Achieve more by spending less time – the top 5 time
management principles for Risk managers.

This is the first article in the series "Popular Risk management". The aim of the series is to describe the main Risk management topics in simple, clear and concise language.  
Global Risk Consult is your local partner of choice.
Please send your comments to:
Written by Boris Agranovich.

According to the survey of a Brussels based consultancy firm Finalyse, the risk
management departments split their work time over the following activities:
Recurring 39%; Special Planned projects 35%; Ad-Hoc 29%.
It turns out that responding to ad-hoc demands was cited as the biggest reason for the
expected increase in workload.
Another important conclusion of the survey is that “Resource constraints combined
with an increasing workload will require improvements in efficiency or higher
budgets for risk management”.
So how do risk managers save their precious time and achieve more results? Follow
these 5 steps.

Principle 1: Allocate your time.
We can do many things, but not everything. Before doing anything, ask yourself how
much time you're willing to invest in every activity you do. Write those shares of time
down so you're able to reference them regularly. Then, stick to your time budget
carefully investing the time in what matters and having the courage to let the less
important stuff go. Don’t be afraid to say no.
Our success and achievements are primarily determined by what we consistently
invest our time in.

Principle 2: Focus Your Attention or use time boxing.
If the previous principle was about allocating time for the things that matter, this one
is about how well you’re able to spend that time.
Very often we just can’t concentrate, even though we know what we should be doing.
The best strategy for overcoming resistance, dealing with distractions and
procrastinations is to use time boxing.
The concept is really simple: define blocks of time to work on tasks. Instead of
working on a task until it’s done, you commit to work on it for a specific amount of
time instead. When the end date is set it may not be changed. If the date is
exceeded, the work is considered a failure and is cancelled or rescheduled.

Principle 3: Be effective or use Pareto principle.
Effectiveness is doing the things that get you closer to your goals. Efficiency is
performing a given task (whether important or not) in the most economical way.
What you do is much more important than how you do it. Efficiency is still important,
but it is useless unless applied to the right things. (T. Ferris)
To find the right things you have to apply the Pareto or the 80/20 principle to your
working environment.
Pareto’s Law can be summarized as follows: 80% of the outputs result from 20% of
the inputs. Alternatively, depending on the context:
80% of the results come from 20% of the effort and time;
80% of company profits came from 20% of the products and customers;
80% losses come from 20% of the causes.
This means that if you have a list of ten items to do, two of those items will turn out to
be worth as much or more than the other eight items put together.
To apply this Principle you have to stop being a perfectionist and answer the
following questions:
1. Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of problems/risks/stress in your
2. Which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of the desired outcome?

Based on your answers you can start prioritising your work and you will soon start
realizing that you can achieve much more with less effort and stress.

Principle 4: Delegate
Effectively delegating to other people is one of the most powerful activities which
create value both for individuals and for organisation.
To delegate properly you should follow the 4 steps;
• Identify the guidelines within which the individual should operate. These
should be as few as possible, but should include any restriction;
• Identify the resources;
• Set up the accountability standards that will be used when evaluating the
• Specify consequences (good and bad) or what will happen as a result of the

Principle 5: Achieve work-rest balance and feel good about what you

Take your free time as seriously as our work time. It is very important to define
clear boundaries between work and rest. Whenever you forget this, you end up in a very ineffective state. People are more important than things.
To apply this principles take a quick self-assessment at the end of the day.
Ask yourself: How was your day? Did you invest your time and energy according
to your initial plan on tasks that really matters? Forget for a minute about your
goals, focus on your journey and make life a priority. After all, if you’re only
making sacrifices and not enjoying your life, what’s the point of being

By applying the principles described in this article you will achieve more
by doing less fuss and strike better balance between work and your
private life. The challenge is not to manage time, but to manage

Do you want to learn more about Risk management? Please click on the link below:
Global Risk Consult is your local partner of choice. Please send your comments to:
Written by Boris Agranovich.