Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Dribs and drabs" and chunks of time

The Effective Executive by Dr. Peter Drucker ranks as one of my all-time favorite books. Copyrighted in 1966, its advice in the area of time management rings even truer today than it did 40 years ago. “Effective executives…do not start with their tasks. They start with their time,” say Drucker.

One of my favorite lines from the book is when Drucker says, “To have dribs and drabs of time of time at his disposal will not be sufficient even if the total is an impressive number of hours.” The point is that we cannot get anything of real value done without “time in fairly large chunks.”

Finding those fairly large chunks of time is difficult for those in the school business. For teachers, most have only a 30-minute block of discretionary time per day. Administrators often find their days so fragmented that nothing is accomplished by the end of a day.

Difficult, yes. Impossible, no. Thank goodness that answer is no! Once we give in to the notion that our days consist of fragmented “dribs and drabs,” we must give in to the notion that we will simply not be effective in our jobs.

Who and what are the obstacles which stand between you and those large chunks of time? Keeping that thought first and foremost in your mind for a few days will quickly reveal answers as your day unfolds. Postponing checking e-mail, letting voicemail catch the phone calls, and closing the door to dissuade drop-in visitors are time-honored techniques. Above all, if you had the large chunks of time, what would you do with them? If the answer to that question is hazy, there will be little motivation to make tomorrow any different than today.

On the other hand, if you have a passion for a project, the project has been planned, and you know exactly where to jump in, somehow the ability to block out of the rest of the world becomes easier.

What’s your passion right now? What’s standing in the way of your pursuing it? What are you waiting for? Turn Drucker’s “dribs and drabs” into large chunks of gold!
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