By Kevin Bartley, Division Manager with Nexus 5 Group
I may not be the best person to write a blog on time management, but I hope my perspective will give some insight on ways to improve your time management. Working in my position as Division Manager for Nexus 5 Group, I have to wear many hats. Some of those hats include mentor, HR, project manager and therapist. For me personally, switching between these roles can have a negative impact on my time management. In my career, I've seen people that have different ways of dealing with time management... or no skills at all.
So here are some ways I've found that might improve your time management skills.
Get up and get moving.
I'm an early riser. So after my morning routine, I always take a look at my calendar to see if I've forgotten anything that needs to be completed that day. (Even though I've already looked at it ten times the day before and know what needs to be done.) I make sure that I put appointments and meetings in my calendar immediately after committing. It doesn’t matter if it's work, personal or even my son’s school event, I put it in there. Keeping an updated calendar is important as it allows my other team members to see what availability I have.
This is where I falter the most. I have an issue with not pushing stuff to my team sometimes. I feel like it will take less time to just do things myself without having to explain what I need done. So I've been trying to ask myself before starting a task, “Why Me?” If it doesn't have to be me personally, I'm trying to make sure to ask my team to help.
This technique may or may not be a time saving tip. If you don't trust who you're delegating to, it may take more time to either re-do the task or make corrections. It also takes time to review what you've delegated to ensure that the task or project is completed to your satisfaction.
Depending on your position, this may or may not be an option. Many times throughout the day, I feel the need to say no. However, working closely with my other team members, I always feel a sense of accountability. Even though it may not benefit me directly, I want to help. There are also repercussions to saying no in certain instances. However, giving priority to other tasks by saying no can relieve some stress.
Saying no to some things doesn't necessarily mean the task won't get done. But the person asking may have to look for other options to take care of it some other way. Saying yes to everything can cost you more time and money than you've budgeted. In a business where time is money, you may need to practice saying no. And this point relates to several of my team members (not naming names here, but you know who you are!) By not saying no, resources are used in unexpected ways, detracting from the task at hand. And sometimes those distractions are non-productive.
I use four simple measurements that help me prioritize:
● Important and Urgent (today)
● Important but Not Urgent (this week)
● Urgent but Not Important (maybe this week)
● Not Urgent and Not Important (maybe never)
Prioritize each task and simply ask yourself which bucket those tasks should fill. When you can figure out how to be disciplined and prioritize with these buckets, your time management skills will really improve. And you will have better visibility on how to use your work day to be the most productive. Even better? You might find your stress levels lower and you might enjoy your work more. Those are prizes worth focusing on your time management skills.