The Art of Time Management - Baylor College of Medicine

The Art of Time Management
Leadership Observations
Mary K. Estes, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Molecular
Virology and Microbiology and MedicineGI
Director, TMC Digestive Diseases Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas
The Art of Time
Time Management
Determine your priorities and your goals
Once articulated, they will help you judge
how you wish to apportion your time and
Time Management is a
No matter how organized we are, there are
still only 24 hrs per day
Time doesn’t change
All we can manage is ourselves and what
we do with the time we have!
Implement a Time
Management Plan
Create time management goals
Find out where you are wasting time
Use time management tools –
timer or cell phone – schedule and lists
Prioritize ruthlessly
Set time limits for tasks
Be sure your systems are organized
The work will not disappear!
Attention to each problem when it arises will
prevent the need to solve more pressing
problems that result from failure to address the
initial problem promptly.
 Email
 Telephone
 S???
Handle expediently
Never look at the mail or message until you
plan to do something with it
Delegate reasonable tasks
The Big Picture
Develop a conceptual understanding
of space and money
Zen… or something like it
Develop a large tolerance for ambiguity
Use your sense of humor
Develop a minimal need for short term rewards
Develop broad shoulders without chips
Listen to others
Take as many of your own
telephone calls as you can
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but
it burned in one...
It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday, it
is what you are doing today or will do
tomorrow that is important
You can compromise
without being
Elementary, my dear Watson…
Always seek out the facts
Good decisions must be factually sound
Assume that what you do will
have to be accounted for:
Time and effort
 Money
 Space
Collect data as it develops
This saves much time and effort when
accountability is requested: CV’s, hospitals,
schools, certifying bodies, etc.
“And last, but not least…”
When you meet with someone and they have a
long list or agenda, ask them to start at the bottom
The last item is usually the most sensitive and will
require the greatest amount of time
When you prepare an agenda, put the most
pressing item at the top-- it will saves hours of
meeting time
Expediency  Efficiency
A bird in the hand may be worth two
in the bush, but...
the bird may also leave droppings
in your palm
There are no shortcuts to success!
Do not fight change-it wastes time
Change is inevitable…
not to mention uncomfortable…BUT
it brings opportunities and risk
Your job is to maximize the opportunity and
minimize the risk
Focus on outcomes:
 Publish research findings
Publications are the currency of success
 Obtain funding for research
 Education
Plot a course prospectively to achieve the
best outcome
Conceptualize problems
This is the only way you can communicate both
the nature of the problem and its solutions in the
simplest terms-- doing so saves enormous
amounts of time. You can explain something once
and it will be understood
Never do something twice
Do it right the first time!
“I took a few shortcuts laying the
foundation, but I don’t think
anyone will notice…”
You can do two things at the same time
Constantly seek to eliminate unproductive efforts or
divisive activities within the group
Time is life’s most precious
Use your time and that of others with
Be on time!
Time is life’s most precious
Use your time efficiently
Have something to do while waiting –
before appointments or between
meetings or classes
Deal with the cards you are
Trying to seek a re-deal is a waste of time and
generally is not successful
There is no substitute for
Do everything thoroughly
Failure to prepare is preparing to fail
Excellence is achieved by the pursuit of perfection
ALL the time
Good time management is
rarely an accident
It is the result of:
high intention
sincere effort
much thought
skillful execution
When you are in a position to
do so...
Hire people smarter than yourself
It will:
Save you time
Make you look good
Do not panic when you make
Good judgment comes from experience
Experience come from bad judgment
Do not make the same mistake twice
Achieve balance between your
personal and professional life
Leadership Observations
Leaders usually are ordinary people
with extraordinary determination.
Persistence in the name of a good
cause usually overcomes resistance.
Attributes of Leaders
The ability to articulate a vision.
A superior capacity to select personnel.
A conceptual understanding of space and
The courage to make unpopular decisions.
The ability to create a readiness to change.
Attributes of Leaders
A large tolerance for ambiguity.
A sense of humor.
A minimal need for short term rewards.
Broad shoulders without chips.
The ability to listen.
Personal Principles
The job of a leader is to make other people’s
dreams come true.
Make as many of your own telephone calls as
you can.
Always try to do what is right. Never give up the
high ground.
Personal Principles
Never confuse power with authority. Power is an
imputed phenomenon, and power is gained by
not using it.
Never gripe down.
If you expect excellence and convey that to the
personnel, they will do more than what they
themselves believed possible.
Manage by Wandering
Get to know everybody on the custodial staff.
They will tell you what is going on. Never divulge
their confidence or they will unionize and you will
have no absolute source of truth.
Simple Truths
Praise in public and criticize in private.
If you and the college director agree on
everything, there is a high probability that you
are both wrong.
Always seek out and understand the facts. Good
decisions must be factually sound.
Simple Truths
Stay in charge of your calendar.
Never appoint a committee to recommend
allocation of space.
Solve problems that have solutions. Parking
problems generally do not, so delegate these to
someone else.
Simple Truths
When you join an organization as a new leader,
remember your first week of meetings. Virtually
everyone who has called for an appointment will
cause you long term trouble.
Learn Time Management Skills
Never do something twice – do it right the first
You can learn to do two things at the same time.