How to Manage Time – for Safety Professionals

Management of time for safety professionals

Most OHS professionals are very busy people, effectively managing your time can increase your productivity markedly.

There is often little correlation between hard work and the level of achievement. Active people do not necessarily get the most done.

Activity=Productivity is a myth.

“Procrastination is the thief of time”

The following works for me, I do not know if it will work for you. Trim time wasting e-mails. Attempt to be succinct in all your written documents, you do not have time to write pages of waffle that others will be too busy to read. Use management summaries with major reports. Trim non-essential meetings and use video-conferencing instead of gathering people at a meeting where people have to travel to the meeting venue. An open door policy is fine in theory but can waste a lot of time. Instead let people know your not to be disturbed times and the times when you are available for consultation. Come in early, leave early and use the early morning when no one is about to your advantage. At the beginning of the day divide, your to do list into the MUST DOS, SHOULD DOS & COULD DOS, your aim is to complete at least all those on the MUST DO list before you go home.

Common time wasters

1 Trying to take on too many tasks

2 Poor planning

3 Accepting jobs that should & could be done by others

4 Putting jobs off

5 Lack of organisation

6 Taking on tasks not capable of doing

Management of your time

Refuse to do the unimportant.

Set deadlines for yourself and others.

Keep a reasonably tidy desk

Take the time you need to do a quality job, saves re-work.

Do it straight away.

If you are feeling really stuffed at the end of your working day this is doing you and your family no good, you should analyse your time usage and try to do a better job of managing it.

George Robotham

George Robotham

George was a Legend in the Safety World who passed away in Sept 2013 but left us with a great legacy
George Robotham
I have worked in OHS for most of my working life, many years in the mining industry including over 10 years in a corporate OHS role with BHP. Since leaving the mining industry I have worked in a variety of safety roles with a variety of employers, large & small, in a variety of industries. I was associated with my first workplace fatality at age 21, the girl involved was young, intelligent, vivacious and friendly. Such a waste! I was the first on the scene and tried to comfort her and tend to her injuries. She said to me “George, please do not let me die” We put her on the aerial ambulance to Rockhampton base hospital where she died the next day. I do not mind telling you that knocked me around for awhile. Since then I have helped my employers cope with the aftermath of 12 fatalities and 2 other life-altering events. The section "Why do Occupational Health & Safety" provides further detail but in summary, poor safety is simply very expensive and also has a massive humanitarian cost. My qualifications include a certificate I.V. in Workplace Training and Assessment, a Diploma in Frontline Management, a Diploma in Training & Assessment Systems, a Bachelor of Education (Adult & Workplace Education) , a Grad. Cert. in Management of Organisational Change and a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Hazard Management. I am currently studying towards a Masters in Business Leadership. Up until recently I had been a Chartered Fellow of the Safety Institute of Australia for 10 years and a member for about 30 years. My interest is in non-traditional methods of driving organisational change in OHS and I have what I believe is a healthy dis-respect for many common approaches to OHS Management and OHS Training. I hold what I believe is a well-founded perception that many of the things safety people and management do in safety are “displacement activities” (Displacement activities are things we do, things we put a lot of energy into, but which when we examine them closely there is no valid reason for doing them). My managerial and leadership roles in OHS have exposed me to a range of management techniques that are relevant to Business Improvement. In particular I am a strong supporter of continuous improvement and quality management approaches to business. I believe leadership is the often forgotten key to excellence in most aspects of life. I hold the Australian Defence Medal and am a J.P.(Qualified). I have many fond memories of my time playing Rugby Union when I was a young bloke.

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