DELSU VC Makes Case For Time Management, Effective Record Keeping
By Ben Nwanne
The Vice-Chancellor of the Delta State University, Professor Andy Egwunyenga has stressed the need for all categories of staff in the University to take more seriously the idea of good time management and effective record keeping to enhance their productivity for the greater service delivery to the University.
Professor Andy Egwunyenga was giving a keynote address yesterday at a one-day Training Workshop for Principal Officers, College Provost, Deans, Directors, Deputy Directors, Senior Deputy Registrars, Deputy Registrars, Deputy Bursars and other senior academic and non teaching staff. According to the Professor of Parasitology and Entomology, the workshop would be interactive to ensure cross fertilization of ideas between different cadres of staff. He said “The workshop is geared towards upping the game for teaching and non-teaching staff, especially now that students are on election-induced break.” Articulating the importance of Time, Professor Egwunyenga who is giving DELSU an enlightened and committed leadership, noted that as mortals, time, light and air were the most important elements, hence the need to manage them adroitly. “Since we cannot create time, our only option is to manage it well,” he noted, adding that the extent to which we are able to manage time will determine where we are at any given point.
The articulate Professor Egwunyenga remarked that University staff must be at their best at all times because the University system had become very competitive. “It is a race against time,” he remarked.
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Determined to engage the participants, he raised a series of rhetorical questions:
1. What is our ability to manage Time?
2. How much respect do we have for Time?
3. How smartly, not necessarily how hardworking ,have we been?
He, however, noted that there was a relationship between good time management and success, informing that many highly rated Universities in the world and even in Nigeria were good time managers.
Professor Egwunyenga who has received so many awards and recognitions in the forty months of his administration, observed that, “Time is precious and should not be wasted.”
The five-man team of Consultants from RTA Strategic Consults Nig Ltd presented different papers to throw light on the topical issues of the day. Jerry Agbaike, a retired Permanent Secretary in the Delta State Civil Service and the Managing Consultant of RJA titled his lecture “Reduced Random Factors and Prioritization in Time Management.” He identified planning as a fundamental component of time management and strategic to the reduction of randomness in time management. Planning, according to him, involves identification and organisation of daily tasks, listing and ranking of tasks, communication, delegation, stress management, self discipline, among others. He concluded that the ability to prioritize and reduce the prevalence of random factors was a key component of effective time management.
On his part, Mr Emmanuel Okafor, also a former Permanent Secretary in the Delta State Civil Service, handled other aspects of time management. Defining the concept of time management largely from a Biblical view point, he articulates Time Management as “the process of planning and exercising conscious control on time spent in specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. “He drew attention to three broad categories of time namely self- imposed time, boss-imposed time and system- imposed time, urging participants to react to them appropriately.
Mr Okafor suggested some effective time management strategies, such as prioritizing activities using a “To Do” list and allocate time to each activity, tackling difficult tasks first when you are at your best and then do the less difficult ones when you are tired, fixing deadlines for all jobs, avoiding postponement of important matters that seem unpleasant, delegating any task that you are not good at among others. He identified some time wasting activities to include procrastination, indecision, failure to delegate, socializing during work hours, social media, power outage and others and concluded that time management leads to a higher productivity and increase in quality of workers.
Another Consultant, Mr Patrick Solomon presented a paper on “Time Log Utilisation, Planning, Evaluation and Self Control” in which he described Time log as a tool used for monitoring how a worker’s time is being spent. He added that activity logs typically include such information as task details, assigned due dates, employees assigned, the time that it took to complete the tasks.
He encouraged businesses and organisations to adopt time log as it holds remote workers accountable, determines the pricing of projects, helps with task prioritisation, creates schedules and prevents procrastination and helps to create a measure of success.
In his own presentation entitled “Effective Records Management in Organisations,” Mr. Frank Apoku noted that effective record keeping was essential for any organisation irrespective of the size because the “availability of accurate and timely information can be linked to the foundation of any human endeavour.” Record keeping, according to him, “is a very important aspect of records management. It involves the process of identifying, classifying and documenting records.”
While emphasizing the reasons for keeping records, Mr Apoku identified two types of records kept to include “active” and “inactive” records. He added that there was a relationship between record keeping and record management, noting that one of the most critical management challenges is to ensure that records are easily accessible by employees.
Following on his heels, Mr. Grayham Osakwe addressed the issue of “Record keeping and Data Preservation in the Public Service,” in which he carefully distinguished between information and data. His words: “Information is orderly, organized facts, while data are just raw facts.” Mr Osakwe identified the traditional record keeping tools such as file folder, hanging folder, cabinet storage, accordion folder etc but made a strong case for the use of computer systems and file hosting through cloud computing in view of the evolving digital revolution.
Given the importance attached to the workshop, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Egwunyenga sat through the almost five-hours of presentations and personally moderated the question and answer segment in which the Principal Officers of the University namely: Professor (Mrs) Rosemary Okoh ,(Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration), Professor Ochuko Anomohanran (Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic), Professor Elo Ibagere (Provost, Oleh Campus), Mrs. Rufina Ufiofo (Registrar), Mrs. Otimeyin Ekakitie-Omajuwa (Bursar) and Professor Steven Uwaifo (University Librarian), spoke on how issues under discussion affected their portfolios, making suggestions on how to ameliorate observed challenges.
Other senior academic and non teaching staff such as the Provost, College of Health Science, professor E. I. Odokuma, Dean of Post Graduate School, Prof. Temi Akporhonor, Dean of Students, professor Maxwell Iwegbue, Dean of Arts, professor U.N.O. Edewor, Director of ICT, Prof Ignatius Njoseh, Director of Centre for Gender and Development Studies, Prof (Mrs.) Ebele Egwunyenga, Director, Centre for Niger Delta Studies, Prof Emma Mordi, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship Studies, Prof Onos Emoyan, Director, Weekend and Part-time Degree Programmes, Professor Kennedy Umunadi, Dr. Simeon Onakughotor, Director of Health Services, Engineer Anthony Igbeka, Director of Works and others also spoke from the standpoint of their experiences in their various positions.
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