The One Best Way?

Jeff Davidson

Throughout society you hear a familiar lament: there doesn't seem to be enough time to do the things you need to do within a given day. Yet, if you're like most people, despite all that competes for your time and attention, you have to concede that there are many times throughout the day when you unnecessarily waste time.

Some time management gurus suggest that you record how you spend each hour of the day for one week or one month. Then, like doing a budget, you see the number of hours that you've wasted, and like money wasted, will wish you had those hours back. Go ahead and make a time diary if you wish, but it's not necessary. Human nature being what it is, you're going to continue to hang on to some tasks, even those you know in your heart of hearts ought to be delegated to others or dropped all together.

While managing your time is a worthwhile pursuit, the myths surrounding the effective management of your time can all but quash your efforts. Time management as we know it, essentially started with the work of Frederick Taylor and Frank Gilbreth.

One hundred years ago, they astounded the industrial world by establishing time and motion procedures which enabled employers to get higher productivity from their workers. In doing so, Taylor and Gilbreth established the basis of modern day time management techniques, which were widely adopted by executives.

In recent years, the backlash against Taylor, in particular, has been mighty. Some authors contend that his ceaseless quest for "the one best way" changed the very texture of twentieth-century life. Others contend that Taylor taught us not to stop and smell the roses and that his compulsions eerily foreshadowed that time-pressure that everyone feels today.

What are the tips and tricks you use to better manage your time, and still have a life after work?