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How to Improve Your Time Management Skills

March 5, 2014

Whether you’re managing yourself or managing a team you will face issues. Perhaps you or your team have problems meeting deadlines, or you’re the type of person who always feels obligated to say, “Yes” no matter how tall your pile of work is, you can probably benefit from these management tips.

No is not a dirty word. As much as you want to support your team and company it is impossible to be everything to everyone. It is imperative that you don’t waste your time on unproductive activities. The age old saying “Time is money” reigns true. You have to say “no” to activities that hinder your productivity.

Use an organizer and keep it updated. If you are in the practice of writing down everything you schedule the moment you schedule it you are less likely to double book or forget an appointment. Missing an appointment or showing up late shows disrespect for the other person’s time.

Delegate and work as a team. If you don’t know how to do something or know someone on your team can do it better, ask for help. Figure out where everyone shines and have them share the tips that make them more productive at a task. Also don’t be afraid to delegate a task to someone who reports to you, they may not have as much practice as you but they won’t until you give them the opportunity.

Give yourself wiggle room.  There is a family emergency, someone calls in, the computer system goes down etc, Life will throw all kinds of curve balls at us. So while having a schedule is important you should schedule yourself time for errors, distractions and mishaps. If you have a huge presentation on Thursday, plan to have all the materials ready on Tuesday, so if there is a problem you aren’t scrambling at the last minute. You need to overnight a package and the last pick up time is 5pm try to have it ready by the pickup time before that. If you have a meeting scheduled from 1pm-2pm go, record it with the idea you will be unavailable from 12:50pm- 2:15 at least. Training that new associate on the printer? It may have taken you half an hour to learn it but what if it takes them 45 minutes? Plan for unexpected changes or shifts. If you don’t assume at least one appointment a day will be hindered or pushed back you could see a butterfly effect as each back to back event rolls into each other.

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