It’s easy to see why employees struggle with time management. With so many things to do on every workday, it can be difficult to get everything done, especially if you don’t have clear guidelines, systems or processes in place. But for businesses as a whole, poor collective time management can speak to more significant issues, such as consistently extended deadlines, dissatisfied clients, and more over time, eventually leading to less money coming in and more money going out.
Generally speaking, businesses that are proactive and willing to update their methods for ensuring productivity, will ultimately succeed in uniting the workforce towards achieving a common goal, and thus, delivering the best possible product or service in your industry niche. But how do you reach this level of success both as a manager and part of a wider team?
With project management software and digital progress tracking being such an integral part of many modern industries, business managers of today have a lot to gain by utilising these tools in their own organisations. An employee time clock app doesn’t just show you how your staff are working, but what they’re doing with their time. This data will be useful as you update organisational processes, improve workflow, and even build on your workplace culture.
Let’s look at our top six solutions to tackle time management so both you and your employees can get more done in the work day.
Assess, Plan, Set
When you first roll out your time management app in the workplace, the best thing is to set a trial period. This test window will help you assess the app’s effectiveness and provide enough data to develop a measurable plan. Ensure that your employees are on a path with clearly defined expectations in their roles to see if a change in communication impacts efficiency before implementing further initiatives.
If you’re doing a time audit of your own accord, check in with management and your colleagues once you have a few weeks of data. Be sure to also share your findings, take feedback, and allow the other members of your managerial team to share their experiences and time management tips with you as well.
Being able to assign priority to tasks is crucial to managing busy days. The issue is that many workplaces find themselves falling into the trap of setting multiple ‘top priority’ tasks to employees. This can occur due to poor communication from managers, alongside other oversights.
You can reduce the risk of ‘everything becoming a priority’, by evaluating what’s important amongst management staff, and communicating clearly in task or project briefs for high-priority tasks. Organising 1-1’s with staff can also be beneficial, as well as outlining priority briefs and information in company emails.
It may also help (if you work in a team) to ask them to work backwards. This basically means allowing your team members the freedom to pick out smaller tasks that are easy because they’re low stress and risk, before tackling larger jobs that despite being high-priority, will naturally take more time.
Your calendar isn’t just for keeping track of events and meetings. You can schedule anything and everything with a handy digital calendar. That’s precisely why many workplaces utilise shared calendars that will allow team members to stay in the loop with regards to the comings and goings of their fellow coworkers.
Calendars can also be used personally to help employees keep track of their own to-do lists and daily responsibilities. This means that if time management is your main issue in the workplace, you can allocate hours in your workday for specific tasks. Doing so will definitely allow your workday to feel substantially more structured, cutting down on empty time, and minimising distractions and the urge to multi-task, which can often lead to lower productivity despite the fact that it may feel like the opposite.
Simply put, scheduling can reduce stress alongside bolstering teamwork, especially when employees feel encouraged to share their schedules with one another.
Some people are better at certain tasks, and some just plain prefer them, allowing them to deliver high quality work on a virtually routine basis. Once an effective work routine has been put in place, however, it’s a great time to optimise in order to improve that employee’s output even further. This is where delegating to your employees comes into play.
Although some managers may shy away from delegation as a leadership method, this skill set is not at all a weakness, but moreso a highly undervalued strength. How so? Good delegation hinges on your ability to communicate needs and expectations to your fellow team members. In other words, a manager that can delegate effectively is simultaneously demonstrating both their proficiency with professional communications, teamwork capabilities, and also the strength of their relationships with the team members they manage. Knowing the strengths (and perhaps even weaknesses) of your employees is one sign of a superb manager.
In truth, delegation plays a vital role in a wide range of modern industries and workplaces. Without delegation, you’re simply not going to free yourself from tasks that roadblock you or eat into time you could otherwise be spending on personal development or business growth strategising.
This next step requires the input of additional management staff and hopefully, they will be willing to look at improving on the methods and processes that directly affect your role. Taking the initiative to seek out opportunities for streamlining organisational processes can be a fantastic way of demonstrating your commitment as an employee.
The first thing you’ll want to do when you’ve successfully identified a point that’s ripe for streamlining, is figure out just who can stand to benefit from implementing this change. If you know of other roles and procedures that can positively benefit from this proposal, don’t hesitate to bring them up during a team meeting 1-1 or even in an email, especially if your superiors are more accessible through digital communications.
Your time management app can also help direct these points, as you may be able to gather, download, and share relevant productivity or performance stats to prove inefficiency or difficulty within certain aspects of your work, or perhaps to even support your proposal for streamlining. Some management will be more receptive to facts and figures over feelings, so it’s well worth backing up your point with evidence wherever you can.
Once you have implemented the other solutions in this list, your working life should have improved somewhat. But it’s worth taking a moment to remind you that in a working world that expects dedication, commitment, and productivity from all, overextending yourself or overpromising simply is not a sustainable work model. Don’t overextend yourself to the point where you can’t sustain such a high workload, as it just doesn’t serve you nor your organisation to do so.
This is worth keeping in mind as your professional role evolves, or if you find yourself stepping into a more supervisory or managerial role over time. You can do better when you nail down what’s important to you and play to your strengths, but simply copping a growing workload on the chin and trying to cram as much into your workday as possible will not make you an effective worker, nor will it make you an effective manager as well.
Ensure You Manage Your Time More Efficiently Moving Forward
In truth, time is one of the most precious resources any of us have. With that in mind, it’s up to us to ensure that we use the time we have wisely, especially when it comes to our professional lives.
Following the tips above, you can quickly take control of the time you have available within your work week and use that time more effectively moving forward so that you get the very most from your efforts in the workplace.