Part of being a successful manager in business is knowing how to manage your time. Time is a precious and costly commodity that many of us take for granted. Few people will readily admit that large parts of our working day are wasted through countless interruptions, procrastination and clutter. Review these creative strategies for managing and organizing your time and implement those that resonate with you.
Create a time management system that suits your life and work-style. We all have preferences about how, when and where to complete certain tasks and activities. By honoring those preferences, it will be much easier to accomplish more in less time.
Close the door for one hour each morning. Close the door, turn off the phone and place a sign on your door which reads: “Please return after 10:00″. Use this hour as an uninterrupted time for concentrated work. Write this time on your calendar every day, and stick with it. If you feel a one-on-one meeting might go on for some time, state that you really want to continue the discussion and in order to give your full undivided attention, you would like to schedule another meeting to further discuss.
If you are in an open space or cubicle, rearrange your desk or chair to avoid easy eye contact: People are less likely to interrupt you when they cannot make eye contact. If you cannot rearrange your desk or chair, place plants on the periphery of your desk to create a physical boundary between you and the open environment.
Assign a dollar value to the total time wasted in one day. How much time do you spend per day: Locating papers? Looking for misplaced items? Duplicating efforts? Being annoyed because you can’t find things? Dealing with interruptions that are unnecessary? Total this time, set a dollar amount per hour and estimate what your time is worth. Consciously cut wasted time in half.
Adopt a worst in, first out policy and/or better delegate undesirable tasks. Procrastination is one of the biggest enemies of a well-managed day. Often, we procrastinate because we do not like the task, do not have the right equipment or we do not have enough information to make a decision. Handle the worst problems first, get them done and then move on to the fun stuff. If you continue to procrastinate, delegate the task.
Practice saying “No”: More often than not, the act of saving time involves saying “no” to other people. Examples include: “I would love to attend, but unfortunately, I cannot make it,” or “I am flattered that you asked me, but unfortunately I am too busy to do justice to the project at this time,” or “No, thank-you,” or “No.” By saying “no” you are honoring your own goals.
Establish a time management remodeling day one day per month: Spend one day each month analyzing your time management system. Ask yourself what needs to be deleted, changed, modified, rearranged, enhanced, or minimized.
Time managing a project can vary. Project management can be as simple as putting the tasks in order to prepare for a release of a new product or as complicated as the construction of a 20 story building. If for example you have a project to get your staff trained on a new product, you first need to:
¨ Determine what needs to be trained.
¨ Determine when the training should take place.
¨ Determine where the training should take place.
¨ Determine how long the training should last.
¨ Determine the amount of people who need to take the training.
¨ Determine how many people you can afford to take the training without losing production.
¨ Determine how many people can be trained without affecting the customer’s immediate needs.
¨ Determine the cost of the training and materials.
These general tips should help put you on a better path to efficiency. If you would like help developing an effective time management system specifically tailored to you, your business and even your staff, give us a call. We can work together to design a program specifically for you and your unique situation, incorporating proven techniques of high performers and workflow management.