“This is the key to time management – to see the value of every moment”
Menachem Mendel Schneerson
As Managers we’ve all been in the position where time is running out to meet deadlines, we feel harassed, unorganised and inefficient. There are many things that steal our time. So the key is finding some quick actions that will make you feel more in control and get the job done well.
The times I have seen Managers who simply won’t delegate to team members. Maybe it’s about control but either way it doesn’t help the Manager and it certainly doesn’t help the team member. Team members need to develop and learn new skills and through delegation this gives an opportunity to build capability. In turn this helps the business improve. I’ve seen many an occasion where it’s always the same team member who the Manager goes to for the support. That’s fine but probably there are other team members who given the chance will surprise everyone. I’ve seen that happen when a team member has been promoted and a quiet team member has been asked to step up – they’ve wowed everyone with what they have achieved.
I’ve seen some Managers running around like headless chickens because they have several deadlines they have suddenly remembered. Disorganisation springs to mind! I would recommend using the flag system for emails received so you get a reminder a few days before, particularly if need to pull information together. Alternatively put a reminder in your calendar so you don’t lose sight of the task and don’t just dismiss the task reminder when it pops up.
Do you keep a task list as a Manager and does that work for you? Some people swear by lists but it can be destroying when you never get to the bottom of the list. Personally I have a priority list showing the date by which it needs doing and that’s all I put on my list marking the top priority. That way I can get to the bottom of my list and I feel like I’ve achieved something. Over time the non-priority items turn to priority and get added or simply aren’t needed anymore – usually taken over by events. Also I was trained to make sure if a Senior Manager wanted something doing then that was one of my priorities and that is still engrained in me as I feel it sets the professional scene. Certainly if you can’t achieve the Senior Manager’s priority then do talk to them and negotiate a new deadline. Better to communicate. The same goes for customers – if it’s going to affect your reputation and that of the business prioritise or at the very least communicate with the customer.
“One must be frank to be relevant” Corazon Aquino
Interruptions are notorious for stealing time. This can be through continually monitoring emails, taking calls or helping anyone who comes to your desk straight away. We are seeing less concentration these days as a result of the constant distractions and as a result at times quality can be affected.
Allocating specific time slots to check emails works well. As does, when a person asks for help, (if you are in the middle of a task), give a time when you will get back to them to help them. It does set boundaries and ensures you can still concentrate.
Hope these tips help. Have really appreciated the tips added on the last two blogs so feel free to share your tips.
Take care and have a good week