Everyone need something from you at the same time? Don’t have enough hours in the day to get ½ of your “To Do” list done, let alone that big employee handbook project that you wanted to tackle? Does your family need you to be at a soccer game and letting the roof repair man in at the same time? Well, you are not alone. Being pulled in too many directions between work and home is a battle that seems to come with modern life these days.
Here are eight tips for owner/manager time-management:
1. Give yourself a schedule. Learn to “map out” your time each day, and leave time slots where you can work uninterrupted from staff questions, emails, phone calls, and get some of those big leadership projects done. Also allow time in your schedule for daily client services, that you can plan for the unexpected. You may find that by giving yourself a time and a place to put each of your typical tasks, you can stay more focused and organized.
2. According to Julie Morgenstern, time-management expert and author of “Never Check E-mail in the Morning,” one tip is to not check e-mail first thing in the morning and, instead, use those early and fresh hours to tackle their most important projects.
3. More time can be created by “controlling the nibblers.” This simply means to discourage colleagues from dropping in your office to chat by closing the door or forwarding calls to voicemail.
4. Get into “legato” mode which means “slow down and focus,” as said by Erin Brennan, vice president of Hunter Public Relations in New York, who has adopted some of Morgenstern’s tips. Set aside time blocks to do the thoughtful, complicated projects that companies want.
5. Before going home each day, write down the six most important things you need to do for the next day. Take into consideration how long each task will take, and what priority it is. If you have 50 things to choose from put things that have the strongest deadlines, and/ or are directly related to billable work at the top.
6. Keep a time log of your activities for a week. Then go over the log and take out what can be eliminated or streamlined. You can use this log to create your schedule in item #1.
7. Delegate tasks to others, especially if they can do them better or faster. You can also create shortcuts, such as templates for client reports, to diminish the time needed for repetitive tasks.
8. Make a hard and fast rule about time off, where work and home are separated. Not just one more phone call, or one more email… your personal time is very needed to give your body rest and the ability to keep your mind limber for your next creative endeavor.
By applying these helpful tips, you’ll feel more productive and in control over your life. Soon, these new skills will be automatic tools and you’ll be grateful for your efforts.