If you are wondering, why an article on time management is needed again, when there are plenty available already, this is because personal time management and time management at work are very different. According to timemanagementtraining.com, 50 percent of management time is spent processing information, and eighty percent of that information is of no value Therefore, managing time of the managers is very important. The following are five time managing tips for managers in the workplace:
Know your tasks
- Doing things right vs doing the right things
- Let everyone in, at the very start
- Delegate tasks
- Do not procrastinate
Know your tasks
Although we are talking about time management, most of the times, it is not time which needs to be managed, it is ourselves. As a manager, there will be interruptions, questions, and probably some disasters throughout the workday. The key is to remain focused on important tasks and small jobs that must get done to prevent overlooking anything. First, list all the tasks that need to be accomplished. Remember to keep the list realistic. If the list is too long it will be discouraging and overwhelming.
The second step to prioritizing is asking what is important and what is urgent? Every decision you make falls into one of fourcategories:
1. Urgent and important;
2. Important, but not urgent;
3. Urgent, but not important;
4. Neither important nor urgent.
Decisions that are urgent and important will need immediate attention and will impact life values. For example, you receive a telephone call that the conveyor belt at work has shut off, and you have to make a big presentation in two hours. Both decisions need immediate attention, and both are important. Decisions that have no sense of immediacy are importantbut not urgent. For example, long-term strategic planning or associate evaluations are two cases of important decisions that need to be made but are not urgent. Decisions that do not relate to your key values are urgent,but not important. For example, a colleague needs to talk to you about a client or the e-mail icon is flashing. All other decisions you make in the workplace are neitherimportant nor urgent. Examples of these decisions are reading the newspaper or surfing the Internet. Once you are able to categorize your decisions you will be able to prioritize better, which should help you manage your time more efficiently.
Doing things right vs doing the right things
One of the very worst uses of time is to do something very well that need not be done at all.Thirty percent of a manager’s time is spent “firefighting” or fixing problems that do not have to be problems. These problems are due to mistakes that managers and associates make as they execute their jobs. The key to avoiding mistakes is acknowledging the problems that cause the mistakes and then correcting the problems and determining what to do or not to do to prevent them from reoccurring. This should minimize the time spent on each job. A manager should be able to detect a pattern of mistakes and find a simple resolution to the problem. For example, if associates are having difficulty remembering how to use the photocopy machine, it may help to post instructions on using the copier close to the machine to prevent wasting time. If time could be saved every day, it could be used for additional tasks.
Let everyone in, at the very start
When associates do not fully understand the purpose of their jobs, a lot of time is spent questioning the significance of specific tasks. This can result in tasks being done incorrectly, which wastes time. This is why it is important to spend the initial time explaining the procedure of the task, its purpose, and its significance. The associate would work more efficiently if he understands the task. Another way to eliminate wasting time is to reduce the time spent in meetings. As a meeting organizer or chairman, everything should be ready and prepared before the associates arrive. Meetings should be organized so that associates can review and process the information and prepare ideas or questions before the meeting. This would ensure more productive meetings.
Because effective time management is the goal, delegating should be a tool in your time management tool kit. While delegating tasks may not actually save time, its real purpose is to give tasks to the appropriate people. If you as the manager spend a lot of time supervising the associates, it would be valuable to have an assistant to sort through messages, open your mail, and answer the phone. This requires a certain level of trust and confidence, and you must let the assistant accomplish the tasks in his own way. It is also useful to “swap” or assign certain tasks to specific associates that complement their actions.
Do not procrastinate
Time management is at its worst when people procrastinate. Some people procrastinate because they simply do not want to do the job. The job could be as simple as filing a stack of papers or more complex such as fear of failure, lack of adequate information for the task, or bad habits. Fear of failure is a common reason for procrastination. If fear has been identified as the problem, focus on the source of the fear and try to determine the consequences of action or lack of action. This should help reduce the fear so that tasks can be undertaken quickly. Stop wasting time thinking about the problem and fix it.
“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”
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