Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Have you ever looked at the clock and wondered where the time went? If you’re a manager, I’m sure you think there are just not enough hours in the day.
Time management seems to be one of those managerial skills that should be easy to accomplish. Still, almost all managers can agree that their days never go as planned, there are always fires that need put out, clients to talk with, and the list goes on and on.
But have you ever questioned why other managers and supervisors are able to get everything done, and still have free time and can take vacations? While every situation is different, most likely those managers have found a way to manage not only their time, but the time of their employees effectively.
One reason you feel like you are always running out of time is because you might be trying to multitask projects. For years, employers have stated they want workers who can multitask, but some scientists dispute if it is even possible for one to truly multitask, let alone multitask effectively. Some say when we ‘multitask’, we are actually switching from task to task extremely quickly, which means people are not given their full attention to either task. In fact, there is even research to suggest that multitasking may be bad for your brain.
As you know, it is crucial work be completed on time and with good quality. But if you are having issues with managing time, it is most likely carrying down to your staff. If you’re too forgiving when others fail to complete their tasks on time, and if you don’t hold people accountable for their deliverables, they may question the importance of the goals and work assignments that you establish and delegate.
It is your responsibility as the manager to hold people accountable for their deliverables and to insist on appropriate time management skills to meet deadlines. You must clearly and appropriately communicate your sense of urgency for each task.
Here are 5 tips to help you and your staff manage time more effectively:
- Track your time for one week to see how you spend it. Write it down! Check that the way you spend your time is compatible with your goals and values.
- Ask your staff to set their own milestone dates and then hold to them, except on rare occasions when slippage is clearly justified.
- Set up an accountability measure, such as a project chart or an electronic follow-up system that will allow you to track the progress and accomplishments of your employees.
- Establish the expectation that you want to hear about problems before they mushroom. When employees tell you about problems, concentrate on how they plan to handle them. Do not criticize the employee or try to solve the problem yourself.
- Regular progress reports will help you and your employees ensure that goals are met. If deadlines are being missed, ask the person for his or her assessment of why this is happening and what will be done to correct the situation.
What tips do you have for successful time management?