem since the enemy is always themselves. People have inflicted hurry sickness on their lives, which implies that they always think that being busy is worthy and morally superior (Walsh, 2008) (Page 6-9). However, using the right technique of time management is critical to success in time management and finishing tasks within scheduled time. There are various techniques used in time management, which are discussed in the following paragraphs.

The Pomodoro Technique

For most individuals, time is a vast enemy; anxiety generated by a ticking clock and anxiety to meet deadlines lead to ineffective work and procrastinations. However, the use of pomodoro technique can assist in transforming time into a valuable ally. The technique was created by Cirillo after a long search in improving his study habits. The technique entails taking breaks after every 25 minutes. According to Cirillo, a task taking more than five pomodoros is remarkably big and requires breaking it down. It is through applying the pomodoro technique that organizations and individuals are capable of managing time and tasks effectively (Cirillo, 2006) (pages 77-85).

Scheduling Technique

It is always critical to develop schedules for tasks, which are going to be performed. Scheduling technique helps organizations and individuals manage time effectively. Scheduling technique involves organizing tasks in an orderly and sensible manner such that urgent and vital tasks are usually carried out first. When using this technique, prioritization of tasks is a vital aspect.

Setting Up Smart Goals

Most individuals and organizations do not achieve success in time management since they do not focus on realistic, timely and attainable goals. Setting smart goals entails utilization of time in working towards the achievement of smart goals. Smart goals involve coming up with organizational and individual goals, which are realistic and attainable.

Time Management Implementation

Success of time management requires implementation; without its implementation, time management will become a total failure. The first step to a successful  implementation is ensuring that there is the creation of a timeline. When scheduling to perform a task, it is crucial for one to consider creating a timeline for the task. A timeline shows the task that an individual or organization is planning to undertake, and the respective time that the task is scheduled to take. In case the task will have several breaks, it is vital to indicate the time each break will take. This will help in its successful implementation. Besides, when implementing time management, it is critical for an individual or organization to make plan for a task earlier (Allen, 2001) (pages 211-210). Early scheduling is critical in order to prevent crashing of tasks. In addition, for proper implementation, there is a need for an organization and individuals to avoid procrastinations.

Computer-based time management software applications

Just like web-based programs, computer-based time management software applications record time and assist users in completing tasks without the wastage of time. Computer-based time management software applications are usually installed on a computer. Unlike the web-based programs, computer-based time management software applications do not require the user to have an internet connection in order to access them; these applications are usually accessed by having access to a computer’s hard drive (Schwalbe, 2010) (pages 21-27). These applications need installation to a computer in order to allow users to utilize them. After installation, these applications allow users to record tasks and project together their time.

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