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The Ti-Mandi Window : Time Management Tool

Ti-mandi window has its genesis in the Johari window developed by Joe Luft and Harry Ingrams. This tool was used to aid in interpersonal relationships. Even though the name Johari suggests an Eastern World connection, it is derived from the inventor’s names. Ti- mandi can also be read as Time and I. This tool aids in time management.

Ti-mandi works under the principle that one has to know how to handle the “tyranny of the urgent.” All tasks that have the tag “urgent” are bound to gain attraction and you may be tempted to do them first. The key is to see the difference between what is important and what is urgent and what is both important and urgent. Of course, the last combination deserves highest priority.

This is done by placing tasks in a two by two matrix. In the first quadrant are the activities that are important and urgent. In the second quadrant are the important activities that do not really appear to be urgent. The third quadrant contains activities that are urgent while they are not very important. In the last quadrant are placed the activities that are neither urgent nor important.

Maximum time must be spent in the first quadrant while least possible time must be spent in the fourth quadrant. The more difficult part is to choose between the second and the third quadrants. The third one normally wins because of the word “urgent”  that is attached to it. To correct this uneven distribution of time, what one can do is prioritize the tasks. This is the scheme suggested by the inventor of this tool, John Nicholls. 

I  Priority for action: priority must be given to activities that are both urgent and important.

II Neglected essentials: important things should not be neglected just because they do not appear urgent.

III Trivial hot potatoes: why waste time on trivial, unimportant things just because they seem to be urgent?

IV Goofing off: there is a deadly time-trap in doing things that are neither urgent nor important.

There are two ways in which managers can break away from the constraint of the urgent. One is to delegate the tasks to others and the other is to resist the urge of the “urgent tasks”. The second choice is not very easy to implement because the managers have to break away from a habit that has been ingrained into them. On the other hand, to focus on the tasks that really demand attention is also not easy. All the tasks that are in the neglected essentials quadrant must be moved to the priority for action quadrant. One way to do this is to set a task of the week target. To take some task from the pile of the neglected and prioritize it will give the motivation to do it right and will not overwhelm the manager.

Hence by breaking away and getting focused, managers can find all the time they need to the work that needs to be done as well as do the work that they want to do.

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