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Updated: Mar 28th, 2019

Time and Self Management

Farris, D., 2002. Time management: An Exercise of Self Awareness. Workforce Journal, 31, 124-136.

According to Farris (124), people do not manage time, but rather manage the use of it. Time cannot be expanded, reduced, stopped or altered and time can be seen as a subjective concept.

According to Farris, time management involves planning, goal setting, organization and establishment of good study habit – this involves understanding of the dynamics of needs, motivation and goal-focused behaviour and the awareness of the circumstances to one’s self-development and optimal productivity – and eliminating bad working habits – this involves self-awareness, acknowledging the facts about oneself and self-mastery.

Farris fundamentals of time management include; failure to plan and set objectives; failure to organize and create a work plan, that is, prioritizing activities, assigning necessary amount of time to each activity and gather resources, incorrectly assuming a correlation between a task’s importance and the time/efforts it will take to accomplish it, confusing activity with accomplishment, confusing efficiency with effectiveness, allowing things to pill up and letting oneself to be diverted from a goal or task.

Contrarily, Farris argues that organization does not transform to effective working. Some people may be organized but they do not meet their goals. Being organized therefore means, the act of being functional while focusing on meeting of goals.

Developing good study habits involves appreciating the dynamic of goal focused behaviour and circumstances that lead to one’s self optimal function. It involves understanding ways of motivation that will lead to self development and efficient achievement of goals.

The strength of this article is that it brings out clearly the point on time management and how it is essential for an individual to observe both time and self-management, which add up to success. It also lays the qualities of good time management and the requisites for success.

Nevertheless, the article can be critiqued in that it argues organisation cannot be equated to effective working whereas it is factual that a well organised person is able to organise or manage his time well while a disorganised person get his/her time priorities wrong.

Also the article can be critiqued on that point that it does not differentiate time and stress management as Farris argues that stress management is the same as self management, but rather stress management usually involves the management of one self.

It is more of self management rather than time management. People do not manage the issue or event; they manage their reaction to it. Basically, stress as the body’s total response to any demand placed on it.

Springs, A., 2004. Time Management (Self Management). Mind tools, 1-9.

This article defines time management and how people can manage their time effectively. Time management is a set of related skills that helpone use their time effectively and productively. Good time management differentiates effective and ineffective people. Most importantly, good time management focuses on concentration on results, rather than being busy.

Many people spend their time in a frenzy of activities, but accomplish very little because they do not concentrate on the right things and making them succeed.

The following are some of the key points Springs recommends on a good time management plan: use of an activity log to evaluate one’s use of time, at different times of the day; knowing how much one’s time is worth, and hence, which tasks should be avoided or delegated; determining and agreeing what is important for success in one’s job, and what constitutes exceptional performance and setting the goals and plans that will lead one to that success.

The article also concentrates on the time stealers and makes people aware of the need to control these. Time stealers will never be eliminated, but if people are aware of them, they will control them more easily.

Just like Farris, Springs (2004, 5) argues that one cannot manage time neither control time but manage oneself and their use of time. Time management is simply self management. Interestingly, the skills an individual needs to manage others are the same skills one needs to manage themselves: the ability to plan, delegate, organize, direct and control.

The article brings out clearly the elements of time and self management, which is its strongest point.

The weakness of this article is that it does not differentiate time management and self management as should be rather it holds that both are equal, which may certainly not be the case.

Berry, J., 2005. Self-management = Success. SC4, 12.

According to Berry, many people have the misperception that time is never enough and mostly blame their not meeting goals on time, as if there could be more of it. Berry argues that time-management does not exist but there is self-management (unlike Spring (2004, 4) and Farris (2002, 3). The reality of time management versus self management is such that people need to internalize the passage of time, making a change of focus, looking at how they manage themselves in relation to time, not how they can manage time better.

The way people “use” time or “waste” time is mainly a matter of habit. That is, how one “treats” (approaches, looks at, have a paradigm about) time is mainly attributed to how they create behaviour patterns that are called habits. Old habits die hard, but with a shift (change) in how one thinks about “time,” not seeing that they can control time, but rather that they can control themselves in relation to time, one can create a new and better habit about self management.

People believe that “time” happens outside of them…not that they pass through time. This conception gets in people’s way of “seeing” the reality that they must choose to study. Berry advices that when one “feels” like they are wasting time…they are simply not practicing self management, they feel then like time has slipped by…or that we do not have enough of it.

According to Berry, one of the best ways of self management is to make a personal schedule. A schedule should be well prepared to include all targets to be met and the nitty-gritty of success. However, a schedule created rightly is only as good as one is able to abide by it.

The strength of the article is that is able to base its argument on self management in achieving ones goals. Its somehow convincingly brings out the elements in self management and the misconceptions and excuses that people have for not achieving their goals.

The weakness of the article is that it overemphasis on self management as the only factor in succeeding while negating the crucial part that time management plays in success.

Building Teams and Work Groups

Oakley B., et al., 2004. Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams. New Forums Press. Vol 2 (1).

This article focuses on students’ academic life and importance of team working in their academic life. The authors critically evaluate the importance of an effective academic system when creating effective academic teams.

These teams, as opposed to the traditional modes of teaching, where the student academic life was approached on an individual level, the teams will make learning more interesting, simpler and more involving the students, as they take a keen interest in learning. The authors note “the benefits of collaborative learning have been demonstrated in countless studies and several meta-analyses”.

As a result, positive effects realised by institutions that have implemented the teams approach in their academic system has greatly increased, as opposed to the tradition “individual approach”. Nevertheless, it cautions that the said positive effects are not automatic, and there are certain issues that must be taken into account in order to create an efficient team.

The issue the authors put forward is that there has to be a purpose of the team being formed, the team members must be compatible and each has to have a role/responsibility that compliments those of other team members.

It further cautions against having self-selection teams which members may abuse others by selecting each other without merit. Thus, it puts forward a selection criterion which should be taken into account when the selection of team members is taking place.

The strength of this article is that it explains the importance of team work in a learning environment and brings out clearly the requisites of a perfect team and the criterion for forming the team.

However, this first article fails to show the effectiveness of self selection of team members, as it puts an emphasis on an independent body choosing the group members. Thus, it falls short in highlighting the effectiveness of groups choosing their own members.

World Health Organization, 2007. Team Building. World Health Organization. Vol 519.

This article focuses on the overall structure of the team. It describes what a team is in detail, the criteria for creating one, and the phases in team development. It describes a team as “two or more people working interdependently towards a common goal, however getting a group of people together does not make a “team.”

A team develops products that are the result of the team’s collective effort and involves synergy.” It is important to note when teams can be used and when they are necessary. Team building depends on the type of task the team is set up to perform, whether it’s temporary or permanent and the timeline of the team. In addition, the article highlights the need for having an oversight committee to control the activities of the team.

Choosing the right team is very important, since failure to do so will result in teams being formed which fail to deliver its goals due. Thus, when teams are being formed, it is wise that the following key issues to be taken into account: size of the team, its composition, selection criteria and the recruitment process.

An effective team should comprise of smaller teams members since smaller teams are easy to manage, and be held accountable. Nevertheless, if a team has more than 8 members, it should have an expert to manage its affairs.

Another important issue to note is that the members who make the group should have the same goal or interest, and none should be in conflict with the goals of the team members.

Thus, the team members should be relevant to the group and more crucial, they should have different experiences or skills. Thus, the article advices that teams or groups should be made up of members who understand the project at hand, and should be professionals or people who are technical experts.

The strength of the article is that it takes more time in explaining what a team is and what many think a team to be. It also goes deep in explaining the different elements of a team and ways of team building.

However, this article fails to cater for groups/teams made up of more than 8 members, as it terms them as ineffective and un-objective towards attaining the ultimate goals of its members.

UVic Manager Tool., n. d. Kit Team Building: HR can provide you with support for building effective team work. Management.

This article focuses more on the relationship between the group or team members. This article puts an emphasis on the need to have an expert consultant’s opinion during the creation of groups/teams. It further adds the role of consultants, as creating a conducive environment for the full realisation for a group’s objective.

Hence, the role of the experts in the creation of the groups will be to assist the group members in learning each others strength and weakness, manage the team members and evaluate the team members understanding of their roles in the team/group.

In addition, it is vital for the team members to respect each others’ role in a group, and where it is necessary to ask questions whenever any team member felt that his/her issues were in conflict with other members. The article further provides four ways through which group members can maintain their responsibilities effectively without getting into conflicts with other group members.

The article explains the methods for building effective group obligations as; the team members having a clear goal of what the team objective is, the members having their role clearly defined, while also having the procedures of any team recruitment, dismissal and responsibility clearly outlined from the beginning.

In order to enhance the relationship between the team members, it is vital for the group to adopt certain strategies. The group has to have an efficient and effective communication channel, a way through which conflicts between the group members is resolved, and a mechanism to ensure that members are held accountable for their responsibilities.

This article provides a clear understanding of what a group/team is all about. Also it clearly shows the expectations of a team and the various facets of a perfect team.

Nevertheless, this article fails to take into account other forms of teams/groups, as it sees groups as being made only by professionals while sideling the informal sector.

References

Berry, J., 2005. Self-management = Success. SC4, 12.

Farris, D., 2002. Time management: An Exercise of Self Awareness. Workforce Journal, 31, 124-136.

Oakley B., et al. 2004. Turning Student Groups into Effective Teams. New Forums Press. Vol 2 (1).

Springs, A., 2004. Time Management (Self Management). Mind tools, 1-9.

UVic Manager Tool., n. d. Kit Team Building: HR can provide you with support for building effective team work. Management. World Health Organization., 2007. Team Building. World Health Organization. Vol 519.

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