Time Management | Board Management

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May 30

Time is Valuable

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Time is a valuable commodity, but some people don’t manage it effectively.  Learning time management is not a difficult task, in that it just takes a deeper understanding of who you are and what you consider to be important.

What is Time?

Definition:Time is a dimension and measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.” ( With the many classes, technology, and tips that teach you how to manage your time wisely, do you still find yourself feeling like you can’t get everything done? How often do you find yourself running out of time? Understanding what time is will be the first priority to tackle in order to understand proper time management. Time is not a renewable resource; we must have realistic expectations and work within our capacity instead of against it. ( Setting expectations that are more realistic and that can be achieved is the starting point.

Anger Management

Anger Management is a 2003 American comedy film starring Adam Sandler (Dave Buznik) and Jack Nicholson (Dr. Rydell). Dave Buznik is a businessman in the busy city of New York. While flying to a business meeting, Dave looses his temper after a series of annoyances. Dave is arrested and sentenced to anger management therapy; he agrees to attend Dr. Rydell’s sessions to prove he’s in full control of his emotions. Failure to comply will result in a year of jail time for Dave. Dave Buznik has been repressing his emotions from a lasting trauma that happened when he was a child. This trauma has affected his career and private life. Buznik eventually takes matters in to his own hands when therapy takes a turn for the worst. He attempts to take full control of his emotional issues once and for all. The movie ends after Dave finds out he was set up by his girlfriend who just wanted the best for him. This movie is not just an American comedy; there are some takeaways relevant to everyday career life – Getting control of your life.

Getting Control of your Life

Most importantly, getting control of your life in your career. Keeping calm without loosing your cool. David Allen, Author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, believed gaining control of your life in your career takes 5 stages of mastering workflow. (

  1. Capture: Collect what has your attention
  2. Clarify: Process what it means
  3. Organizing: Put it where is belongs.
  4. Reflect: Review frequently
  5. Engage: Simply do

In life we are constantly being tested; learn to bypass the urgent time consuming tasks and prioritize.  In today’s technological age we allow the little things such as our phone notifications, emails, and social media notifications to distract us from our ultimate goal. The time it takes to check those distractions result in valuable time being wasted. Start collecting the tasks that grab your attention, make appropriate lists, and group together similar tasks. If the task is attainable, take action. If the task is not actionable-trash it! According to David Allen, “too much stuff is stored into a person’s short-term memory, that we cannot retain half of what we take in.”  The result is that half of your tasks never get achieved.

Urgent Versus Important

How do you determine the urgent tasks from the important tasks? You walk into the office in the morning and the board chairman asks you to prepare an important written fundraising plan, because he believes nonprofits with a written plan are more likely to reach their goal.  The chairman asks you to present this information to the board at the next meeting, with two days to prepare. Your current workload is already high, with a number of urgent tasks on your to-do list.  Your nervous, anxiety is setting in, and your stress levels are rising.  How can you overcome these pains and take full control in order to deliver the things that really matter to do a good job? This is where Stephen Covey’s Urgent/Important Matrix comes into play, where he has classified the difference between Important and Urgent.

  • Important activities have an outcome that lead to the achievements of your goals, whether these are professional or personal.
  • Urgent activities demand immediate attention, and are often associated with the achievement of someone else’s goals.

Do you agree that the majority of us concentrate on the urgent tasks at hand rather than the important tasks?  The urgent tasks require less time to complete and the consequences of not dealing with them right away are immediate. When you have a specific deadline on urgent tasks, you tend to think of them as being of high importance. A quote from President Eisenhower, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” This quote sums up the concept of Stephen Coveys Urgent/Important Matrix. This matrix teaches you an important life lesson– To Prioritize. Prioritize between what is Urgent and Important, Urgent and not Important, Urgent but Important, and not Urgent and not Important.  If you practice this concept you should be able to take your tasks and separate the activities that need your attention from those that don’t. (

Time Management in Board Meetings

Board meetings take time. Members spend substantial time preparing for, attending, and following up on them. Yet with all the preparation for these meetings, time is still wasted. Board meetings face many problems when it comes to time management. Improper time management is a major difficulty that can hamper productivity and even lead to a decline in the board’s progress in moving forward. Do theses pains speak to you?

  1. Desperate to correct improper time management?
  2. Board’s progress declining from improper time management?
  3. Agitated by your board’s time constantly being wasted?
  4. Disappointed in the lack of commitment amongst your board members?

“Too often, however, meetings are counted as unproductive and inefficient due to the lack of proper organization and communication before and after the meeting. Do members forget about meetings or drop their tasks once assigned in the meeting? Here, we’ll provide a few simple tips to help your board of directors have an effective board meeting – every time.”   Remember, as long as you have the confidence to take control like Dave Buznik (remember you are the pilot), your time will be managed effectively.

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