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Image by: Ryan Hyde
By Josie Alexander
These time management techniques will work just as well for you as it does for your team. However, they are meant to help keep your employees productive and motivated. That is the true goal for time management, isn’t it? Productivity, motivation, and success. In order to help your employees successful, you will have to make sure that they are using their time wisely and that they are staying motivated and focused.
#1) Encourage Your Employees To Make A To Do List
Encourage your team to make up daily (or even just weekly) to-do lists. These don’t have to be in-depth. Some to-do lists are strictly made so that they can see how much time they have available every day. Others are meticulous. Have them try out both to see which are more effective for them.
You can also help them by being an example. Post your to-do list on a dry erase board in your office or outside your office door so that your employees can see how effective it is. This will probably also kill the “my boss doesn’t do anything” stigma that floats around big offices.
#2) Set Due Dates
Having deadlines is a way to keep everyone on target and performing well. There are plenty of team members that work well under the pressure of a deadline. Some do their best work under that kind of pressure. It helps others keep their mind in the game and stay focused.
#3) Praise Your Employees For Their Organization Skills
Having organized work spaces will lead to more productive employees. Give praise to those who keep their workspaces clean and organized. Help them by giving them tools that keep their spaces ordered and controlled: baskets, bins, drawer organizers, etc.
#4) Have “In” Boxes
It’s really annoying to come back from a meeting or to get to work one morning and find your desk littered with papers from people: reports, notes, memos, etc. Having an “in” basket or bin will help them see what work needs to get done and keep their desks and spaces clutter-free.
#5) Give Your Employees Extra Time
If you know that your team can get a project done by October 21, then give them until October 23. It’s true that some people work better under a strict deadline (so you can change this for them) but others work better (are more creative and productive) when they are not feeling rushed.
Also, give praise to those who turn in quality work early. That way, even with the extra couple days, they will still get things done on time. When it comes to project deadlines you have to make sure that you allocate time for the quality of work that you want, especially for something that involves creativity and ingenuity.
Sometimes meetings are important: safety briefings, new projects, performance evaluations, etc. However, weekly meetings about “nothing” (i.e. the “just checking in” meetings) don’t often do much except waste time — time that they could spend working on projects or coming up with new ideas.
If you really want to check-in with your team, talk with them one on one. Not only are they more likely to open up so you and your human resources department can handle those problems that lurk in the shadows, but they can continue to work if everything is going swimmingly.
#7) Encourage Them To Stay Busy At Work
While this may sound counterproductive when it comes to time management, it is really what they are busy doing that reflects their (and your) time management techniques.
#8) Encourage Them To Plan Their Day Ahead of Time
Often, employees are bombarded with work as soon as they arrive to their desk: e-mails are waiting for them, their “in” basket is full, their coworkers and bosses are asking them about their progress on their projects, etc.
Instead of being overwhelmed as soon as they get to work, allot time for them to schedule out their work day as soon as they get there or before they leave the office at the end of their work day. They only need about 15-20 minutes. If you encourage them to do this at the beginning of their work day, they will be able to ease into their work and their productivity will skyrocket.
In my opinion, the most effective time management techniques are “scheduling your day ahead of time” and showing your employees how to manage their time well by example. Just like a parent or a different role model, you have to be someone that they look up to. This will encourage them to work hard and please you. If they see how effectively you use your time, they will follow suit.