Time Management 1
Our On-Track service includes looking at effective business management which includes time management.
It is vital to understand that you cannot actually manage time, you can only manage your behaviour. Tip 1 is about delegation.
A key part of Time Management and being productive is understanding that you cannot manage time, you can only manage your behaviour.
Are you one of those people who don’t trust anyone else to do what needs to be done? You don’t trust anyone to do a job as well as you do? If so, it’s not surprising then that you get overwhelmed by work, and then complain that you have too much to do. It’s your own fault, learn to delegate and save your time.
But, understand that there is a difference between delegation and abdication. Before you delegate make sure the person has a system to follow. Developing systems can be a more valuable use of your time than marketing because investing your time in marketing returns you a profit over the lifetime of a client, developing systems gives you your life back!
Delegating has advantages other than saving you time, and freeing you up to do tasks that are more important, fit your objectives, and benefit the company more.
If you delegate effectively as part of your time management, your people will become more skilled and committed.
Effective delegation means that although decisions are taken lower down the management chain, they are taken nearer where the work is being done. Quite often your staff has a better idea of what needs to be done than you do! They make decisions faster.
So, by delegating you can save time for more important work and also improve the morale of your staff.
On the other hand, if you fail to delegate when appropriate, you create a burden for yourself. Your staff will not have any authority, responsibility or information to make decisions, and they will lack confidence and become unable to take criticism.
The result is that everything is referred back to you. This means a string of interruptions for you to deal with; you will end up doing their work as well as your own; you will run out of time; your staff will run out of work; they will be checking on you to find out progress on what is something they should be doing in the first place. Not a very effective way to be on top of time management.
This should mean it is easy to see that delegating and empowering your staff is sensible and necessary in good time management practice.
Now let’s do a self-assessment. How well do you delegate? Have a look honestly at the following questions, and see how you measure up.
- Do you like to control all parts of a project?
- Are some of your staff underemployed?
- Do you spend a lot of time answering unimportant questions?
- Do you dislike spending money on something you can do yourself?
- Do you think you have not got enough time to get things done?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you dislike delegating or are unsure how to do it.
Don’t be afraid to delegate – it will not undermine your authority but will free time for you to do what you do best. Delegate recurring jobs and tasks that others can do better, quicker and cheaper than you.
Match the work to the person and don’t just delegate boring and routine work. Time taken to train, monitor and evaluate delegated work is saved by being able to delegate a similar task next time it occurs.
Letters and phone calls can be delegated and suitable standard replies prepared.
You should aim to delegate as much as possible, but don’t delegate work that is your sole responsibility.