Time Management Rules You Need To Understand

(This is the first of 4 blogs in this series.)

Do you notice that you and your staff are busier than ever? Especially those of us who are on Preferred Vendor programs or working for TPA’s. They are driving a lot of the administrative ‘stuff’ down to us. Plus a lot of work that just a few short years ago that Road Adjusters (remember them) used to do. When I first got in this business a field adjuster, whether independent or staff, was on every property loss. Yes, I said every job. My, how things have changed.

Lately, are you asking yourself questions like:

  • Why am I having trouble getting everything done?
  • There must be a better way to manage my time (or my staff’s)?
  • Why is technology wasting more time than it is saving me?

While I don’t proclaim to have the magic wand to answer all of these and other concerns we all struggle with in this area, I am going to share four simple and useful rules to manage your time more efficiently and effectively in this and three following blog posts.

The first three you might have heard of already. The fourth one I added for good measure.

1) Pareto’s Principle – 80% of the outcomes result from 20% of the causes.

Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, noted that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. He developed this principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

Do you waste your time on useless activities! Or activities that could easily be delegated?  We all have our own black hole of time: TV, video games, the internet, social media, email, fantasy sports, telephone, socializing face to face, etc. Most of it is in the name of entertainment or enjoyment.

You name it and you have a rationalization for it.

Whatever it is, it’s holding you back from doing what you really need to be doing. What do you need to be doing? What is it that needs to get done and you don’t have enough time for it? It might even be work.

You have too much urgent work to get your important work done. The question is, “Are you doing the right work?” Enter Pareto’s Principal.

Look at your work like you are making a budget.

  • Where are you spending you time now?
  • Where do you want to spend your time?
  • What can you delegate?

There are elements of your work which contribute to outcomes. Some elements contribute to positive outcomes and some contribute to negative outcomes. Using Pareto’s Principle, 20% of the elements you already do reap 80% of the benefit. And 80% of the elements you work on reap 20% of the benefit. Why are you wasting four-fifths of your time for 20% of the benefit? Couldn’t you spend some of that time doing more beneficial work?

Check yourself out. Do an honest assessment of how you spend your time. See if it isn’t true that you spend 80% of you time getting 20% of the results. Turn that around and do 20% of the effort and get 80% of the results.