‘A’ Time Approach by James Noon

Assessing the work style

There are four major aspects of the working style, such as managing the personal behavior, planning, managing procrastination, and stress. In fact, the working behavior could be defined as the set of drivers and motivators that help a person to move from type A to type B style. It is important to acknowledge that there are certain problems on both levels, and it is significant to know them in order to manage oneself on the road of changes (Noon 1991 p. 154).

The “A” time managers face the following problems: control, delegation, assessment and priorities, poor planning, too much orientation towards quantity and quality factors, interpersonal relations, unpredictable performance towards the future, and deadlines. In order to overcome these problems, “A” type managers should work on the performance objectives, slow down and think about the planning aspects, concentrate on quality rather than quantity projects, improve the team performance, and meet the deadlines (Noon 1991 p. 155).

The problems that type “B” managers face adhere to the ability to say “No”, track the performance, assess the priorities, and select the right quality orientation. In addition, they need to master the art of delegation, self-discipline, and control. In order to overcome these problems, the “B” type managers should drive hard towards the effectiveness and high quality, accept partnerships, and learn to manage tasks and people. In general, it is important to learn the means of responsibility towards priorities, planning, control, communication, and quality (Noon 1991 pp. 155-156).

The work planning should be aimed at flexibility, achievable objectives, and concentration on effectiveness. It is also important to improve the lack of commitment, strategy, incapable achievements, attention to details, and procrastination experience. Moreover, it is in need to have the positive attitude towards planning, implementation of steps, and long-term commitment (Noon 1991 pp. 156-157).

At the same time, the manager should concentrate on the means of procrastination and cope with it with the help of the following techniques. First, it is required to understand the areas of procrastination such as unpleasant tasks, people management, difficult telephone calls, unfamiliar and risky jobs, and public activities. The common examples of procrastination are self-doubt, perfectionism, deadline rebellion, social aspects, daydreams, and priority inversion. In order to cope with procrastination, a manager needs to accept the problem and try not to procrastinate in every area of business and life. In addition, it is important to start the task with no contemplation and single handling habit (Noon 1991 pp. 157-158).

Another aspect of concern is the stress at work that the managers have to face in terms of work overload, management role models, and personal relationships. Therefore, in order to cope with stress, it is important to seek for the balance at work, take time to do a certain job, remember about the teamwork, and manage priority conflicts, such as learn to say “No”, share problems by means of communication, remain calm, and adapt to changes. In addition, it is significant to remember about the support of families (Noon 1991 p. 158).

Performance Assessment and Time Management

In order to manage the performance assessment in a proper way, it is important to adhere to the technique called “3-Day Time Report” that addresses the overall performance assessment, time category assessment, key time question assessment, and preferred day assessment. The core of the performance assessment could be managed through the correct set of priorities by means of the Pareto rule of 80/20. The category assessment addresses the typical activities, the key time questions assessment addresses the purpose of activities, people, schedule and number of tries. The preferred day assessment addresses the application of the time report through the improvement planning (Noon 1991 pp. 159-160).

Writing the Improvement Plan

The key aspects of importance are: to establish the flexible planning system, to set clear objectives, to address the performance priorities, resources and delegation annually, to discipline oneself, to schedule the priorities, to manage interruptions and self-commitment, to drive for results, to act now, to use a single handing habit, to learn to say “No”, to identify the high priority work through the clear desk policy, to apply the improvements through the personal communication, to manage the workflow, and to plan the objectives and activities (Noon 1991 pp. 160-161).

Managing People

In order to manage people, it is important to master the art of leadership through the number of principles, such as planning, doing, visualization, stability, hard work, ideas, and risk management skills. The idea is to learn to define the objectives, plan the activities, involve teamwork, control and evaluate the operations, and motivate and organize people. The overall direction is to learn the means of followship in the teamwork development. The key principles are direction, involvement, and harmony, as well as the interpretation of facts, and the ability to make the right conclusions (Noon 1991 pp. 161-163).

At the same time, it is important to learn the means of delegation through the principles of planning, precision, review, approach, and risk management. The idea is to manage the difficulties with the help of a positive attitude that could be revealed during the process of delegation. The key aspects of concern are skills, trust, responsibilities, and performance. The process of delegation could be improved through the ability to think critically, consult the team, determine the limits, and monitor the working process. At the same time, the performance planning is an essential part of managing people for the reason that it addresses the four stages of the performance improvement planning (PIP): to review the tasks, to adhere to the practical means of success and failure, to agree to work with the teams, and to meet the objectives. The overall idea is to manage every step effectively in all levels of cooperation with people (Noon 1991 pp. 163-165).

Managing Communications

The heart of the communication is the effective speaking skills that could be obtained through the practice of strong points of speech, constant speaking practice, brief thoughts, body language, and gestures. It is also important to take notes of the plan of speaking. In parallel, it is important to learn to listen by means of clear direction, involvement in decision-making, teamwork freedom, professionalism, and expertise. In fact, it is important to contemplate on the decisions, have a critical approach to the ideas, directions and concepts, and overall searching for the valuable information (Noon 1991 pp. 165-167).

In order to manage the communication, it is also important to improve the reading skills by means of increasing the reading speed. It could be done with the help of scanning and skimming skills. One should concentrate on the title, content and summary, headings and subheadings, first and last paragraphs and sentences, and, finally, conclusion. In fact, fifteen minutes of such practice every day can improve the concentration and reading memory. Effective writing is also extremely important to improve communication abilities by means of actions, briefness, simplicity, and record. The writing should be clear and be structured in the same way as reading (Noon 1991 pp. 167 -168).

Managing Workflow

The workflow could be managed properly by means of effective meetings that address the purpose, people, agenda, time, and actions. It is important to concentrate on the interpretation of conclusions and actions. The workflow could also be improved with the help of an assistant, such as a secretary. The benefits of such work are better performance, clear relationships with the teams, planning, time management, urgency matters, habits, training, and clear desk organization. In parallel, the interruptions at work are very significant for the positive outcomes. For this reason, every interruption requires a closed door, immediate stand up, telephone calls handling, and priority calls (Noon 1991 pp. 168 -172).

Developing Objectives and Year Plan

The heart of development should be aimed at the 3-step process, such as developing performance areas, developing key factors, and developing objectives. The developing of performance areas addresses production levels, schedules, control, cost, time, and people. At the same time, it is important to adhere to the leadership, strategy, corporate image, return on investment, technological development, and resources allocation. The developing key factors address the means of change ownership, loss of client and skilled personnel, lack of capital investment, and weak management. The developing of the performance objectives address the means of time, description, qualitative and quantitative measurement, and priorities (Noon 1991 pp. 172 -174).

Developing Monthly and Daily Plan

According to James Noon, “No manager has the capability to time plan the job for more than a month ahead” (1991). In order to plan the time on monthly basis, it is important to split the planning into days. The purpose is to address the core activities and to react to the changes in the environment. Such a schedule should have specific activities, contingency time, and specification for “A” time. The half of the job should be addressed towards the high priority work. In addition, it is important to allocate the time to plan the next day ahead of time. Such activities should be completed on the regular basis by means of meeting the objectives, monthly events, and reviews. Besides, there should be a strong discipline towards the time of start and finish of the activities. As a result, 40% of time should be given for the low priority activities, and 60% of time towards the high priority tasks. At the same time, the idea is to be free and to be able to finish the tasks based on the schedule and top priorities. In general, the working schedule should look like the business system with the to-do list of the “A” time activities, overview by day, month, and year, daily planning, and databank for the low-priority work (Noon 1991 pp. 174 -178).


  1. Noon, J 1991, ‘A’ Time [Paperback], Chapman and Hall. pp. 154 – 178.