As a workplace leader, a typical day can begin with 30 minute or one-hour blocks of meetings and conference calls. If employees then demand four hours of your time to arrange a workplace Christmas party or to restructure teams for a creative project, there will be times when you just need to say “no”.
When it comes to protecting, investing, saving, spending, and budgeting their time, leaders must make difficult decisions.
This can be difficult, however — so early communication with your team is critical to your success as a manager. You will be free of job stress in general and will be able to plan your project deadlines successfully once you learn to communicate and sustain time management strategies.
In this article, we’ll cover the basics of time management so that you can better prepare for busy periods and day-to-day business functions. We will be covering:
Let’s get into it.
Benefits of time management
If you’ve been running your business at a thousand miles per hour for years now, you may be wondering: what does it even mean to manage your time? And why does it matter?
As it turns out, there are plenty of benefits to be gained by learning to manage your time better — and humans just aren’t built to operate full speed ahead. Let’s take a look at the benefits.
1. Freedom from stress
Anxiety and stress are common side effects of poor time management. If you’re constantly feeling rushed, it can be difficult to enjoy your work and life in general. When you manage your time better, you’ll feel more relaxed and in control of your day-to-day schedule.
2. Improved quality of work
When you plan your time and work on one task at a time, you are able to give that task your full attention. This leads to improved focus and concentration, which in turn leads to better quality output.
3. Greater sense of control
When you manage your time well, you will feel like you have a better handle on things. This improved sense of control can lead to increased confidence and a greater sense of overall well-being.
4. Increased productivity
When you are able to focus more and work on one task at a time, you will be able to get more done in less time. This can lead to a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction with your work.
5. Improved relationships
Time management can improve both personal and professional relationships. When you are not stressed about meeting deadlines or getting things done, you will be more pleasant to be around.
In addition, when you are able to manage your time well, you will be more likely to meet deadlines and achieve goals, which can improve relationships with co-workers, bosses, and clients.
6. Greater sense of achievement
When you are able to accomplish your goals and meet your deadlines, you will feel a sense of achievement. This can lead to increased confidence and motivation to continue managing your time well.
7. Increased creativity
When you have more free time, you will have the opportunity to explore your creativity. This can lead to new and innovative ideas, as well as increased productivity in both your personal and professional life.
8. Improved self-discipline
Time management requires self-discipline in order to be successful. When you can stick to a schedule and complete tasks on time, you will develop greater self-discipline. This can lead to improved self-esteem and increased success in all areas of your life.
9. Enhanced decision-making ability
When you are able to manage your time, you will also be able to manage your decision-making ability. This means that you will be able to make better decisions about how to use your time. As a result, you will be able to achieve more in less time.
This will lead to erroneous decisions. You may get rid of the sense of being rushed because you don’t have enough time if you employ efficient time management.
You will feel more peaceful and in control if you can effectively manage your time, as it reduces the likelihood of making a poor judgment.
Tips For Effective Time Management
Now that you’re aware of the benefits, let’s take a look at some solid strategies for improving your time management.
Start by cleaning your calendar
It’s difficult to say no to a meeting invitation when you’re the CEO of a company. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, research shows that senior managers spend at least 23 hours per week in meetings.
If you reply “no” or “not now” to such an invitation, you may appear to be breaking a societal norm. However, if you review all of the meetings you attended in the preceding week, you may discover that many of them are ineffective.
As a result, if you make it a practice to inquire about a meeting’s agenda when invited, you will make better use of your time and contribute to the development of a management system. You’ll be able to gracefully refuse a meeting that isn’t a major priority this way.
Communicating well can make a huge difference
Communication can make or break any relationship, personal or professional — and when a manager is having trouble managing their time, communication suffers. However, taking the time to listen and communicate appropriately with one’s employees and clients may make all the difference in a company’s success.
Make sure you interact with your team members frequently to verify that they’re on track to meet your goals. A manager interacts with consumers effectively and often is more likely to see their company flourish. Make the most of your time by being deliberate in your communication.
Set a clear goal
When you set a goal, it’s important to be specific about what you want to achieve. Vague goals such as “improve customer satisfaction” are hard to measure and therefore difficult to achieve. Specific goals such as “increase customer satisfaction by 10 percent within six months” are easier to measure and therefore easier to achieve.
It’s also important to make sure that your goals are realistic. Setting unrealistic goals is a recipe for disappointment and can lead to feelings of frustration and inadequacy. If you’re not sure whether your goal is realistic, ask yourself whether it’s something you can reasonably achieve given the resources and time you have available.
Finally, make sure that your goals are relevant to your company’s mission and vision. Goals that are not aligned with your company’s mission and vision are a waste of time and resources.
Create a to-do list
A to-do list is a simple but effective way to efficiently keep track of your tasks. To create a to-do list, simply write down everything you need to do in a notebook or on a piece of paper. Then, number the items on your list in order of importance.
If you find that you have more than one task that must be completed urgently, prioritize those tasks by numbering them 1, 2, and 3. Once you’ve completed the most important task, move on to the next one on your list.
While a to-do list is a simple tool, it can be surprisingly effective in helping you manage your time.
Use a planner
A planner can help you keep track of your tasks and ensure that you’re using your time effectively. Planners come in a variety of formats, so choose one that will work best for you.
Some planners have space for you to write down your tasks for each day, while others have weekly or monthly views. There are also digital planners that you can use on your computer or smartphone for effective project planning.
If you find that you often forget to refer to your planner, try setting reminders on your computer or phone to remind you to check it regularly.
It’s important to take breaks throughout the day to avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed. If you’re feeling antsy or like you need a break, step away from your work and take a short walk.
Or, if you have a few minutes to spare, use that time to do something you enjoy, such as reading or listening to music. Taking breaks will help you stay focused and productive when you return to work.
Set aside time for each task
When you’re planning your day, be sure to set aside enough time for each task. If you underestimate the amount of time a task will take, you’ll likely find yourself feeling rushed and stressed.
On the other hand, if you overestimate the amount of time a task will take, you may find yourself with too much free time. Neither of these scenarios is ideal, so it’s important to be realistic when estimating the amount of time you’ll need to complete a task.
As a leader or manager, it’s important to delegate tasks to your team members. Delegating tasks will not only free up your time but will also help your team members develop new skills and grow in their roles.
When delegating tasks, be sure to choose the right person for the job. Consider each team member’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their workload, when making your decision.
It’s also important to provide clear instructions and expectations when delegating a task. This will help ensure that the task is completed correctly and in a timely manner.
It’s important to set boundaries with your team members and colleagues. Let them know what you’re working on and what your priorities are.
It’s also crucial to let them know when you’re unavailable. If you’re working on a project that requires your full attention, let your team know that you’re not available to answer questions or provide assistance.
Setting boundaries will help ensure that you can focus on your work and use your time effectively.
Use technology wisely
There are several tools and programs that can help you manage your time more effectively. For example, there are project management software programs that can help you keep track of your tasks and deadlines.
There are also productivity apps that can block distractions, such as social media so that you can focus on your work. Use technology wisely, and only use tools that will actually help you be more productive.
Schedule the proper tasks at the proper time
Every day, you’re presented with a new set of tasks that need to be accomplished.
You can try to accomplish all of them simultaneously, but that would be overwhelming and lead to subpar results. Instead, schedule the proper tasks at the proper time by using this process:
- Identify the task.
- Determine when the task should be completed.
- Set a deadline for the task.
- Break the task into smaller goals.
- Create a schedule for completing the task.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to manage your time better and complete your tasks in a more efficient manner. The aim is to learn to prioritize the most critical chores of each day, as well as how long they will take to complete and when they should be completed.
Understand the 80/20 rule
Also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 Rule states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. In other words, a small amount of effort produces a large amount of results.
This rule can be applied to time management by identifying the tasks that are most important and will have the biggest impact.
For example, if you have a list of 10 tasks to complete, two of those tasks will likely have a greater impact than the other eight combined.
By focusing on those two tasks and completing them first, you’ll be able to achieve more with your time.
Take advantage of downtime
Downtime is often seen as wasted time, but it doesn’t have to be. Downtime can actually be used effectively to improve your productivity.
For example, you can use downtime to plan your day, review your goals, or brainstorm new ideas. You can also use it to take a break and recharge your batteries.
Don’t see downtime as wasted time but as an opportunity to improve your productivity.
Use time tracking tools for better time management
Day.io is a time tracking tool that can help you better understand how you’re using your time. It’s a simple but effective way to track your time and see where you can improve.
By understanding how you’re using your time, you can make changes to improve your productivity. For example, if you find that you’re spending too much time on email, you can adjust your habits to reduce the amount of time you’re spending on it.
Final Thoughts: Time Management For Managers
As a manager, it’s easy to get caught up in the “day to day” of the business and establish unhealthy behaviors. Concentrate on implementing the suggestions in this article and strengthening your team. Not only will your total productivity increase, but you’ll quickly establish yourself as a capable and respected leader.