Managers always need more time but there are ways to gain more hours in the day with effective time management.
All managers at any SME have sat, phone in hand glancing at their computer screen surrounded by paperwork, wishing for more hours in the day. The job often requires long hours sometimes only stopping for sleep between the days. Knowing how to manage your time effectively is just one of the skills you will develop with experience so here are some tips to help you create more time:
Turn Off The Alerts
Clearly it is sometimes useful to have alerts coming through to inform you that your team are completing tasks, that milestones are being met, that a report has been completed, but what happens when something comes through on your phone that needs doing? It is distracting even when the item may not be top priority. If you don’t have the alerts on, you can’t get these distractions so turn them off when you have important work to finish. People will call you if it is urgent.
Set More Reminders
It is a great idea to set yourself reminders to help you become even more organised. Maybe you play catch up all the time because you miss certain deadlines or because you can easily ignore the written calendar reminder. Set reminders and aim to complete the task according to your schedule.
Where Is Your Time Being Spent?
From writing a report, to checking project status, to meetings – you need to know how long you are spending on each of the different tasks. Not only does this help you identify where you need to work quicker, it also helps you reorder tasks that might be better done at different times of the day and it helps you figure out where you can save time too; this is all essential for good time management. Fill in a sheet or try out an app that will help you track what you are doing.
There are so many apps to help – use them. These really do make your job easier and keep all relevant information in one place.
Getting A Routine In Place
Routines will always save time because there is no decision making, no thinking. Time management routines that could help you save time are:
- Preparing your schedule in advance for each week
- Complete simple tasks on your way to and from work to make use of the commute
For things you have to do time and time again, it makes great sense to have a template so it isn’t like starting from scratch every time. It also means there is a system in place so you can just get started. So anything you do all the time like budgeting, writing reports, risk management – get a template saved so you can jump straight to it when you need to.
There is one thing that will save you the most time of all and that is people. You should be able to communicate with them effectively and motivate your team to ensure they are on schedule and will deliver work on time. You should also be able to delegate when you need to – especially important if you take on too much work yourself. These people skills will also help if there is one team member slowing the process down through negativity or other counterproductive influences.
Knowing how to work with people effectively is an essential part of a manager’s job role and will save you so much time.