3 Tips to Better Time Management

Introduction:

One of our most precious commodities is ‘time’. We often find ourselves believing that we don’t have enough hours in the day to complete all the tasks we have.

This post examines this mindset and provides three tips for better time management; how to prioritise effectively in order to achieve what’s important whilst learning to identify, and let go of, those things that are not.

3 Tips to Better Time Management with time management training 

What is Time Management?

Time Management is the process of organising and planning how to divide your time between specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter, not harder, leading to increases in efficiency and productivity.

How can you improve your Time Management?

There are many techniques to help you to improve the way you manage your time. Below are three for you to try, which can also be covered by attending one of our time management courses:

Prioritise tasks (Be ruthless!)

Sometimes we all allow ourselves to get overloaded with the sheer number of tasks we have agreed to complete. To prevent this, we can allocate a simple measurement that allows us to prioritise:

Importance: (A=high, B=medium, C=low)

Urgency: (1=high, 2=medium, 3=low)

Always work on the most urgent and important goals and tasks (A1) first, and then move on down your list. Don’t be afraid to reach a point with your list where you make decisions as to whether you should do the goals and tasks at all.

Pareto’s Law (The 80/20 rule)

Pareto reminds us that 80% of results come from 20% of actions. It’s a way of focusing our minds when it comes to making decisions.

We ask ourselves whether, or not, we’re concentrating on the 20% of activities that provide the 80% of desired results. If we’re not, we take steps to change what we’re doing until we are.

Using the 4D System (Stop procrastinating)
  • Drop it: What is the impact of not doing the task at all? Consider the 80/20 rule; maybe it doesn’t need to be done.
  • Delegate it: If the task is important, ask yourself if it’s really something that you are responsible for doing. Can the task be given to someone else?
  • Delay:If the task is one that can’t be completed quickly and is not high priority, simply delay it.
  • Do: Postponing an important task that needs to be done only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Do it now!
In Summary:

In this post we’ve defined what Time Management is and explored three techniques for getting better at it. Some people will be naturally drawn to one of the techniques referenced, other people might be comfortable with all three.

Whatever works for you is ok, the really important thing is to commit to the choice to improve how you manage your time and to keep working at it. The key is to keep checking in with yourself:
  • Are you working smarter, not harder?
  • Are you more efficient in the way you manage tasks?
  • Are you able to be more productive, whilst doing less tasks?
  • Do you need to attend some time management training?

4 Habits for Successful Delegation

Delegating tasks successfully frees up valuable time for you time, helps you to develop your people, enables your to better understand their strengths and weaknesses, and motivates members to perform. Poor delegation or a lack of it can slow work down, demotivate your team and cause negative conflict. Here are 4 Habits for Successful Delegation STL have identified as essential if you want to delegate the right way and build a productive and efficient team.

4 Habits for Successful Delegation
4 Habits for Successful Delegation

 

Involve the Team Early

Once you have your goal, great delegation is set up effectively by developing awareness, which lays the foundation for great performances amongst your team members. Most importantly, this comes down to communication. Follow this three-step process to kick-start the delegation process:

  1. Communicate your vision with your team.
  2. Deepen your vision by communicating long-term detail.
  3. Reinforce the importance of individual contribution.
Provide Reasons

Once you have established the importance of individual contributions, now is the time to reach out to those individual members are so important to the success of the initiative. If people understand the opportunity, why are they being asked to do something and why it matters they are more likely to buy in and focus their time on it. Therefore, rather than simply providing business context, share your reasons.

As one of the three modes of persuasion, logic is convincing because if you make a case for why you have identified a particular person for a job, they will understand your rational and see the request as genuine.

You will motivate them if you tell them why it matters to you.

Otherwise, doubt and suspicion can creep in, both of which impact on the levels of trust between you and your team.

Visualise Success

Setting clear expectations enables you and your team members to manoeuvre throughout the project. With vaguely defined goals, managers and subordinates lose focus, get frustrated and stressed because the reasons why things are going wrong are either deeply contentious or impossible to define.

When you are delegating a task:
  1. Explain the desired result in detail.
  2. Set clear expectations about what you envisage as successful outcomes.
  3. Explain how the task ties into the bigger picture.
  4. Provide criteria for measuring success: this should not only give team members of an unbiased way of looking at the result but also enables them to track their performance and make modifications, so they are best placed to deliver great results.
Confirm Understanding

Besides that, once you have explained clearly what is required it is vital to confirm the team member you are delegating to fully understands the request.

This will prevent a mismatch between what you have asked for and their interpretation, which almost inevitably results in frustration and conflict, but most importantly jeopardises the success delivery of the task.

In Summary…

Great delegation can help you achieve incredible things with your team. Laying a foundation through clear communication is essential. Sharing your vision with the team before you meet with individuals lays a strong foundation for success.

When you do meet with individuals providing reasons for involving them, setting clear and detailed expectations about the outcomes you envisage and getting them to confirm their understanding will limit risks, launch activities, monitor progress and achieve great results.