Efficient time management is critical for any manager. A manager that manages his/her time well will always have a leg up on the competition. The goal of time management is not to constrain or limit you but to maximize your productivity. A good manager is generally busy and must place a high emphasis on time allocation. The following are some guidelines managers should follow to manage their time more effectively:
1. Develop a time management plan. Remember that you run your business/department and you know what you have to accomplish. Sit down and analyze your average daily activities and how you could accomplish them more effectively.
2. Write things down. It’s a simple thing that we all can do to make our lives easier. Write critical activities down at night for the next day’s work. Cross off activities as you complete them and move down the list.
3. Set specific daily, weekly and monthly goals. Don’t set goals that you know will be a breeze nor should you set that will push you too far. Be ambitious but not obsessive.
4. Prioritize. Take time to identify your most critical tasks. The 80/20 method is a good guide to follow. Identify the 20% of tasks that are most important and focus on them by finishing them first or by setting aside a firm block at some point in the day to get them done.
5. Eliminate the waste. Identify the times in the day when you are not being productive or wasting time and do what you can to eliminate them. If you’re supposed to meet your boss and he tends to be late, make sure you schedule your routine tasks before that meeting so you’re not sitting idle.
6. Be flexible. As a manager who leads subordinate, you have to make time to address their needs and issues. Develop a routine, maybe set aside a specific time in the day where they can approach you about various issues. Give them directions for instances where they have a problem that needs urgent attention.
7. Delegate more. Too many managers take on too much work because they feel pressure from their superiors. More often than not, training a subordinate to perform a task will free you up to focus on more important things. When done correctly, subordinates appreciate the confidence you’re showing in them and will try to perform the task flawlessly.
8. Invest in and use time management tools. There are a number of software options that are great at keeping you on schedule.
9. Get comfortable with saying “no” to people. A good time manager needs to keep his priorities in mind and not give in to things that will throw him off track. People pleasing is not your primary objective. Besides, if you give them a brief explanation, they should understand.
There are far too many managers out there with sub-standard time management skills. Following these simple guidelines can help take your managing prowess to the next level.
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