Time management activities for employees
For practical work, you need to be able to extract the maximum benefit from every minute of the working day. The head of any enterprise should know what the management of staff time is, and the experts themselves should be technicians of control and redistribution of temporary resources.
Time Management Strategies
It is necessary to use precious seconds of life with caution, including at work. This facilitates time management – the technology of organising time and increasing the fruitfulness of its spending.
Planning is the key to time management. When drawing up a plan, keep in mind that it should be reasonable and feasible. Your effectiveness depends on it. But merely planning things is not enough. It is necessary to take into account other factors that help build a working day;
- Personal rhythm. The body works according to the internal clock with natural, “planned” periods of both high and low energy. They are called circadian rhythm. For most people, the lowest energy points occur between 2:00 am –4: 00 am and 01:00 pm – 03:00 pm. Although the indicator is individual. It is better to devote this time to sleep or plan on it a simple, “mechanical” work.
- The positive impact of breaks. Psychologist Dr Larry Rosen, in an article in the Harvard Business Review, explains that our brain works in 90-minute cycles of relaxation and activity. Focusing on a specific task cannot last more than one and a half hours. Then the mind will require rest: a walk, a snack, or a transition to a lighter activity. To recharge every 90 minutes, take a 15–20-minute break.
- Effective goal setting. Goals act as a compass, indicating where you should focus your time. Once they identified, it will become clear what is most famous for fruitful work throughout the day, month, year. Goals must be time-bound and quantifiable. No abstraction, only specifics.
It is also essential to create such working conditions so as not to be distracted by trifles. According to UC Irvine’s research, it takes more than 20 minutes for a person to return to the task after a distraction. Therefore, a colleague with a “quick” question can “steal” from you, not a minute, but 20 times more time.
For the head
While writing Master the Moment, Pat Bruns interviewed employees in 50 companies and found that many of the time management problems that employees face are because the manager is a time manager.
How to act a competent boss:
- Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals. For each of them, set a schedule and break the goal into small, manageable tasks. Consider providing employees with task management tools such as online calendars, project management programs.
- Set priorities. Help workers evaluate their responsibilities based on importance and urgency.
- Manage your communications. When employees are working on tight deadlines, ask them to check voicemail and email at set intervals, and answer urgent messages first. All other communications may suspend until the completion of essential projects.
- Delegate authority. To complete the tasks, choose people who can do this.
Make work comfortable. If possible, the physical or mental workload should plan when workers are at peak productivity. Encourage employees to take regular rest breaks throughout the day.
But the head will also not have enough time for constant monitoring by specialists. In order not to get into time pressure, you should pay attention to the “Results Mode” approach that John Young used during his tenure as director of Hewlett-Packard. Every few years, he formulated a precise and demanding goal and left the employees themselves to look for ways to achieve it. For example, he called for a 90 per cent reduction in the failure rate of HP products within two years. Workers completed the goal without micromanagement.
The to-do list is one of the simplest and most frequently used time management tools to help break down tasks into specific actions on a given day. Initially, projects that cannot postpone schedule. Further, there are also priority tasks, but which can prolong. Then everything else.
Consider periods of high and low energy. If you don’t have much power in the afternoon, plan an essential job in the morning and a routine of tasks for the afternoon.
Here are some more tips for completing your schedule:
- Plan only part of your workday. Leave some time open for crises, opportunities, surprises.
- Avoid sudden encounters. It takes time to process the information after each event, so it should plan.
- Consolidate work with e-mail, documentation, phone calls. For example, put off these tasks in the morning. This reduces the overall time required to complete them, eliminating the cost of starting and switching.
Once you have created your schedule, keep it insight, for example, using a wall, desktop, or computer calendar, which should always be open.
Fighting Time Spenders
There are many factors that “steal” working time. Some are bright and noticeable; some act gradually. “Time robbers” include procrastination, that is, the postponement of essential matters, unnecessary trips, and meetings, untimely calls, distracting the “electronic” and social networks.
How to control the “time robbers”:
- Try not to act unscheduled and impulsively.
- Determine the timing of solving problems.
- Recheck all their actions for their appropriateness.
- Take breaks in time and monitor the calm pace of work.
- They control time and plans, re-check them for completed tasks, prioritised tasks.
- Reject additional tasks that appear throughout the day with which you can wait.
- Having completed the task, they take a break to maintain their ability to work and to concentrate.
Time management training for employees
There is specialised training that helps to use time efficiently. Large corporations employ professional psychologists to conduct them. But in a small company, such training can be carried out by the head himself:
- “A minute.” Employees stand in the same room, clean their watches and mobile phones, close their eyes. When it seems to them that a minute has passed, they sit down and open their eyes. So you can find out which of the experts and how to perceive time.
- “Finding out the rhythms of productivity.” Ask each employee to write down every hour of the day from the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep on a working day and the day off, judging by their fullness of energy. This helps to understand the natural rhythms and choose the best time for important things.
- “Prioritization.” Each of the test takers gives a paper sheet where he must write ten fundamental values of life: love, health, career, etc. Participants divide into pairs and alternately ask each other how important each of the life bases is in the format: “Will you refuse from love for the sake of a career,” revealing the central values. The training allows you to compare what priorities people have in the team and how they will be able to plan their primary tasks.
- “Timing.” Invite employees to record all cases per day with a time frame. This will reveal what hours and minutes spend on.
Also, the last exercise helps to “catch” habits that prevent you from working effectively. Only when confronted with them face to face, you can take responsibility and begin to make changes.
Time Management Systems Overview
The famous American blogger Steve Pavlina, specialising in personal growth and self-development, believes that discipline can train like a muscle. But for competent training, you need a plan. And it is not necessary to invent it yourself. You can choose one of the already developed time management systems and begin to control life.
Getting Things Done (GTD)
This time management system base on the book Getting Things Done-The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, an expert on time management issues by David Allen. She tells you how to achieve efficiency without getting stress. GTD create on the principle that a person does not need to memorise current tasks, but will be reminded of them by an external medium – paper or electronic.
For review and control, the author suggests periodically looking at the “big picture” of his affairs from a bird’s eye view. The methodology is excellent for people who are overwhelmed by the daily wave of tasks that need to address.
Franklin Time Management System
Stephen Covey, a teacher and organisational management consultant relying on the work of Benjamin Franklin, suggests first creating long-term plans and moving from them to short-term ones.
This allows you to distribute time precisely on priorities, confidently move towards your dreams, filling every hour with meaning. The system is suitable for people who are inspired by a personal mission and disciplined enough to do daily and weekly analysis to confirm their priorities and tasks.
The Now Habit
This is a technique for overcoming procrastination described in the eponymous book by psychologist Neil Fiore
The method contains effective methods of getting rid of procrastination:
- Improving self-esteem reduces the fear of mistakes.
- Changing negative wordings positive redirects energy to completing a task.
- Anti-scheduling will give internal liberation.
- Setting real tasks will direct energy to issues that need to address urgently.
Activities in a “flow” state will save you from stress, motivate and generate interest for productive work, and managed regression will prepare for scheduled breaks and reboots.
Developed in 1992, the Pomodoro Method allows you to focus and increase concentration on solving an essential task without being distracted by external temptations.
Before starting the timer, you need to make a list of work tasks taking into account priorities in descending order of importance on paper or an electronic diary. Next, set the timer for 25 minutes and work.
On a timer call – a 5-minute pause. At this time, relax and distract from work. After a five-minute break, you must again begin to solve the problem. Mark each interval with a checkmark next to the work performed. After four “tomatoes” – a pause of 15-30 minutes. Having solved the task, mark it in the list, and begin the following.
A list of tasks is necessary for personal control and monitoring your productivity. For example, after a week, you will be able to see how many “tomatoes” took a particular business.
Time-saving technology invents by Dwight David Eisenhower – the thirty-fourth president of the United States. The technique used to prioritise business and personal life; it bases on the principle of redistributing tasks into four types according to the degree of importance and urgency. The matrix is most convenient for short-term and medium-term planning.
According to this system, tasks divide into groups according to urgency and importance:
- A – emergency and essential;
- B – unhurried, but vital;
- C – urgent, but not necessary;
- D – not crisis and not critical.
Depending on the category where the task fell, the order of its execution is determined. Unimportant cases can be delegated or postponed.
The importance of time management in the workplace emphasise by the frantic pace of modern managerial life. But proper planning and application of time management strategies will make it possible to do more without stress and nervous breakdowns.