Practical Time Management for Managers (Shimkin)

Time Management
Knowledge Center


Aniket Deolikar
Consultant, India

Practical Time Management for Managers (Shimkin)

Probably if you read this you are a business person or a manager. or aspiring to be one. Surely you have many worries on an ongoing, daily basis. Even if you think "I am running my business since a long time and I certainly know how to tackle my worries", I suggest to read on, as this article is a very practical guide to eliminating these business worries!

Maybe this won't help you tackle ALL of your business worries, but It will give you a guiding path on how to move ahead with them. After all, tackling problems in various situations comes via experience and this article sheds light on how other people have tackled their problems and we can learn from their experiences.

Dr. Alexis Carrel (as quoted by Dale Carnegie), once said: "Those who don't know how to fight worry, die young."
So, considering the severity of the worries and the effect they can have on someone, anyone will be happy to hear if something can reduce those worries by even 10-15%. We can learning from the experience of Leon Shimkin, a partner and general manager of a major publishing house in the US, Simon & Schuster. Shimkin was earlier spending almost half of everyday in "worried conferences" and meetings, discussing problems. But he found a way of avoiding that effectively and it helped him reduce almost 75% of the time spent in such situations!

The following method which Shimkin used can also help you to manage more effectively and reduce your worries drastically:
Whenever there is some problem which associates / employees of your team are facing and they want to present them to the manager/leadership/you, the associate / employee must first answer following 4 questions and submit a memo:
    • People tend to spend time in meetings without knowing what the actual problem is and hence spend a remarkable amount of time without even knowing what the problem is.
    • So having at least an idea of what the problem is makes it clear for everyone what the problem is to be discussed.
    • There are times when people spend time without trying to find the actual cause of problems and rather are hovering around the problem.
    • Trying to figure out the possible causes of the problem(s) beforehand will not only help the associates but will also save the time managers/leaders will have to spend in the "worried conferences".
    • A proactive approach is what this question is about. Trying to find out possible solutions for the problem(s) before presenting it/them will help the manager/leadership/you understand the time which the employee has already put up on working on finding a solution.
    • Often in meetings one person will suggest one solution and then other people try to find out how that solution won't work. In that way, the argument becomes the topic of discussion rather than the actual problem.
    • If people come up with several solutions / scenarios by themselves, then there will be many perspectives on the table and everyone can put up their points.
    • Now comes the part where the employee / associate should evaluate those alternatives and recommend a solution.
    • This will avoid the situation where people spend too much time in worrying about the problem and are going in circles around the problem. Instead they find and recommend a solution to their problem even before actually even presenting it to the manager/leadership.

This method has clearly worked for Shimkin. He says, "Now my associates rarely come to me with their problems. The main reason for this is that in most of the cases they already find the solution to the problem which they are facing. This is due to answering those 4 questions and to answer that the associates have to get all the facts and think their problems through. So, in 75% of the cases, they don't need to consult me at all. And even when meetings need to be scheduled with me for the remaining cases which need consultation, they take only 1/3rd of the time required earlier as they follow a structured path."

This method has clearly also helped Shimkin to reduce his business worries 😃. Now he can focus on other work without worrying. This helped him to be more productive and less worried.
I hope implying this practical kind of structure will help many businessmen who face worries on a daily basis regarding business problems.
It's not necessary that you use the same 4 questions exactly, you can tweak them a bit and see what works for your situation the best.

⇨ Do let me know your experiences!

Dale Carnegie, "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living"
Dr. Farah Ajaz, R.Ph, "How to eliminate fifty per cent of your Business worries"


Naseem Bukhari
Entrepreneur, Nigeria

Law of Dertermination

Under this law one has to develop a sense of responsibility and dertermination to deliver a given ta... Sign up

Bernice A

Practical Time Management for Managers

Interesting. I am glad I have come to know that all this while, what I had been applying unknowingly... Sign up

Aniket Deolikar
Consultant, India

Truly Said

@Bernice Odame: Bernice, if you notice each concept has been born out of practice! So who knows, the... Sign up


Time Management for Managers is Based on Empowerment

True. This management approach for managers is indeed based on a philosophy of empowerment. Let your... Sign up


Time Management by Managers Based on Empowerment

@Anonymous: Letting the team do the work and fix the problems is really empowering and the manager t... Sign up


Time Management / Problem Solving

This touches on two aspects that I learned in leadership positions in the US Military. 1. Those clo... Sign up

Sunita Rani
Teacher, India

Different Types of Problems

Working in the military as well as in government, my experience is that there are different kinds of... Sign up

Graham Williams
Management Consultant, South Africa

NASA Process for Empowering Employees to Solve Problems

Henry Ford once said that "most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in tryi... Sign up

Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom

Managing your Work in Time Needs More than Meeting for Problem Solving

Aperently, according to Shimkin "Time Management" is no more than applying a rational "Problem Solvi... Sign up


More on Time Management:
Discussion Topics
Personal Energy Management
Time Management Laws | Principles of Time Management
The Getting Things Done (GTD) Method (David Allen)
The Time/Utility Matrix for Prioritizing what to Learn
🔥Rapid Planning Method (Tony Robbins)
3 Steps and Tips to Say: No
Personal Time Management and the Pomodoro Technique
Time Management Styles
Tips to Motivate Yourself for Boring Tasks, Untimed Tasks and Ones you don't Like
Basic Prioritization Skills Within the Work Environment are Lacking These Days
I Prefer Work Management: Managing to Work in the Available Time
The Ivy Lee Method: The Simplest Productivity Technique?
The Role of Subject Knowledge in Time Management
Time Management by Effective Delegation
Dealing with Distractions
Individual Differences in Applying Time Management Techniques
The 18 Minute Technique to Plan your Day
Group Time Management Excercise: Time Bandits
Why Time Management? Reasons and Benefits
How to Create Awareness for Time Management
👀Practical Time Management for Managers (Shimkin)
Consider a Virtual Management Assistant
Time Management Quotations / Quotes
How to Effectively Schedule Meetings with Attendants from Different Timezones?
Should Employees have more Sense of Urgency?
Success Conditions for Time Management
Special Interest Group

Do you know a lot about Time Management? Become our SIG Leader

Time Management
Knowledge Center

About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
2023 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V16.0 - Last updated: 1-2-2023. All names of their owners.