Time Management Seminars

Attending time management seminars can turn out to be a gigantic time-waster, a most productive learning experience, or something in between. The quality of any seminar is based on many factors, such as the knowledge and experience of the speakers, the courtesy and helpfulness of the support staff, and whether or not the value of the experience meets or exceeds the expectations of those in attendance. When the subject is managing time more effectively, it seems especially important to choose wisely from the vast array of available seminars, workshops, and programs. Whether one is seeking personal assistance or training for a company's management team, a set of criteria should be established to weed out unsuitable programs and narrow down the list of those that seem to offer the desired results in the most cost-effective manner. A college student may need help balancing course assignments with a part-time job and volunteer work. A stay-at-home mom wants ideas on balancing her children's activities with her efforts to start up a home-based online business. A human resources manager has a two-fold task: find appropriate training for the company's administrative support staff and its sales force. Each one has different needs and will need to find the most appropriate program to obtain training and skills that are relevant to their own circumstances. Besides preliminary research on the websites of potential programs, these individuals may benefit from looking over any time management lesson plans that are posted online. Knowing exactly what specific issues will be covered in an allotted amount of time can help the individual choose from the many time management seminars that are available. To skip the step of carefully researching options and choosing a relevant program is to risk wasting this most precious, non-renewable commodity -- a weird irony, to say the least.

The college student may find that his university offers workshops on organizing all the required course work in such a way that he can keep track of routine assignments and major projects. Many community organizations and local chambers of commerce periodically offer workshops that are open to the public that can benefit the home-based entrepreneur. Usually, these types of programs are of short duration, perhaps a few hours at a library or other accessible meeting place, and are relatively inexpensive. The human resources professional, after reviewing the time management lesson plans of several different programs, might retain a firm specializing in time management seminars to conduct an on-site workshop for the administrative support staff that lasts all morning and includes a catered luncheon. For the sales team, the human resources professional could hire the same or a different firm to conduct a company-sponsored weekend retreat at an off-site location, perhaps a resort or nearby conference center. Whether on-site or off-site, the firm is responsible for setting the agenda, providing materials, and conducting the workshop(s) in innovative and entertaining ways to meet the objectives of the human resources professional and the needs of those in attendance.

Jesus' half-brother James wrote the New Testament book bearing his name and, incidentally, one of the most practical books when it comes to instruction for living as a Christian. Regarding time, James wrote: "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that" (James 4:13-15). Those who accept the truth of God's Word that life is fleeting will more likely consider time as a gift and an asset that needs to be used wisely to achieve specific life-goals. An individual's personal talents, gifts, and circumstances will be aligned with service to others that glorifies God. Since no one knows that tomorrow has in store, each day can be lived with meaning and purpose by someone whose priorities are clear.

Most effective time management lesson plans will begin with some type of self-evaluation based on the objectives of the program. A college freshman orientation self-evaluation may focus on helping the new student identify hindrances to effectively completing assignments and tips on breaking down major projects into easier-to-manage components. A company's administrative support staff might complete worksheets that identify time-wasting activities and also receive tips on such issues as effectively organizing the day's tasks and handling interruptions. A more indepth seminar might be presented in such a way that workshop attendees can identify major goals. Perhaps they are encouraged to answer such questions as: Where do I want to be in five years? Ten? What do I have to do to get there? How can I most wisely use the hours, days, weeks, and months in between now and then to reach that goal? The answers to such questions can be utilized to establish the objectives that need to be met to meet the goal. Once the objectives are established, an action plan for reaching them can be set. The time-frame becomes smaller and smaller until the attendee knows what activities must be done every week (or perhaps even almost every day) to reach the desired objectives and goals. These activities become one's priorities and help determine what tops the daily to-do list.

Some time management lesson plans present excellent tips on priority-setting and goal-reaching strategies, but promote a certain product line of calendars and planners. The workshop concludes with a sales presentation that provides an opportunity for the attendees to purchase the products. This is fine as long as a careful decision is made on whether the particular product will actually be used before spending money on it. Obviously, the college student, the stay-at-home mom/entrepreneur, the administrative support staff, and the sales team are going to need different types of planning tools. Effective time management seminars will suggest tools that are relevant for the audience of the particular program being presented. Different calendar formats work for different needs. Anyone who desires to improve time management skills should take the time to look over as many available options as possible to find the most effective planning tools to meet his or her particular needs.

Employee Time Management

The importance of time management in the workplace cannot be over emphasized. Time really is money and the more efficient corporations and small business manage employee work hours, the more efficient, productive and profitable these enterprises will run. Increased efficiency reduces labor costs, minimizes workplace accidents and injuries, and helps companies meet production quotas. Keeping track of when employees clock in and out, along with the amount of hours workers spend on planned tasks gives managers a better overall picture of what an organization is capable of accomplishing on any given day or week. Supervisors are more capable of projecting and meeting production deadlines and scheduling a sufficient workforce to cover changing demands. By tracking hours worked and off days, employers can control labor costs and adjust billing to reflect accurately tabulated hours performed on specific jobs.

Even Jesus Christ, during His earthly ministry, was conscious of doing the will of the Father in a timely manner. I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the Light of the world (John 9:4-5). Jesus realized that He only had a limited window of opportunity in which to finish the work of the Father at Calvarys Cross. In completing His task, Jesus redeemed mankind back to God: "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:1b-4).

Effective time management in the workplace involves setting realistic goals, planning and prioritizing scheduled tasks, applying sound decision-making principles, delegating responsibility, and understanding how to motivate workers to produce at optimum levels. By setting realistic goals, supervisors and managers can help employees better manage a work day. Unrealistic production deadlines and quotas place undue pressure on workers and management; but by carefully planning, prioritizing and scheduling tasks, pressure is lessened and employees can produce more efficiently. In the event of unforeseen circumstances which require added human resources, employees will rally to the occasion if management lends moral support. Managers and employees who properly plan and prioritize job assignments tend to stay ahead of the game, pacing workflow for greater productivity. Prioritizing or scheduling jobs according to relative importance prevents the need to put out fires. As work is completed according to its degree of importance, workers can feel a sense of accomplishment without added pressure.

Some companies employ full time job schedulers to help prioritize and assign tasks to help employees produce more efficiently. Schedulers can usually estimate how many employees a job will take to finish. But, workers must also exercise sound decision-making in order to implement sound employee time management principles. If supervisors assign a task to be completed by the end of the week, employees cannot wait until midweek to begin the project. By carefully planning and pacing themselves, by weeks end, the task should be completed, or additional hours can easily can be allotted for contingencies and unexpected events. Good managers will know how to delegate responsibility and divide tasks among reliable workers who manage assignments wisely.

Companies that employ 50 to 100 workers on an hourly basis must run more efficiently to stay profitable. Manufacturing plants usually pay skilled labor an average pay of $10 per hour; while journeymen expected to earn $15 to $20 per hour. If 100 workers earn $10 per hour each day, a companys total gross payroll is $8,000 per day, $40,000 per week, or $2,080,000 per 52-week year. Add to the cost of labor, overhead expense; the expense of raw materials, supplies, parts, tools, vehicles; and one can soon see the importance of employee time management.

In addition to implementing time management practices, employers also have to be careful not to violate Fair Standards Labor Act regulations or those of the Employment Standards Administration Wage and Hour Division, part of the U.S. Department of Labor. Companies which schedule employees overtime without adequate compensation are most guilty of violating labor laws. Much of overtime work is a result of poor time management in the workplace. Federal and state governments will ensure that businesses dont take unfair advantage of employees by scheduling them to work excessive hours without adequate compensation, or hiring additional employees to handle increased workloads. Instead of putting out fires due to inadequate planning, over paying or under paying employees due to poor payroll practices, or running the risk of being fined for non-compliance with federal and state labor regulations; corporations may want to explore web-based employee time management methods.

Computerized time tracking software eliminates inaccurately recording and reporting employee hours, vacation, and sick leave. Web-based employee time management programs employ automated time and attendance systems which track when workers clock in and out, unauthorized overtime, real-time work hours, and pay rates. Software helps eliminate payroll errors and keeps companies compliant with federal and state labor regulations. Employee data can be collected electronically using computerized time cards that can record hours worked, vacation time and holidays. Workers data is categorized according to department and allows human resources an opportunity to view and generate reports which give an accurate accounting of each employees work-related activities. By employing web-based time management in the workplace, companies can realize greater profits through increased production and a more efficient workforce.





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