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Make better use of time in your busy day

Business managers and executives may be able to make more of their time with the help of a new book written by Bermuda Insurance Institute lecturer Paul Loftus.

Mr. Loftus, who is an international management development consultant, industrial psychologist and freelance journalist, has teamed up with Lyndon Jones, CEO of the Association of Business Executives, to collaborate on "Time Well Spent: Getting Things Done Through Effective Time Management", which does everything it says in the title.

Having held a number of seminars across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, focusing on dealing effectively with yourself, others and your organisation, and with many years' experience in the business world, Mr. Loftus gives a unique insight into how to manage your time and resources more effectively.

Throughout the book, the pair deal with a number of pertinent issues from determining and attaining your life goals, increasing your leisure time, choosing the way you spend your time and getting to know yourself better to avoiding procrastination, removing barriers to your time effectiveness, exploiting your prime time and analysing and improving your time expenditure.

Other common sense tips include organising your workload and workplace, handling interruptions, managing information and making your reading and writing more effective, while active listening, effective use of the telephone and technology, dealing with a boss who wastes your time, and effective delegation and meetings are other topics which business people may find resonates with them.

One to particularly tickle the fancy of those working in the communications industry, was the statement that civil servants and lawyers in particular are often reluctant to use less than 25 words when one would suffice, as parodied in the TV series "Yes Minister", which has been accepted as being very close to the truth.

Each chapter starts with some witty or true anecdotes, my favourite being: "Here lies John, who said last year, 'I cannot delegate, my dear'. Too late the doctor's diagnosis: acute non-delegos thrombosis. Poor John, he had a staff of nine, yet wouldn't pass work down the line. Preferred to take a bagful home; his widow struggles on alone."

The book, which sets out to help people juggle the demands of a busy job and home life through learning to organise, prioritise and make adjustments to work habits, is laid out in easy to digest parts, which can be conveniently accessed at any time by turning to the appropriate section.

So the best advice is to give it a try for yourself - you never know, it might change your whole approach to work and life, let you take control of your situation and get more done in the long run.

- Alex Wright

"Time Well Spent", which is published by Kogan Page, is available at the Bermuda Bookstore or via Littlehampton Book Services on +01144 (0)1903 828 503, emai mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk or visit the Kogan Page website at www.koganpage.com