The importance of time management
Time management is just as important as managing another resource. However, this one is not returned by anyone, so treat it with care.
The usage of the time, so the effective time management, whether in company management or in other areas, is of paramount importance. If you manage it well, you will also have energy for growth, if not, the squirrel wheel will grind you. I’ve had the good fortune to talk to many entrepreneurs, business leaders over the last few years, most of them are rushing, almost always short of time. What can they do?
Entrepreneurs also need to remember that a day consists of only 24 hours. Some of the methods below are used more effectively by those who employ more people. They had already learned on their own skin. Presumably sooner or later you will want to grow too, and from having “only” 5 people, the day is even 24 hours for you.
The topic of time management is so important that it has been included in the curricula of higher education institutions. Part of effective time management is to treat your own time well. And because you deal with people, their schedule is also important as well. Time management is thus related on to time management and its use in accordance with the company’s goals and in coordination with other resources of the company. Let’s see some useful thoughts on the topic of time and use, and look at the 14 points:
1. Is the meeting really necessary?
Sometimes less is more. Start with the premise that if you can do something at any time for which any amount of time is available, it will never end. Therefore, you should hold a meeting less often so that only the one who really needs to speak, rather than someone who was told to must to speak.
If that means you only hold a quarterly meeting than you previously did on a weekly or daily basis, do so. Then know what you want to say.
2. Schedule a meeting or any other appointment.
Of course, the ideal employee is always ready to work and freshly fulfills the boss’s will. This is when the tale ends. A poorly chosen date impairs efficiency. What do I mean at the wrong time? Monday morning, when there are still those who didn’t even realize the end of the weekend / holiday, maybe Friday afternoon, when everyone would be going home. There may obviously be a difference depending on your own business, but I think you understand. The same applies to choosing the time of day for the meeting. If it’s a meeting and you know the staff is busy in that time zone, I’m sure I don’t have to say: do it another time.
Planning here doesn’t just mean you look at when it’s good for most people. Planning and being plannable by others also involves being aware of this in a timely manner. While life can make changes, it’s a good idea to know in advance what to expect. So you can even publish a whole year plan (you don’t have to get it to your heart, it’s enough that the meeting is the first Monday of the month / 5th of each month). This makes it easier for you and them.
This description above means, by implication, the usual meeting, not when you have to work overtime, either because of a change in the law or just because of a tight project deadline. But I hope you get it that it’s not lifelike to always have to work overtime and jump because there’s always some kind of firefighting.
3. What is the purpose of the meeting?
The best way to avoid time-consuming meetings is to know where you want to go from there. This part of time management is the same as a GPS. If you know where you are now and you have a definite destination, you can no longer get from Budapest to London by touching Tokyo.
You can do this in a way that you define, and you expect that from your co-workers. Or do you ask each participant, “What is the outcome of this meeting?” Do this no matter how many people are involved in the meeting, only 1 or 100 people. If a group knows what the goal is, then everything will be more eficient. At least it’s easier than they don’t have an idea about what they’re doing there. If they don’t know, you don’t have to hold a meeting until the ultimate goal is clear.
4. How much time? 5 minutes or 15 minutes
The best way to save time is for an important person, such as a manager or a VIP suddenly calls you if you politely ask, “Is this a five-minute or a fifteen-minute call?” If it’s fifteen minutes, plan an appointment that will suit both of you later. That way, unplanned calls that devour your entire afternoon won’t sniff in. When they call you back, they will respect the fifteen minute time frame because you made it very clear that you appreciate your time.
Of course, if you requested a callback, be available to them at that time.
5. Be straightforward and to the point when you communicate
This is the other side of the previous point. When you call someone, be straight and say, “I know you’re busy. I just want to solve one thing, and I need five minutes to do it. ” They will feel honored because you have not wasted their time, you will get a good point and be on time with your day.
Just as you can ask to be called back later, so is it for them. Be prepared for this occasion so that you can say a date that is good for you too.
6. Let me return to you
It’s perfectly okay to stop for a moment and think about a request or a problem. It’s better to take time for a conversation after thinking about a situation than to spend half an hour on a call until you figure out what’s going on there. You will be more direct in communication and save time. But you really have to get back to them.
7. Prioritize participation
In some cases, you are not the organizer of the meeting, but you are responsible for a topic. A quick way to save time is to ask the meeting organizer “Do I need to attend the meeting?” With this, the organizer thinks about the purpose and outcome of the meeting. They may realize they do not need you it right now, but you’ll be notified of the outcome afterwards. Prioritizing attendance helps you avoid wasting hours in a meeting session.
The same can be true for your co-workers. Just because you have a meeting, don’t call together everybody. For someone whose topic is irrelevant to their job and who isn’t interested in it anyway, or is really unnecessary (e.g., a basic training that they do as a daily routine), honor them by offering them the opportunity to be absent. After all, time management is not just about managing your time.
Note that this is not the same topic as when you share rewards. If you want to highlight someone for good performance, take your time to do, and have the team there. You wouldn’t feel good either if you only got one sms, or your boss mentioned a coffee in the kitchenette that the traffic doubled thanks to you.
8. Ask the expert
I mean, delegate. Many business leaders are weaker in terms of (also) time management because they want to keep everything in one hand. It’s a good thing to understand everything, but there are many situations where it’s more effective to ask someone. That particular specialist may answering for money, but you are likely to get a more accurate answer than you would have given yourself in the same amount of time, and you may be able to recoup the price of that answer.
When your team is faced with an issue that no one knows the solution to, don’t spend hours brainstorming. This is when you need to ask the question “Who do we know who knows the answer?” Reaching out to an expert saves you time and energy compared to trying to solve something that isn’t your task.
You can do this even better if the expert charges a fee, after all, you are not tie down your own capacity to resolve the issue.
9. Who deals with it already?
Building a scenario and assigning responsibility to a project / project manager builds accountability and trust. If there is someone who undertakes to lead the project, then there is someone you can rely on to make the project happen. By doing this, you are telling the rest of the team that the leader will be in charge so they can do more of each other’s free time and you can handle more projects.
Volunteering is a good thing, but if you want effective time management, make sure it is led by a competent person. I’ve seen an example of someone wanting to be a leader just because of the ego, which unfortunately he couldn’t support with professionalism.
10. “Have we finished processing the question?”
When, in a strategy session, your team is dealing with a particular issue and you feel like you’ve pretty much got the problem out, but people keep talking about it again. The best way to end the conversation and move on is to ask, “Have we solved this issue, can we move on?” Everyone stops and thinks about either yes or no. If so, the question is over and we can move on. If not, you can solve it using the methods above. Maybe you need an expert or you need someone to take the lead on the issue.
This issue should by no means be a rough muting, it is just a matter of not continuing the discussion in the kitchenette. Roughly like at weddings: if anyone has an objection, now speak or listen.
11. Write down everything
Whatever you say, write it down. No one has a flawless brain. If it was said at a meeting, send a circular email about it after the meeting. If you’re in a business conversation, write it down, just for yourself. Within 1 month at the latest, you will see that you will have no idea about things unless you have taken notes. Think about it, if you have no idea about the issues that are important to you, what might be in the minds of others.
For a larger company, information transfer is also more efficient if there is a trace of it in writing. The elephant from flea game from school must sound familiar, and it would be the same at your company. By the time the verbal information reaches the end of the line, it will have a completely different content, even if the information have stepped only 2 levels.
Don’t expect efficiency if participants are just yawning from the lack of air like a fish. Creating optimal conditions is paramount. Maybe you’ve experienced it before, but what you do pretty much in an afternoon in a place where there’s no fresh air will finish it almost instantly at other times.
13. Communication technology supporting time management
Your business needs systems and technologies that supply your team in every department and the database is constantly updated. Whether it’s CRM or other software, everyone uses up-to-date communication technology to save time. Creating communication groups for each department within this technology allows teams to work together more effectively.
14. Incorporate employee education into the system
If you’re still in charge of a relatively tiny company, you may not take much time to train a potentially fluctuating employee. However, as you embark on a growth trajectory, you need to think about how it will work when you no longer just have to teach 1 staff member a year. How do you deal with a question in a time-efficient way when the given question has been said in the training, but the knowledge is lost.
A new entry colleague cannot be trained only by videos, but you can’t afford to spend your entire day repeating the same message to fifty people. You need to find the balance where you meet them to acclimatize, but you save time on the details by directing them to an educational platform. This platform can be multiple videos or interactive quizzes in which they can participate. This way, you don’t answer the same questions, but they do feel welcomed and informed. You will get hundreds if not thousands of hours back this way.
- Which ones can you apply in the field of time management in your own company?
- Which one has already been done?
- What do you see (even in your own company) as the biggest barrier to the realization of each element? Why?
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