The Effective Executive - Know Thy Time- Peter
Drucker (page 26-27)
According to Peter Drucker, in his observation, the
effective executive do not start with their tasks. They
start with their time. And they do not start out with
planning. They start by finding out where their time
actually goes. Then they attempt to manage their time
and to cut back unproductive demands on their time.
Finally they consolidate their 'discretionary' time into
the largest possible continuing units. The tree
- recording time
- managing time and
- consolidating time
Effective executive know that time is a limiting
factor. The output limits of any process are set by the
scarcest resource. In the process we call '
accomplishment', this is time.
Time is also a unique resource. Money is actually
quite plentiful. We long ago should have learned that it
is the demand for capital, rather that the supply
thereof, which sets the limit to economic growth and
activity. People-the limiting resources one can hire,
though one can rarely hire enough good people. But one
cannot rent, hire, buy, or otherwise obtain more time.
The supply of time is totally inelastic. No matter
how high the demand, the supply will not go up. There is
no price for it and no marginal utility curve for it.
Moreover, time is totally perishable and cannot be
stored. Yesterday time is gone for ever and will never
come back. Time is there fore, always in
exceedingly short supply.
Time is totally irreplaceable. Within limits we can
substitute one resource for another, copper for
aluminum, for instance. We can substitute capital for
human labour. We can use more knowledge or more brawn.
but there is no substitute for time.
Everything requires time. It is one truly
universal condition. All work takes place in time and
uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this
unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resources. Nothing
else perhaps, distinguishes effective executives s much
as their tender loving care of time.
Man is ill-equipped to manage his time.
Though man, like all living beings, has a 'biological
clock', as anyone discovers who crosses the Atlantic by
jet- he lacks, as psychological experiments have shown,
a reliable time sense. People kept in a room in which
they cannot see light and darkness outside rapidly lose
all sense of time. Even in total darkness, most people
retain their sense of space. But even with the lights
on, a few hours in a sealed room make most people
incapable of estimating how much time has elapsed. They
are as likely grossly to underrate the time spent in the
room as grossly to overrate it.