How To Level Up Your Time Management Skills In 2022
How To Level Up Your Time Management Skills In 2022
By John Rampton, the founder of Palo Alto, California-based Calendar, a company helping your calendar be much more productive.
Time management skills are critical to success in most positions, but the stakes are higher for business leaders. They can’t effectively direct and mentor their teams if they fail to manage their own responsibilities well. Delegation becomes haphazard or goes out the window, leaving the team to wonder who is really in charge.
But it’s also true that managers sometimes wonder the same thing. You can walk into your office in the morning with an outline of your priorities for the day. Within 30 minutes, all those priorities are no longer on your to-do list. A key employee is out sick or there’s an emergency with a client. Your boss also scheduled an impromptu meeting, and some of your direct reports need your immediate attention.
Thankfully not every day is this hectic for leaders, but scenarios like these are far from uncommon. Implementing time management techniques can help you catch your breath and make challenging days seem less impossible to deal with. Below are some ways to level up your time management skills in 2022.
Use Time-Tracking Tools
As a manager, it may feel like you’re spending too much time on some tasks and not enough on others. Time-tracking tools are a practical way to discover which responsibilities demand more effort. There are plenty of these tools all around you. Some may be built into applications you’re already using. For example, project management software usually has time trackers for separate tasks and overall projects.
You can also use a time-tracking app like Toggl or Harvest or a digital stopwatch on your smartphone. Start by tracking the time you spend on each task. However, don’t change how or when you tackle those items. Try documenting or using automated time-tracking software for at least a week to get an accurate snapshot of what you do. When the week is done, look over what you’ve recorded.
You might confirm some things you already suspected, but you’ll probably run into a few surprises, too. Spending an hour every day coaching the same employee through their tasks could reveal that more individual training — or reassignment — is necessary. But what if that direct report isn’t a vet, and this is a pattern among new hires? It may signal there’s a need for a dedicated team trainer or mentor who can lighten your workload.
Because leaders often have to juggle multiple responsibilities at a fast pace, it’s easy to become distracted or sidetracked. Being late to important meetings, events and appointments — or worse, missing them altogether — isn’t just an embarrassment. It can impact how others perceive you and hold your team back, especially if you’ve left them hanging. No one wants to sit on a video call or in a conference room for 15 minutes waiting for the presenter to appear.
It’s not only meetings and appointments you might forget. Leaders can become so focused on what they’re doing that they forget to take care of themselves. How many times have you skipped lunch because someone needed your input? Neglecting or pushing aside simple things like taking a walk, stretching or getting a drink of water can add to your stress levels.
When your stress levels get too high, your capacity for putting out fires and handling basic tasks like sending an email diminishes. You might find yourself getting irritated at small things or using a harsh tone when you usually wouldn’t. This isn’t good for you or your team. By setting reminders for work-related and self-care items, you’ll stay in control and on task.
Schedule More Intentionally
“Perceiving” personality types on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (aka “Ps”) may find scheduling everything difficult because they prefer to be spontaneous. However, scheduling everything in your day helps you set boundaries and be more productive. Even if you’re not a reminder or time-tracking person, you can be a schedule person.
That means blocking out time for various responsibilities, whether that’s prepping monthly reports or eating lunch. You might also want to schedule periods where your colleagues know not to disturb you. Use this time to strategize, prepare for your next client meeting or simply catch up on paperwork.
Make this time yours, whether you block out an hour in the morning or at the end of the day. Uninterrupted time gives you the space to think, organize your ideas and take a break from others’ demands.
When you schedule everything, you’re also more prepared to plan around those demands. You’ll have a better idea of when you can meet with peers, clients and your team. With your day blocked out, it won’t be as easy to forget what needs doing or drop the ball on crucial tasks.
Master Your Time
Time management might seem like a wishful afterthought when so many things get thrown your way. But mastering these skills can help you become a more organized, responsive and thoughtful leader.
via Forbes – Entrepreneurs “https://ift.tt/2YlOx3y”
January 28, 2022 at 05:04AM