Four principles of effective time management

You had to submit a progress report yesterday? Deadlines are burning, but the task is not even half-ready? Constantly being late to work? And all this about your employees? If it’s familiar to you, then it’s time to teach your staff how to manage time correctly so as not to turn to penalties.

There are different ways to deal with such employees, who are “always late”: you can simply fire them, create a system of fines, or constantly make comments, which will most likely lead to their voluntary separation. And you can teach them the basic principles of time management, which will be beneficial both to them and to you as a manager.

I distinguish 4 main blocks that you need to pay attention to when working with non-punctual employees:

  • goal setting;
  • identification of priority tasks;
  • knowledge of planning tools;
  • accumulation of habits.

We set goals correctly

I’ll start right away with an example. Learning business English by June 1 for free communication at business meetings and conducting business documentation is an excellent goal.

Learning English is not a goal. What is the difference, you may ask? Each goal has specific parameters: specificity, measurability, reality, and date.

In the first case, the goal is set specifically: to learn business English. The result is measurable, that is, the result is obvious: you can freely conduct business meetings, conferences, draw up documentation in business English. The goal is real for you since you already speak English, and you only need to study business vocabulary. You set the deadline for yourself – June 1.

Now check your own and your employees’ goal lists. Do they all meet these criteria?

Priorities are the main goals on the list

Once again, I will give a clear example. Often priorities must be identified from several conflicting, that is, opposing goals. For example, you and your tops have been working for the development of the company for 2 years, without vacations, and often worked overtime, as the priority was to develop, bring to the market, and promote a new product. However, human resources are not unlimited, and tiredness takes its toll. So, everything goes according to the plan – the product is launched on the market, and you need to promote it a little more to get a few “treasured” contracts. What will you do? Continue not to get enough sleep, get tired, drowning the accumulated stress and irritation in yourself, or go on vacation for a couple of weeks and get down to business again?

What do we most often say to ourselves in such a situation? Just a little more, now I’ll finish it, and then I’ll have some rest. And now recall how many times after such promises you rested but did not continue in the same rhythm, giving yourself new vows?

Compare how much time it will take for the power you have now, and possibilities that will appear after the holidays. The result is obvious! After resting for two weeks, you can do the work 30% faster. Now think about it: would the goals of the year be achieved at all if there were no vacations? Yes, of course, there is such a possibility. But a very small one.

Planning tools: how to choose the right ones?

Based on the timing of the tasks it is worth choosing planning tools. First, it is worth getting the habit of planning your day. Many do not know how to plan their day to be on time. I advise you to take into account the 3 main criteria:

  • plan 60% of the day, and leave 40% for unforeseen and urgent matters;
  • write down tasks, formulating “on the result”: to do, read, pass, etc .;
  •  set an approximate standard of performance for all important matters – 20 minutes, 1 hour, 4 hours. There is no need to plan short tasks.

Try it, and after a week the results will not be long in coming. Gradually, skills will begin to develop, and then habits.

Habits – the final stage in the development of effective time management

After you start planning, in a week your results will be visible to you, your colleagues, and subordinates. You will have time to complete tasks on time, and efficiency will increase every day.

This level can be achieved by constant work on yourself or precise control by the leader. The success is that day-to-day operations to develop skills are repeated and thereby fit into the subconscious. The stability of repetition is important.

Work with time easily and skillfully. Set goals correctly, skillfully set priorities, use appropriate planning tools, and thereby build habits. Good luck to you and your subordinates!