Understanding the importance and structure of managing time is an important but delicate balance in the workplace. It is often thought as one skill and can hamper success when teams are managed and assessed on the same behaviors. Time management is also a skill that is ever-changing and developing to meet the needs of a business. The process also should not just be looked at purely from the basis that you are setting a task to be completed, as considering the thought processes and implementation behind it will reap the rewards for a more productive and efficient workforce in the long-term.
Time management is a blend of many attributes and skills and mastering the combination of factors will improve performance and success as a team. Take a look at some of the most common and powerful ways to get time management right and how organizations can monitor this process for continuous productivity and improvement.
The main aim of managing time is to achieve a goal, so setting them realistically will help to focus on the manner in which you will achieve them. Focusing on how time will be spent on each part of a project and actions to take will also get a step closer to completion but also thinking about why you want to achieve the goal is also important. Money should not be the prime motivator, but in business, this can sometimes overtake all other factors when looking at company goals. Getting the basics right first such as understanding your workforce, pushing peoples strengths and setting realistic goals for each person will see a project through to fruition in cost-effective and efficient money, which in turn leads to profitability and a happy workforce.
Planning work effectively
Put simply, if you go into the office each day and have no idea what and why you want to accomplish tasks, it’s quite obvious that you probably won’t accomplish anything. Planning work effectively is an important step in making sure your team and management both know what the end goals are. Taking the time to plan the day or sometimes a week in advance can give everyone that much-needed boost to plan their own schedules with everyone working to their own strengths but the same goal. This planning time can just involve spending fifteen to twenty minutes in the morning getting everyone on the same page or for a more effective and accountable solution, best time clock and management software helps to plan, track and monitor progress in real time.
This is a skill not everyone possesses, and as a manager and employee, it’s best to be honest about how much you can take on without becoming stressed and ultimately unproductive. Managing teams effectively here won’t leave anyone with unrealistic expectations and gives you the chance to delegate tasks more effectively. If managers decide to ignore aspects like this, workplaces and teams become dysfunctional and unhappy with their work, which in turn effects task completion. Getting to know individuals in a team will help to address the natural strengths and weaknesses of individuals and give organizations to manage them effectively for maximum productivity.
Taking on too much work is often the downfall of a project. Knowing when a team or individual is fully stretched and unable to carry more work is key to maintaining a happy workforce that achieves the end result. Falling foul here could not only cost project deadlines here but also employees who feel they are being pushed to the limit. Delegation is a necessary task for managers, but it should be done while considering the strengths of the team, the time needed for tasks and what you want to be achieved in that time. Managers should be afraid to get stuck into the work too especially if deadlines are tight. As showing everyone, you are truly a part of the team helps to keep morale high and may assist during heavy workloads and unpredictable events such as staff illness during a project.
It’s no surprise that good communication is key to managing time and projects effectively. Talking, listening and understanding other team members and management is a delicate balance and done efficiently could save time and stress levels in the process. The communication in a team needs to be open and professional without anyone fearing to ask questions or for help. The ability to say ‘no’ is also an effective communication attribute, as there will be times where an individual cannot comfortably take on any further work. Considering some of the main areas of effective communication in the time management process such as questioning, challenging decisions, listening to others and explaining tasks will help at every level in the team.
Interruptions are a part of working life and can sometimes hamper progression in a project. There will be times where teams will have to focus on one thing, but other times, tasks may crop up that cannot be rescheduled. Managing this interruption time effectively is key to ensuring completion of projects. As a manager, you may see periods where something can be left until the first task has been completed and this should be communicated to the team. The way it is communicated is important, as this doesn’t want to come across as rude or that you devalue their input but explaining the reasons helps to reroute the workflow with little interruption or disagreement.
Whether you are a startup or growing business, taking the time to understand each time management process is key to managing projects efficiently and cost-effectively. Following a few simple steps and identifying problems areas will help to improve this process and set the foundations and starting points for a team. In short, if you want to achieve the best outcomes, improving both personal and team time management skills will see an increase in productivity and a happier workforce that are willing to adapt to changing situations with ease.