As a manager, one of your tasks is to bring the best out of your team. You are responsible for how your team performs and you need to coach them or give them tools to achieve the same.
The average person gets 1 interruption every 8 minutes, or approximately 7 an hour, or 50-60 per day. The average interruption takes 5 minutes, totaling about 4 hours or 50% of the average workday. 80% of those interruptions are typically rated as “little value” or “no value” creating approximately 3 hours of wasted time per day. These are some interesting figures about time management by Dr. Donald E. Wetmore
One of the most critical skills everyone should possess is time management. You allocate responsibilities to your team but also equip them with tools and techniques to manage their time. This will help them prioritize their work – complete urgent tasks, attend meetings, and all things in between. You won’t just help them personally in managing their time but also boost the team’s performance when everyone is efficient with their time.
Let us look at some practical time-management tips that you can implement to your team and employees.
1. Teach Them to Plan Ahead
Encourage your team to start the day by planning ahead. They can do this by mapping their tasks at the start of the day. They should make a list of all the things that need to be done in the day, without necessarily prioritizing it.
Once listed, they can prioritize the tasks based on the day’s schedule. This will help them finish all the tasks before the day ends without procrastinating.
2. Understand The Role Energy Plays in Productivity
How to motivate employees when they have low work energy levels?
It is common to see that some people work the best during the day while others perform better post lunch. Based on their energy levels throughout the day, the team can plan their tasks.
By scheduling low-demand tasks during their ‘low energy’ period and tackling challenging tasks during ‘energy-peak’ hours, they can achieve a lot. Encourage your team to understand when they tend to be more productive to help them manage their time better.
3. Automate Clunky Processes
Some tasks require our attention while others can be automated. So, automate the latter. Tasks like menial paperwork can take up a lot of your employees’ time without even realizing it. It can significantly harm your production process.
For instance, encourage your team to use digital calendars to schedule meetings and reminders instead of spending time on writing them down. Employees can create a template for emails that they send out frequently instead of typing it every time they have to send it.
4. Manage Communication
Answering phone calls and responding to emails is not only distracting, but also takes up a lot of time. Establish a system that helps your team manage communication efficiently. For example, you can ask your employees to check voicemails, messages, and emails at set intervals. This will help them focus on their work without worrying about it. Urgent communication requests are important, but other calls and emails can wait until the set interval.
5. Use Time Tracking Software
Introduce a time-tracking tool to monitor employees’ time. This can help them collect data on metrics like how much time was spent on individual tasks, projects and attendance. Employers can identify which tasks consumed a lot of time and if there were any tasks that were time-wasters. Time tracking tools will help your team identify ways to improve productivity and provide accurate time cards for payroll.
6. Take Regular Breaks
This might sound counterproductive, but taking regular breaks can improve performance at work. When you work without a break, brain fatigue will start to set in, and eventually the work will slow down.
It is recommended that you take short breaks lasting 5-15 minutes for every 60-minutes of working. This will help your brain recharge and get back to work feeling fresher and productive. Taking a break can mean taking a small walk around the office, completing an easier task, or having a snack or something to drink. So, go ahead and ask your team to take regular breaks for higher productivity.
With the right tools, training, and tracking time, you can help your team acquire time management skills. Make a conscious effort for the same and watch your team’s performance soar.
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