JUDITH A. SIESS
INFORMATION BRIDGES INTERNATIONAL
4 November 2004
Wisconsin Library Association
The "Three Ps" of Effective
Developed by Andrew Berner
Ten Myths about Time
1. Myth: Time can be managed.
2. Myth: The longer or harder you work the
more you accomplish.
3. Myth: If you want something done right,
do it yourself.
4. Myth: You aren’t supposed to enjoy work.
5. Myth: We should take pride in working
Ten Myths about Time
6. Myth: You should try to do the most in the
least amount of time.
7. Myth: Technology will help you do it
8. Myth: Do one thing at a time.
9. Myth: Handle paper only once.
10. Myth: Get more done and you’ll be
Attempting too much.
Not saying no.
Management by crisis, fire fighting.
Making the Best Use
Decide that you don’t have to please
Let go–don’t be a perfectionist.
Resist the temptation to do small, insignificant
tasks too well.
Outsource what you can.
If no one asked questions we wouldn't
Anticipate the most common questions.
Try closing your door or arranging your
office to discourage drop- ins.
If all else fails, hide.
Why do we procrastinate?
Don’t know where to start.
To avoid an unpleasant task.
We’re afraid to fail.
Waiting for more information.
You may think if you put it off someone
else will do it.
You do not work best under pressure.
List the things you have been avoiding.
Prioritize them. Try to do at least one of
them each day until you catch up.
Knowing when not to work is as
important as knowing when to work.
Save the easiest tasks for the end of
Get The Most Out Of the
First Two Hours of the Day
Don’t eat breakfast at work.
Don’t schedule meetings for this time.
Start with the most important work of
Do the things you don’t want to do first.
“Avoid meetings with time-
wasting morons.” (Dilbert)
Make sure it’s a working meeting.
Don’t attend unless there is a set
Can the problem be solved or decision
reached without a meeting?
Does the meeting have a set ending
You can do only 4-1/2 things with any
piece of information:
Does it require action on my part?
Does it exist elsewhere?
Is it outdated?
Will I really use it again?
Are there tax or legal implications?
What’s the worst thing that could
happen if I don’t have this info?
Does anyone else need this info?
Other Filing Tips
Never file envelopes unless the
postmark is significant.
Write a keyword on the item when you
File according to how you’ll use it, not
where it came from.
Judy’s first law of filing…
You will probably never be able to read
everything you would like to read.
Read with a pen in your hand.
Share your reading with a friend.
Keep a reading file.
Managing Your Email
Check only once a day.
Filter and triage.
Don’t print out messages.
One major exception: addresses.
Why aren’t we organized?
It takes too much time.
You don’t know how.
You want to do it “perfectly.”
The price of not being
Lost customers due to poor or slow
Using Your Calendar
Add a meeting as soon as you know
Write dates for follow-up on calendar.
Include personal deadlines.
Have one master calendar.
If you use an electronic calendar, back
it up regularly.
from your to do list
What’s the worst that can happen if
don’t do this?
Am I the only person who can do this?
Must it be done now?
Is there an easier way to do it?
“If you don’t know where you’re going,
any road will get you there?”
“If you don’t know where you’re going,
how will you know when you get there?”
Strategic planning solves these problems.
It is a valuable management tool. It is
also about change management. It
strengthens the role of the library in the
organization. It can demonstrate the
librarian’s competence and improves
the image and visibility of the library.
Is Strategic Planning the
same as goals,
or mission statements,
A vision is…
what you want your library to be
has a lifetime of 5, 10, or more years
A mission is…
what the institution does,
for whom it does it,
how it does it, and
Then set your goals…
must be concrete
must be measurable
must be in writing
must be achievable
List your tasks…
Steps required to achieve the goals.
List resources needed.
Keep your eye on your goals.
How Do I Plan?
Beckwith’s Three Cornerstones of
1. Predicting the future.
2. Decide what you want your future to look
3. Analyze the results.
4. Implement the plan.
1. Predicting the future
This is hard
Look at the environment.
What did last year’s strategic plan say?
What does your boss or organization
What do your users want?
2. Decide what you want
your future to look like
Write your vision statement.
Share your vision with the participants.
Then write the mission statement.
Remember to plan for alternative
3. Analyze the results
Write the strategic plan to show how
you will respond to and flesh out the
Figure out ways to make sure your
future comes out the way you want.
4. Implement the plan
The process is important, maybe as
important as the product.
the object of a plan is to change
something—so it MUST be implemented.
Just because you can do
something doesn’t mean
What is the objective?
How will I know if I’m successful?
How will I be rewarded?
Is this task something I want to do?
Do I have the time to do it?
What have I got to lose?
Is there a better way to do it?
Should it even be done at all?
Will the world come to an end if?
You Can—and Should,
Remember Ann Landers’s words:
People take advantage of you
only with your permission.
Be both efficient
Too many businesses spend lots of
time making sure they are doing things
right and not enough determining if they
are doing the right things.
Other Prioritization Tips
You don’t have to do everything everybody
tells you to do.
You don’t always have to do everything
Yes, you have to please other people. But
you also have to please yourself.
Give Yourself Permission
Failure is okay, if...
If you have not failed, it means you
have not risked, not challenged
For more help:
Join the SOLOLIB-L list
Message: subscribe SOLOLIB-L firstname
Call a colleague
Notas do Editor
Planning: If you don’t have time for planning, you’d better find the time. Priorities: Not everything you do is of equal importance. Priorities are not constant, they must e re-evaluated. Procrastination: The anti-Nike – just don’t do it.
Only tasks can be managed. It’s better to work efficiently. You have to delegate. You can’t do it all. If you don’t enjoy it, find something else to do. We should take pride in working smart.
6. Do things right. 7.It may, but also encourages us to do things that don’t need doing. 8.Multitask. 9. Never pick up a piece of paper without doing something to get it off your desk. 10. No, you’ll only get more done.
Toss it. Redirect it. Act on it. File it. Read it.
Action? Then keep it. Elsewhere? Toss it. Outdated? Toss it. Use it again? File it. Tax? File it. Worst thing? If you can live with it, toss it. Anyone else? Send it to them.
Keyword: will save fro reading it again when you file it. Judy’s law… If you spend much time looking for something, put it back where you found it. Or at least put a pointer there.
Can’t read everything? Accept it and get over it. A quick scan is better than a complete reading that you never get to do. Share: you each read some things, then get together and discuss them. Put everything you want to read in one file. Take it with you everywhere you may have to wait. Weed it occasionally—toss anything you haven’t read in 3 months—it’s out of date anyway.
Or check it three times a day or, if really necessary, once an hour. Try Eudora Pro and its folders. Triage by subject line or author. Read it, print it or delete it. Put addresses in your rolodex, contact manager, or at least in a separate folder (mine is “addresses to save”).
Time: being disorganized takes even more time. Know how: learn how or hire someone. Sometimes, good enough is good enough. Perfect is seldom justified.
Miss an opportunity because you misplace the information in the clutter. Waste time (yours and the customer’s) looking for things or doing things over. Waste money by misusing or losing resources or wasting time.
Pencil meetings in, you can always erase them. Followup: such as, call Mr. Jones re search. Write dates for filing, etc. You can have satellite calendars, but one must be the master.
Worst? If you can live with it, don’t do it. You may find out that it wasn’t necessary anyway. If someone else can do it, let them. If it doesn’t need to be done now, it might go away. If you can find an easier way, do it that way.
It focuses your thinking on the future. It clarifies your goals and objectives. It will save time in the long run. It helps you avoid doing things that are not in your best interest. It helps you justify (to others) where you spend your time. It provides a framework for policy formulation and decision-making. It can help support your case for funding. It identifies critical issues and constraints. It can help keep you on course.
My vision: “To help one-person or solo librarians around the world by informing them and championing their cause”
My mission: “To bring the latest personal and institutional management information to small (especially solo or one-person) libraries around the world”
Measurable—so you know when you’ve achieved them In writing—a goal not in writing is a dream
This is hard Look at the environment. Corporate culture. Competitors. Information needs of users. Mandates from the community (management, accrediting). Unmet market niches. What did last year’s strategic plan say? What does your boss or organization want? What do your users want?
WIIFM What have I got to lose? Is there a better way to do it? Should it even be done at all? Can try to ignore it?
Efficiency: is completing a task with the least possible amount of wasted labor, cash, or time. Effectiveness is doing what will make the most difference. Too many businesses spend lots of time making sure they are doing things right and not enough determining if they are doing the right things. Doing the wrong things right is the epitome of wasted time.. Doing the right things right is the epitome of time management.
You don’t have to do everything everybody tells you to do. Or the way other people tell you to do it. Or according to someone else’s time frame. You don’t always have to do everything yourself. Yes, you have to please other people. But you also have to please yourself.
you learn from it. you failed because a higher priority task came up. you did not get the resources you needed (such as cooperation from someone else).
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