You must have encountered the following scenario; A meeting (office, church, training, wedding committee, etc.) is called and set for 14h00 to 16h00. You rush and make it just on time, phew! Then you realize you are the first person there.
On a good day, the meeting chair comes 15 minutes later. Others start trooping in from14H30 (the earliest) upto15h30. Another thing, as people come in they engage in elaborate greetings and small talk that have absolutely nothing to do with the agenda.
They take some time to settle down. Everyone is happy and most of the time no one apologizes for being late; African time, you know! The quorum is made at 15h00 and the meeting begins a few minutes past 15h00. Naturally, due to the agenda, meeting drags to 17h30 or thereabouts.
On a good day no one cares (except you, perhaps). Other times, people say they have gahundas (other programs). Normally the ones who had come latest normally complain the loudest.
This begs the question; is time important to us as a resource? Is it unlimited? Or is it in endless supply? These questions are very important in our development both personally and as a people. Truth is time, once gone is irrecoverable. Once gone, it is gone.
Not only is time non-renewable it is also a very important as a resource.Logically, one would think that the person/country that is poor having a lot more to do, will put in more effort into bettering his/her life. This means that they need to put in more time in this effort.
So developing countries should have people who are busier and more focused as a matter of necessity. The situation on the ground is the depressing opposite. People in a lot of underdeveloped areas seem not to care about their time usage. Perhaps it is this defiance of logic that makes us poor? May be we have time to waste. And since time is a valuable non-renewable resource, we lose out because, well, we are ‘time barred!’.
“We must manage our time better. We must set forth actions or process of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase efficiency or productivity.” Time management encompasses a wide scope of activities, and these include planning, allocating, setting goals, delegation, analysis of time spent, monitoring, organizing, scheduling, and prioritizing both in business or work and personal activities
To manage time effectively you must first set personal/business goals.
These goals are recorded and may be broken down into a project, an action plan, or a simple task list. For individual tasks or for goals, an importance rating may be established, deadlines may be set, and priorities assigned. This process results in a plan with a task list or a schedule or calendar of activities. The calendar could be daily, weekly, monthly or other planning periods associated with different scope of planning or review.
Time management also covers how to eliminate tasks that don’t provide the individual or organization value. Starting with a simple task (also to-do list or things-to-do) is a list of tasks to be completed, such as chores or steps toward completing a project. It is an inventory tool which serves as a supplement to memory.
As Writer Julie Morgenstern suggests “do’s and don’ts” of time management that include: Map out everything that is important, by making a task list, create “an oasis of time” for one to control (like breathing space), Say “No” (to things that don’t add value), Set priorities, Don’t drop everything and don’t think a critical task will get done in spare time.
Sam Kebongo is a skills and business advisory services consultant. He also teaches entrepreneurship at Rwanda Tourism University College.