The Case of the Missing Time
Good time management is essential to handle a heavy workload without excessive stress. For a manager, time management helps reduce long-term stress by giving the manager direction when he or she has too much work to do. The manager will then, have the control of how tasks will be completed at work. In addition, having control allows managers to increase their productivity. In the Case of the Missing Time, Chet Craig, manager of the Norris Company’s Central Plant, deals with work overload and finds it difficult to complete many of the important tasks at work.
He begins his morning by stating, “this is going to be the day to really get things done. ” Yet, in spite of his intentions to accomplish the projects he has planned, he finds himself being interrupted by other fellow coworkers and other activities throughout the day. As a result, Craig’s projects remain incomplete. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the causes of Craig’s time management conflict and to provide Craig with any possible solutions to acquire effective time management skills to avoid personal stress.
The Case of the Missing Time Essay Example
According to the principles of time management, effective time management and delegating tasks are some strategies to eliminate time stressors, which “generally result from having too much to do in too little time” (117). In the case of Craig, time stressors are the result of his work overload and lack of control. Managing time with an effective approach means that “individuals spent time on important matters, non-urgent matters; being able to distinguish between what they view as important versus what they view as urgent; results are the focus of time management strategies; and people should not feel guilty when they must say ”no” (121).
In addition, delegating allows an individual to become more efficient by allowing work to be transferred to people whose skills are a better match for the work while saving time and effort. Delegating not only can save time and effort, but can lessen stress at work. Instead of focusing on what is important to be accomplished at work, Craig focuses on issues that are brought to him by his coworkers and other urgent activities. Clearly, Craig does not distinguish between what is important versus what is urgent.
Important matters produce desired results, while urgent matters only demand immediate attention. Since Craig does not focus on important matters, there is no actual accomplishment. As a manager he is expected to be a creative thinker, and to have accomplishments. However, putting important matters on hold, while attending urgent ones will only allow Craig’s personal stress to rise. In addition, Craig fails to use his managerial position to delegate second level tasks to others, who are capable of handling those tasks.
By focusing on second level tasks, Craig loses time and effort that could have been used to accomplish important tasks. When individuals at work focus only on what is urgent rather than what is important, organizational problems such as poor delegation which was previously mentioned, poor organization at work, and weak organizational hierarchy tend to occur. In this case, poor delegation of tasks makes it difficult to organize work activities within the company. Poor organization makes people less efficient and less effective.
Less efficient and less effective individuals lead to weak organizational hierarchy. A weak organizational hierarchy can lead to a decrease in the overall productivity of the company. Craig can be seen as someone who likes to be in control, and be aware of the details on his plant. Yet, this characteristic prevents Craig from developing an effective management of time. In the case of Craig, focusing on many tasks at once allows him to feel he is in control of his duties as a manager.
However, he only pays attention to issues that are urgent while leaving the important tasks incomplete. Therefore, he lacks control of the important tasks that he must accomplish as the manager of the company. As individuals enter a more competitive world, individuals tend to develop characteristics of the Type A Personality. Craig has indeed developed Type A Personality characteristics that inhibit his effective management of time. Type A “individuals develop a sense of urgency, being able to overcome any obstacle by working harder and longer” (141). In Craig’s case, he always has
a sense of being in a hurry at work, has a tendency to do several things simultaneously, and ignores the elements outside of his immediate tasks. These personal characteristics prevent Craig from starting to work on the important projects he has planned. Craig then begins to question his own abilities, thinks of working at night, and considers sacrificing his personal activities for work. Such symptoms can prevent Craig of developing psychological hardiness, which is the ability to feel in control of one’s life and to interpret stressful situations positively.
These symptoms can also lead to a significant life imbalance and bring more personal stress to Craig. To prevent Craig from inhibiting his effective management of time, it is recommended that he hires an assistant, delegates work based on its importance, prioritize duties and responsibilities, balancing personal and professional work. Before, Craig uses the given solutions he has to make certain that he focuses on activities that are important to him, and not just urgent. According to the principles of time management, Craig must clearly identify his specific personal priorities.
This can be done by first developing self-awareness because it is important for individuals “to be aware of their own core values, and to establish basic principles to guide their behavior” (123). Therefore, in order to determine what is important for Craig, he must clearly identify his core values, basic principles, and personal priorities. Otherwise, he will be at the mercy of the demands that his fellow coworkers place on him, leaving him with work overload and excessive stress. Craig should then ask himself “What do I stand for? ” and set his personal principles.
Once he has clearly identified what his personal priorities are then he can do the following. Hiring an assistant is an efficient way to save time on little tasks that can drain energy and effort when they are more than one. An assistant can focus on little tasks such as making phone calls, sending emails, planning out schedules and so on. While Craig moves onto other tasks or projects that require more attention depending on their level of importance. Delegating work based on important is another efficient solution to effectively manage his time.
Many managers are often afraid to delegate certain tasks to others because they believe that to do things right “we must do them on our own. ” Although this can be the case in certain situations, it does not necessarily mean that a manager must delegate important tasks to others. Craig for example, can delegate tasks to others with a low level of importance. Examples include, things that are easy to handle and things that are a match for others to take care of. In addition, tasks with a higher level of importance can be delegated to other managers of the plant.
Thus, increasing organization within the organizational hierarchy of the company. To know what tasks will be delegated to others, Craig can develop a “time management matrix” in which activities are categorized in terms of their relative importance and urgency. Please refer to the matrix below, to see an example of how Craig can prioritize his activities at work. Once Craig develops his priorities, he will be able to balance his personal life. Only after developing his priorities will it be possible for him to spend time with his wife and family, and meet other personal objectives of his own.