Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Analyst Skills: Timeliness, Part 1

An essential part of being a good analyst is timeliness. Without the analytical product being able to be communicated or disseminated to the decision-maker in a timely manner the intelligence is no longer usable or perhaps not as useful. Therefore managing time is a skill that is needed by every analyst and the ability to set time frames is essential in any intelligence manager.

Time Management Tips 1-5

1) Realize that time management is a myth.

No matter how organized we are, there are always only 24 hours in a day. Time doesn't change. All we can actually manage is ourselves and what we do with the time that we have.

2) Find out where you're wasting time.

Many of us are prey to time-wasters that steal time we could be using much more productively. What are your time-bandits? Do you spend too much time 'Net surfing, reading email, or making personal calls? Tracking Daily Activities explains how to track your activities so you can form a accurate picture of what you actually do, the first step to effective time management.

3) Create time management goals.

Remember, the focus of time management is actually changing your behaviors, not changing time. A good place to start is by eliminating your personal time-wasters. For one week, for example, set a goal that you're not going to take personal phone calls while you're working. For a fun look at behaviors that can interfere with successful time management, see my article Time Management Personality Types. Find out if you're a Fireman, an Aquarian or a Chatty Kathy!

4) Implement a time management plan.

Think of this as an extension of time management tip # 3. The objective is to change your behaviors over time to achieve whatever general goal you've set for yourself, such as increasing your productivity or decreasing your stress. So you need to not only set your specific goals, but track them over time to see whether or not you're accomplishing them.

5) Use time management tools.

Whether it's a Day-Timer or a software program, the first step to physically managing your time is to know where it's going now and planning how you're going to spend your time in the future. A software program such as Outlook, for instance, lets you schedule events easily and can be set to remind you of events in advance, making your time management easier.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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