Time Actions

The Time Actions survey samples the ways that people prefer to spend their time. Six of the twelve factors (A-F) represent time management practices and techniques. The other six factors (G-L) represent the use of time to satisfy personal wants or needs. The most preferred factors may be in conflict with each other or in harmony.

Twelve Time Actions factors

Factor Name Description A Low Preference
A High Preference
A. Allocate Time Plan how to use the time resource for optimum results. List goals in priority order. Coordinate timings, establish ways and means control activities. Starts work without organising time first, evolves a plan while taking action. Sets priorities, objectives and deadlines in advance, and plans how to use time.
B. Manage Time In reality, we need to be flexible to make the best use of time. We may decide to modify a plan by reviewing our priorities, by adjusting the sequence of action steps, or by altering time allocations. Reacts to events as they happen, may be drawn away from objectives and lose sight of priorities. In practice, keeps time under control, modifying planned activities as needed to reach objectives.
C. Task Time This factor emphasises the allocation of time to task achievement. A person with a high score is likely to keep pressing others to get things done, a taskmaster trait which is appropriate at the right time and place. Orients time more toward ongoing processes than achieving project tasks. May be appropriate to the role, if not needs to focus more clearly. Concentrates time and energy on task achievement, both for themselves and for those they supervise. May be regarded as a taskmaster.
D. Process Time Assesses concern for people and the way they work together. Ideally, task time and process time will be in close balance, but some situations require more emphasis on one than the other. When others require time, weighs their needs against own before deciding to vary timetable. Not usually available ‘on call’. Arranges time to meet the needs of others, being available when needed. Puts effort into cohesion and harmony.
E. Pace Explores self-perception of one’s impact on the rate of doing things. In our database, the majority tend to score at the lower half of the scale, indicating that they fit in with the pace of activities around them. Fits in with the pace of activities around them, responding to events as they occur. A pacesetter who leaves slower people behind, thinks ahead quickly and acts before others realise what is happening.
F. Value Assesses self-perception of the end value that comes people’s use of time. That ‘end value’ may be personal satisfaction or enjoyment from the way time was used, or an output that meets the needs of others. Recognises they could get more from their use of time. Considers that their time is used well, with little of it wasted. Sees self and others benefiting from the way they use time.
G. Activity Time Activity Time is spent busily creating useful output. It is closely related to Task time, above, but it doesn’t follow that tasks are actually accomplished. Productive people tend to have high scores for this factor and for Task Time. Able to relax from activities, doesn’t feel one should be busy just to keep occupied. Gets satisfaction from activity, puts time and energy into work. Would rather be busy than relaxing, critical of people who don’t ‘pull their weight’.
H. Social Time Social Time is spent chatting, talking around a subject or gossiping, being sociable, not necessarily socialising. It satisfies a personal need just to spend time with people, and it has a productive use when it oils the wheels of cooperation. But it may also be entirely inappropriate when it distracts people from the purpose at hand, or goes on and on… Spends little time on social chitchat. Keeps in touch with people to chat and keep up with events, a useful way to get along with others to form relationships.
I. Habitual Time Habitual Time is time spent following routine patterns of behaviour and fitting in with rituals without reviewing their value. Low score people need some habits to function, but they see themselves taking a fresh approach to each event or situation. Managers who have low scores may cause disruption for the people they supervise because of their fresh and varying approach, especially when coupled with Change and Variety, factor K in the Activity Interests survey. Not conscious of fixed habits, uses a fresh approach for each situation. Follows a set routine of habitual activities, using time in predictable ways.
J. Wasted Time Wasted Time is spent making one or more persons feel good or bad compared to others. This is not trivial wastage, such as managing time badly. This wasted time comes from ‘playing games’ and can result in hurt feelings and some degree of failure for everyone involved. These games may happen on a grand scale and involve the whole organisation. Avoids spending time on relationships that go nowhere, or that result in feelings of frustration or failure. Aware time is wasted on activities that don’t pay off because of interactions between people.
K. Withdrawal Withdrawal is time spent ‘away’ from people, either physically or mentally – planning, daydreaming, switched off, contemplating, thinking things through, ignoring reality, reading, running, sleeping. We ‘go away’ for many reasons, some productive and some not so productive. Outgoing, takes action and joins in with others. Keeps personal thoughts private, hard to draw out unless ‘triggered’. May seem to ignore others or to be a dreamer.
L. Interaction Interaction is time spent on openness, trust and honesty. This factor is also known as intimacy, open sharing of what we think and do. Chooses carefully how open and trusting to be in relationships. Able to conceal thoughts and intentions. Open with others, doesn’t seek to dominate them. Seeks to develop mutual trust and openness.

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