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Do It Now
The Secret to Making the Most of Your Time

Business Nugget - By Robert Morris







Dozens of research studies on time management suggest that it is ludicrous to think about creating "more time." In fact, the time we have is all there is. "Time management" is a misnomer. The correct term is "self management." Why? Because use of time is in direct correlation to self-discipline. That is, the more disciplined you are, the more effective your use of time will be. When confronted with a task, there are four essential strategies:

  • Do It
  • Dump It
  • Delegate It
  • Defer It
Here are the most common barriers to effective delegation:
  1. Assuming that no one else can complete a task better and faster
  2. Delegating a task without adequate explanation of its purpose and objectives within a wider, deeper context
  3. Delegating a task without a deadline
  4. Treating the delegated task like an "orphan" in which there is no further interest
  5. Delegating to another what should be dumped
  6. Body language and tone of voice which contradict what is said
  7. Body language and tone of voice which suggest a feeling of superiority to those to whom tasks are delegated (see #1)
  8. Feeling threatened by the talents of others
  9. Reluctance to share with others opportunities for advancement (see #8)
  10. Industrial strength insecurity

According the experts, these are the 15 most common time-wasters:

  1. Allowing telephone interruptions during a face-to-face meeting
  2. Drop-in visitors to your office "(Got a minute?"), restroom and hallway "ambushes", etc.
  3. Meetings without an agenda which tend to focus on what to discuss rather than what to do
  4. Crisis management in the absence of an early- warning sysem and contingency plan
  5. Lack of a daily plan for a company or department as well as for each individual involved (objectives, priorities, deadlines, etc.)
  6. Cluttered desks, piles of folders on the cradenza, etc.
  7. No central location for key documents, materials, and other resources
  8. Attempts to do everything at once
  9. Lack of (or unclear) communication between and among those involved in the same activity
  10. Lack of understanding and/or respect for what others do, what they need, etc.
  11. Indecision and procrastination (ie inability to say "yes" or "no")
  12. "Poaching" in another's area of responsibility, "hoarding" information which others need, etc. (see #10)
  13. Maintaining neutrality in a situation in which strength of character is needed
  14. Abandoning difficult tasks to begin others which are easier, most enjoyable, etc.
  15. Indifference to (if not contempt for) the value of another's time (see #10) Some problems are procedural, others are attitudinal, and still others are simply dumb. All are avoidable.

One of the best books on this subject is William J. Knaus’s Do It Now! published by John Wiley & Sons. You are urged to purchase a copy and then put to immediate use his advice on how to get organized and how to avoid time traps. Why wait? Why procrastinate? Do it now!

Based in Dallas, Robert Morris is an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and organizational growth. He is the author of almost 150 Business Nuggets and frequently conducts workshops based on material selected from them by a client company. For example: e-business, intellectual property measurement and management, EVA in combination with open-book management, and what he calls ÏCompeting with the Big GuysÓ strategies. His formal education includes graduate study at Yale (MA in comparative literature), Northwestern, U.C.L.A., and Chicago universities. He has served in several senior-level corporate positions, has launched and later sold three companies, and is currently at work on preparations to launch his own website ( in Y2K which will become the permanent home of Business Nuggets as well as other resources. He welcomes suggestions of subjects for new Business Nuggets. Please contact him at

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