7 Time Management Tips for Managers

Managing people takes time. It may take an inefficient or in effective manager longer to plan, supervise, and evaluate some one else’s work than to just do it herself.


The answer isn’t to fire the staff. The Answer is to manage them effectively. Here are seven time management tips that will help you do it.

1. Never waste their time :
Does the sight of one of your workers standing idle threaten you? If so, resist the temptation to assign busy work, just to keep them moving. You waste their time, of course and you also waste your time, thinking about the work, explaining and supervising it, pretending to care about it when it’s done.


You’ll also be eroding their trust in you and yours decisions. They know its busy work. Don’t fill their time for them. Show them what needs doing show them how to do it. Make sure they have the tools they need. Then get out the way.


2. Make Sure the Time Savers are Really Saving Their Time:
A Researcher recently conducted a time management seminar at a large Wisconsin company as his host led him through the bullpen office area to the classroom, he noticed two folks standing by the fax machine, their tensed bodies tensed with anticipation. As the machine started to whir, one reached out and actually tugged on the sheet of paper to make it come out faster.


What’s wrong with this picture, two workers employed waiting for a fax to arrive?


The fax is supposed to save time, right? But we soon learn to fax material that could have gone by good old pony express, and we put off writing the letter until it has to go by fax. That doesn’t save time: it just increases pressure. Some body has to choose the fax with the new, improved, faster fax, bought with money somebody had to spend time to produce. Have we saved time here? Not really.


We are not advocating a retreat to the Stone Age. We don’t even want to think about trying to write without a computer, research with out the internet or handle phone calls without voice mail. But these good slaves can make terrible masters, driving your staff to distraction with their bells and beeps and buzzers. Make sure the machines work for the people and not the other way around.


3. Separate the important from the Merely Urgent for your Staff :
For your staff, as for yourself, you need to distinguish between truly important activities, those that serve the central mission, and the stuff that seems to demand immediate attention without really meriting it. Do you and your staff ever engage in long – terms planning, skill training, or needed conflict management? Or do these things get lost in the daily clamor? You’ll never “find” time to do these vital activities with your staff.


As a good manager, you must be sure to make the time. Ask “why? For the phone calls and memos and faxes demand your staff’s immediate attention. Can you relive some of the pressure and release your staffers for more important work?


4. Tell Them why : “ why do I have to do this ?”
If that question from a staffers feels like a threat to your authority, if you become defensive when you hear such a question, your staffers will learn to keep the questions to themselves. But they’ll still wonder. They have the right and the need to know the purpose of their work. When you ask them to do something, give them a good reason. You’ll have a more motivated and mere efficient workforce.


5. Allow them Enough time for the Task :
Be realistic in your demands. Don’t overstuff the staff. For what you do, you’ll get shoddy work. You might even get less work. Even a conscientious, willing worker does not perform well under unreasonable pressure.


6. Encourage them to do one thing well at a time :
Watch your staff work. Are they on the phone, jotting notes, eyeing the computer screen all while trying o grab a fast sandwich? Getting a lot done? Probably no, and they’re probably not getting anything done well. If your co worker is on the phone with a potential client, you want that worker’s total attention on the task at hand, not thinking about the next project or the last project or the work that isn’t getting done. They’ll work faster and better, with less need for clarification during or revision later.


7. Cut down on Meeting Time :
Ask your staff to make a list of things they least like to do and chances are “ go to meeting “ will rank right up there with “take work home over the weekend”,. Most of us hate meetings, and with good reason. We avoid them if we can resent them when we can’t and complain about them before, during and after.


So, our first tips here ought to be obvious but apparently isn’t doing have a meeting if you have a good reasons to meet. That means never, right? Wrong. You really do need meetings you can create a productive interaction that just doesn’t occur with memos or e-mails or phone calls or one on one conversation. People get a better grasp of the whole operation. Names become faces, and faces become individuals. You can develop and maintain a sense of shared purpose and cooperation. In a meeting:


· Every one hears the same thing at the same time, remaining some (but, alas, not all) miscommunication.
· If people don’t understand , they can ask for clarification
· The speaker can use non verbal clues(crossed arms , frowns , glazed ,eyes, eager nodding ) to determine how people are responding to a proposal
· Most important, when people interact, they create ideas that never would have occurred otherwise.

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