Time Management - The Challenge
"No one has enough time, but everyone has all there is." Anonymous
Time management is the process of allocating the hours that an individual has available in a regular work week in the most optimum manner to accomplish needed tasks. The key to time management is to realize the value of every moment. Since we all have the same amount of time, all we have to do is choose how to use it. Real time management is actually making decisions regarding what to do and then how to go about actually doing those things.
Following are guidelines to help us achieve better management of our time.
- Start with your Health
Health dictates everything. A balanced diet and adequate hydration coupled with the right amount of activity, rest and sleep are the foundation on which you build the rest of your day. Educating yourself to improve the quality of the essentials is time well spent if you want to have enough energy to function effectively.
- Be Punctual
Start each day on time, ready to begin work at the prescribed time.
- Planning and Organizing
Using time to think and plan is time well-spent. Organize in a way that makes sense to you and stick with it. If you need visual references, rely on your calendar or day planner. Some people need to have papers filed away and others create energy from the stacks of things yet to do. So forget what you "should" do and organize your way.
- Set Goals
Goals give your work direction. First you need to decide what you want to do. Then set goals that are specific, measurable, realistic and achievable. Look for obstacles in your work day that are keeping you from achieving your goals in a timely manner and try to identify ways to minimize or eliminate them. Goals are the key to effective time management, but only if they are the right goals and the time is right to achieve them.
You may not be able to create time, but you can effectively manage the time you have to maximize the time spent on the items with greatest urgency. Prioritizing tasks will ensure that you spend your time and energy on items that are truly important to you. Identify and eliminate useless tasks.
- Use a To-Do List
Alan Lakein, time management expert and author suggests, "One of the secrets of getting more done is to make a to-do list every day, keep it visible and use it as a guide to action as you go through the day." If a daily to-do list is cumbersome for you, at least use a weekly planner so important items do not fall through the cracks.
- Be Flexible
Allow time for interruptions because they will happen. However, learn to control and minimize the interruptions.
- Do the Right Thing Right
Noted management expert Peter Drucker says, "Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right." Doing the right thing is effectiveness; doing things right is efficiency. Focus first on effectiveness (identifying what is the right thing to do), then concentrate on efficiency (doing it right).
Delegate if and when appropriate. Take a look at your to-do list and consider what could be passed on to someone else. Good delegation saves you time, develops other persons skills and motivates them.
- Don't Let E-mails Rob Your Time
Set aside a block of time to check e-mails and to deal with the paper that has come across your desk. Take action on these items as soon as you read them. If possible, immediately complete the request. If the matter needs more thought, move it to your to-do list. If the item is for reference, print it out, move it to a folder or scan or file. Try to handle these items only once.
- Conquer Procrastination
Procrastination is the thief of time. When you find you are avoiding something, one technique to try is the "Swiss cheese" method described by Alan Lakein. Break a project into smaller tasks and do just one of the small tasks or, set a time limit and work on a big task for just 15 minutes. Eventually you will reach a point when you can finish the project.
- Learn to say "No"
You must convince yourself that you and your priorities are important. Don't willingly take on more responsibility than you can handle without sacrificing your own projects.
- Reward Yourself
Even for small successes, celebrate achievement of goals. Promise yourself a reward for completing each task or finishing the entire job. Then keep your promise to yourself and indulge in your reward. As Ann McGee-Cooper, a well-known author on creative problem solving says, "If we learn to balance excellence in work with excellence in play, fun, and relaxation, our lives become happier, healthier and a great deal more creative."
If you would like more information on effectively managing your time, please contact your RMI HR Representative.
By signing up for direct deposit, you can avoid the risk of checks being lost in the mail, the inconvenience of trying to get to your bank during operating hours, and the dilemma of not receiving your paychecks when you are on vacation. Enjoy the benefits of this safe and secure method of receiving payroll funds directly into your bank account.
You can sign up for direct deposit today by going to RMI's website at www.rminc.com. Then access RMI's Employee Resource Center/Forms/E-Forms. Simply enter your direct deposit information over our secure website, select your Payroll Manager's name and click "Submit." Your payroll manager will immediately receive notification of your change. In order to avoid any delays, please be sure to enter your correct routing number and account number. You can verify these numbers by calling your banking institution.
If you prefer to fill out a paper direct deposit enrollment form, you can do so by accessing the form under the RMI Employee Resource Center/Forms/Individual Forms/Direct Deposit Authorization Form. Once completed, you can scan and email the form to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax it to our Payroll Department at 801-924-1628. If you have any questions on this process, you may call your payroll manager at 888-764-0200.
|Your payroll check stub lists what you're currently claiming on your federal and state income taxes. If you need to change your withholding allowances, you can access the Form W-4 on our website by going to RMI's Employee Resource Center/Forms/Individual Forms/W-4. Once completed, fax the form to our Payroll Department at 801-924-1628. If your state doesn't allow you to make state tax withholding changes on the Form W-4, call the Payroll Department at 888-764-0200 or e-mail email@example.com and RMI will send the appropriate state tax withholding form to you.
|RMI Payroll Login
Are you taking advantage of the ability to view your personal payroll information on-line? Our last newsletter outlined how to sign up on our website to have personal access to items such as past pay stubs, year to date figures, your 2010 W2 and time off accrual balances. By following a few easy steps, you can have secure access to this information in just minutes. If you haven't already taken advantage of signing up, please see the following reminder detailing how to do so now.
You can set up your on-line payroll access right now by going to www.rminc.com. Click on the "RMI Payroll Login" link that appears in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Just below the user name and password section, you'll see a link that says, "Sign Me Up." Please make sure to disable your pop-up blocker before clicking "Sign Me Up." Enter your e-mail address, last name and social security number, then click "Submit."
Once you have entered this information, your temporary password will be e-mailed to you. Your user name will be your e-mail address. Once you log in, you will be prompted to change your password.
The RMI Payroll Login gives you access to the following information:
- Check History
- Year to Date Totals
- Direct Deposit
- 2010 Form W2
- Time Off Accruals*
- Flex Spending
- RMI Contacts
*Your time off accruals will not appear within the RMI Payroll Login if they are being tracked in TimeForce.
If you have any questions on your payroll login, please contact the RMI Payroll Department at 888-764-0200.
|RMI's Group Health, Dental And Vision
Insurance Plans Open Enrollment
(All States Except Washington)
The period between August 15, 2011 and September 23, 2011 is open enrollment for RMI's Group Health, Life, Dental and Vision Plans. Note: This open enrollment only applies to those covered on an RMI-sponsored Group Plan outside the state of Washington. During this time employees currently not enrolled may do so, if their eligibility requirements have been met. Also, employees may add dependents to existing policies or change plans.
This year, RMI is pleased to announce our new on-line application, the RMI Center. The RMI Center is a custom Human Resource Information System (HRIS) where you can view online your existing coverage, plan summaries and renewal rates. This year, all new enrollments and changes for open enrollment must be made in the RMI Center. You can access the RMI Center from the red button on the top, right-hand side of RMI's website www.rminc.com.
All non-Washington employees should have received their open enrollment postcard from RMI. This postcard contains specific instructions on how to log into the RMI Center for open enrollment. Employees are not required to re-enroll if they do not wish to make any changes to their coverage elections. However, employees should still log on so that they can view the renewal rates and plan choices. If you have not received your postcard, or experience any problems accessing the RMI Center, please contact RMI's Benefits Department. Please remember to log in to the RMI Center, as you will not be receiving any other notification concerning open enrollment.
Within the next few months, you will be introduced to the full capabilities of the RMI Center. You will be able to make address changes, update your bank account information, change your W-4 withholdings, and many other items that are now being done on paper.
It is important to note that RMI collects premiums one month in advance; therefore, the new premiums will take effect on your first September payroll. To eliminate double deductions of premiums, please have all enrollments and additions submitted to RMI by August 31, 2011.
There have not been any changes to the health plan this year. You can access the medical plan summaries specific to your group in the RMI Center.
RMI would like to remind you of some of the benefits that are available to employees who are enrolled on an RMI Group Health Plan.
Employee Assistance Program is available to all employees and their family members who are enrolled in an RMI Group Health Plan. The Employee Assistance Program is designed to assist persons who are dealing with day-to-day problems that are causing uncertainty, stress, or anxiety in their lives. Employees are encouraged to call Bloomquist & Hale at 1-800-986-9619 to set up a counseling session to meet with a licensed clinical social worker. All counseling sessions are free to the employee and completely confidential. Your employer will not be notified of your consultations.
Care Line Did you know you have access to a private nurse on call 24 hours a day? Care Line, a service provided by EBMS as a benefit of RMI's Health Plan, provides you with this valuable access. By calling 1-800-647-1534 at any time during the day or night, you can talk to a registered nurse and ask questions or ask for advice. For example it is the middle of the night and your youngest child has developed a sudden fever of 103. You would like to know if this fever warrants a trip to the emergency room or if a dosage of children's Tylenol would be the proper course of action. You can call and ask the nurse!
As an additional service, Care Line offers a pre-recorded library of information on subjects from A to Z including subjects like, Cancer, Nutrition, Early Warnings of a Heart Attack, Weight Loss and many more. You can request from RMI's Benefits Department or from the RMI office nearest to you, a copy of the Care Line booklet that gives access information and lists the available recorded topics and code numbers. Included in the booklet is a fridge magnet with the Care Line phone number printed on it in bold numbers, so you can keep this number handy for emergency situations.
miBenefits is an on-line service provided by EBMS that enables you to access your health claim history and review the status of recent claims. RMI would like to encourage you to monitor this important information. You will also be able to access plan benefit information and link to other websites that are helpful in researching medical issues. You can access the link to miBenefits from RMI's website, www.rminc.com.
The basic life insurance benefit remains the same for all full-time employees covered under the basic life insurance plan. This life insurance plan provides access to The Hartford's Travel Assistance program that includes providing pre-trip information, emergency medical assistance or personal assistance services while traveling. Be sure to put RMI's Policy Number 220022 on your Travel Assist card and take it with you if you are traveling more than 100 miles away from home. If you would like more information regarding the Travel Assist program, please contact RMI's Benefits Department.
Dental Select will continue to provide dental coverage for RMI's employees. There will be no changes to the benefits and the monthly premiums will remain the same. You can find the dental plan summaries specific to your group in the RMI Center. As a reminder, all employees enrolled on one of RMI's Dental plans through Dental Select have access to a discount vision plan that is included in your monthly premium.
RMI's vision insurance will continue to be offered through EyeMed and administered by Dental Select. There have not been any changes to the benefits or the monthly premiums. You can access the vision summaries specific to your group in the RMI center.
If you have questions on Open Enrollment, use of the RMI Center, or any of the benefits listed above, please contact RMI's Benefit Department.
|Safe Driving Tip
|Keep Your Daily Commute Safe
Although the journey to work may be tedious, the risk of injury is magnified when commuters get complacent. Do you sometimes feel like you could drive to work in your sleep? In fact, do you suspect you might have done just that a few times - like when you pull into the parking lot and realize you don't remember anything about the drive? The routine daily commute poses more than just danger of boredom. Staying alert on the drive can be difficult, but attentiveness may be the only thing saving you from a near miss or a serious accident.
Here are 6 ways you can shrink the stress and tedium of your commute:
- Take a new route. Don't be afraid to try the back roads or side streets.
- Leave a bit early. This will help make a more enjoyable and less stressful commute.
- Tune in to a new radio station; buy an upbeat CD to listen to on the commute, or try listening to a talk show.
- Get yourself ready for work before you get in you vehicle. Shaving, applying lipstick or eating breakfast are all dangerous distractions for drivers.
- Try chewing some peppermint gum or invest in a cinnamon car freshener. One university researcher has found that these fragrances may decrease anxiety and raise alertness in drivers.
- Walk, ride a bike, carpool or take public transit to work. These options keep the trip interesting and also reduce stress on you and the environment.
Although the journey to work may be tedious, the real problems arise when commuters get complacent. A bit of planning ahead can make your commute safer and more enjoyable. If you have questions on keeping your daily commute to work safe, please contact your RMI HR representative.
|Workplace Safety Tip
|Common Sense and Awareness
A common cent doesn't buy very much these days, but common sense is priceless. It can provide you with accident-free living every day. This fact is seldom fully appreciated. A few moments' reflection prior to starting any task, large or small, is important. This reflection will allow you to prepare your mind for the job ahead.
One should always consider something called the "worst case scenario" and plan for it. Then if something does happen, your chances of escaping injury are greatly enhanced. This awareness before the fact can also serve to reduce or prevent damage to whatever you are working on. Be aware of your surroundings. Know how and where to safely move out of harm's way should something go wrong.
Never allow yourself to be rushed headlong into a job which obviously has a high risk factor without taking time to consider the possibilities. For example, if the job dictates you should use personal protective equipment, be sure to use it. Always follow safety guidelines. You could spend the rest of your life maimed if you don't give your well-being your full consideration.
Common sense goes hand in hand with awareness. Whatever is going on around you, no matter where you are or what you are doing, is important to consider because your surroundings could constitute varying degrees of risk to you. Let's say you are fixing a bike in your driveway and you see that while mowing the lawn, your neighbor's next pass will skirt the edge of his gravel driveway. Awareness dictates you should move your project away from danger or take a break until the neighbor has finished mowing. Then, if his mower throws a rock, you have removed yourself from harm's way and no one was injured.
Sooner or later, virtually everyone gets a finger caught in a car door. Most of us have stepped on an upturned shovel or garden rake. Who among us has never cut themselves while slicing vegetables or peeling fruit? Certain accidents are almost universal and include virtually everyone. The one common aspect of these types of accidents that the person hurt usually had a diminished awareness of safety at the time they were hurt. We all get slack from time to time and sooner or later we have a painful reminder. Awareness needs to become second nature.
Common sense coupled with safety awareness are two of the most useful weapons in your arsenal against accidents. Develop the skill of integrating them into your vey being.
If you have questions on common sense and awareness techniques, please contact your RMI HR representative.
|To access the online Workplace Safety Training Log click here.