Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

3.2. Maintain a Time Management Diary

ryanrori January 23, 2021

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Keep a time management diary, tracking how and where you spend your time daily, weekly and monthly. 

  • Every week review your diary, looking specifically at how you spent your time and how much of that time was quality time. 
  • Look to see that the time you actually spent working is appropriately matched to the relative importance of the assignment or task. 
  • Share your diary on a regular basis with your manager and/or mentor, soliciting their input on how to improve and maintain a greater level of focus and execution. 
  • This diary can be separate or can be combined with a project plan log.

What is the purpose of using a diary system?

Time is very important and it can be utilised in a very efficient way by maintaining a diary system. The efficient planning and organisation of your own time and other people’s is, therefore, one of the most important activities that you can get involved with.

The diary is one of the major resources within the office, without which, none of us would know where we should be or what we should be doing at any given time.

The diary may be maintained manually or electronically.

Describe the different types of diary system

Diary systems can basically be divided into two types:

Manual systems

The most common type of manual diary system in use in offices is the bound book in which appointments are recorded. These may be:

  • One day per page
  • Two days per page
  • One week to view
  • Two weeks to view

When selecting the most appropriate type of manual diary to use, you will need to consider how many entries you are likely to make in any one day.

An alternative to a bound book is a loose leaf system, often known as a time manager. This has the advantage that the diary section is continuous. New pages are simply added as the years go on, so there is no need to obtain a new diary towards the end of each year.

Another, completely different, manual system is the wall planner. These are usually laminated charts which have a space per day covering the whole of a year.

Electronic systems

Electronic diaries can be maintained on a personal computer, a laptop, a palmtop or an electronic organiser. They have a number of advantages over manual systems:

  • Highlighting potential conflict between appointments
  • Entry of regular events once only
  • Less paper is used.
  • Password protection.
  • Multiple access is available.
  • On screen reminder of appointments.
  • Database compatibility.
  • Electronic contact.

Why should you obtain relevant information about requested diary entries and changes?

Requests for changes may appear to be relatively minor, but may have a knock-on effect which could have major implications. Delaying an appointment could cause the person attending the meeting to be late for, or even unable to attend, other meetings arranged for later in the day. It is important, therefore, to check the effects that a requested change will have before agreeing to it.

All relevant information has to be obtained because you have to make sure that everyone attending the meeting or any appointment has convenience and are given all the details, so that there is no error at any end at any time.