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Time Management Tips
By Michael C. Dennis, MBA, CBF

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There are any number of books and articles that have been written about time management. Their recommendations often sound similar. Here are some dissimilar and atypical time management tips that should help the typical credit professional:

  • Forget about creating a to-do list, generate a must do list.

  • Do not confuse activity with accomplishment. Being busy is not the same thing as being productive. Choose quality over quantity.

  • Disregard urgent tasks in favor of important tasks. Ask:

  • Should it be done at all?

  • Can someone else do it?

  • When must it be started and when must it be completed?

  • Learn to say "no" to extraneous demands on your time. This is the only way to eliminate low value added activities.

  • Delegate as much work as you can. The best way to get things done is not to do them yourself but to delegate them to someone capable of doing them for you.

  • Expect excellence from your subordinates. If there is time to fix mistakes, there is time to prevent them.

  • Set specific time limits on socializing. For example, allow ten minutes for morning socializing before getting to work.

  • Attend fewer meetings. Find a reason or an excuse not to attend meetings that you know or expect to be unproductive.

  • Refuse to meet with unscheduled visitors unless you need them.

  • In any meeting, ask as soon as possible: "How can I help you today?"

  • Don't be a slave to the telephone. Allow voice mail to pick up incoming calls whenever you are involved in important work.

  • When dealing with collection agencies calls and solicitations:

    • Be blunt

    • Be brief

    • Be done with the caller

Finally, take five minutes of quiet time in your car [with the radio and engine off] before going into the office to think about to day, to plan your activities, to consider what is truly important, to decide what tasks demand your immediate attention, and to consider how best to deal with extraneous problems that take your time and sap your energy.

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