Time Management – John Adair

” You will never find time for anything.  If you want time you must make it. ”  – Charles Buxton.

” Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. ”  – Benjamin Franklin.

Time is a precious resource which leaders should use wisely and productively.  John Adair and many other leadership and management theorists agree that one must be able to manage time efficiently if one is to be successful in managing anything else.  In other words good time management is a prerequisite for leaders to keep their people on track and achieve organizational goals.  It has a direct bearing on productivity in the workplace.

Proper time management reduces stress in the workplace and gives everyone more time to complete tasks.  One must never forget the basics: punctuality, regular attendance, a full day’s work for a full day’s pay, and one must be well organized at all times.

Leaders must prioritize objectives and lists of daily tasks to maximize efficiency and productivity.  Important and urgent tasks should be done first; ahead of routine tasks.  Time wasting should be drastically reduced and deadlines should not be missed.  Priorities should be reviewed and changed if there are changes in the work environment or if new information emerges.  Unnecessarily long meetings should be shortened.

In his book How To Manage Your Time: Guildford: Talbot Adair Press, 1987, John Adair listed ten principles of time management which are extremely helpful and relevant in any organizational context.  Here they are:

1.  Develop a personal sense of time.

2.  Identify long-term goals.

3.  Make medium-term plans.

4.  Plan the day.

5.  Make the best use of your best time.

6.  Organize office work.

7.  Manage meetings.

8.  Delegate effectively.

9.  Make use of committed time.

10. Manage your health.

Adair’s ten principles of time management are comprehensive and will deliver increased efficiency, quality, and productivity in any public or private sector enterprise; from a school to a factory.

As one can see from this and the previous three posts in my blog, John Adair presents an integrated system of leadership and management through which effective leaders can be trained and developed.  His ideas contradicted The Great Man Theory of Leadership which was prominent in the 19th century, and which states basically that ” Great Leaders Are Born, and Not Made. ” Interested readers can visit Adair’s website or get hold of his books.



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