The purpose of this report is to look into and evaluate the importance of effective time management and the causes of stress in the workplace and how they affect the Procurement Department’s ability to deliver its objectives. Time management is the process by which individuals consciously or subconsciously allocate time to the various activities they carry out both in the workplace and at home.
Strengths and weaknesses of time management
Effective time management is necessary because according to Tracy - ‘new tasks keep rolling in’ and ‘you will always be behind in some of your tasks, probably many of them’ (Tracy 2001). The Pareto principle can be applied ...view middle of the document...
If you have tasks on your ‘to do list’ that are do not contribute to your overall objectives, they should be removed as this is a sign of poor time management. As new or unexpected tasks are received, these should be added to the list. They can also be used to help plan the completion of larger and more complex tasks and breaking them down into smaller step by step pieces which can help you plan how to complete a given task. While I do compile daily task lists, I have two weaknesses in this area. I don’t always use them to break down and plan larger tasks, which can sometimes lead me to having to repeat or re-do work as I have missed out something I later need, for example removing a column of data from a report that later becomes necessary. Also, when I have compiled ‘to do lists’ I don’t always take the next step and prioritise the tasks and start working on the most important task first. So while I am constantly busy and ticking off tasks from my ‘to do list’ they are not the high value tasks where the completion ‘gives you a positive feeling. It makes you feel like a winner’ (Tracy 2001). Consequently, the important high value tasks are still left to do, but there is now less time to complete these which can lead to an increase in stress and anxiety.
My strengths in time management include diary planning, scheduling meetings as far in advance as possible and using calendar reminders. By planning ahead it enables people to schedule work required for the meetings, report writing, producing presentations etc so that they can be completed in good time. Also, by setting aside specific time for the most important tasks, it can leave you with plenty of free time so that if something urgent does occur and you have to postpone one of your planned tasks, it is easier to reschedule the task and still complete it in time. Planning ahead also makes it easier to prioritise daily or weekly ‘to do lists’ ‘The key is not to prioritise your what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.’ (Covey 1989)
In terms of weaknesses, I have two key weaknesses I need to improve on. Firstly, saying ‘no’. I often find myself taking on tasks that are not my responsibility such as completing ‘new supplier forms’ on behalf of Project Managers, or instead of responding to a query with ‘I’m sorry I can’t help you with that’ I will ask them to send it on to me and I’ll look in to it. By doing this, it takes away time I could be spending on the tasks that are important to me and the department and also encourages people to direct other tasks or queries to me in the future. I am also poor at delegating tasks such as data analysis as I would rather do the work myself so that I know it has been done correctly. Again this weakness means that time that should be spent on other important tasks is taken up by work others could do.
Causes and symptoms of stress
Stress in the workplace can come from many different sources. Within the Procurement Department...