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How To Manage Time

I have been a manager for a social service agency for several years. The people that I manager are under a great deal of stress due to the clients that they serve as well as the paper work that is required of them. The greatest skill that the best workers have is how to manage time wisely. This skill of time management is difficult to teach and is often met with resistance.

Leading teams and organizations today requires honing strategic and digital skills, hiring and mentoring diverse employees, and being agile and adaptive in the face of constant change.

Source: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/12-essential-leadership-insights/

Many workers feel when the subject of how to manage time is brought up, they are going to be criticized for the way they are presently doing things. So often a few changes in the order in which a task is done can save time and effort, but this often means changing a habit. I have found that how to manage time needs to be presented in a manner that will not create defensiveness. One of the tools that I have used is developing a checklist for the staff members to follow. Most people like being able to check off tasks that they have completed. By placing the tasks in the most logical order, staff may change the way in which they do things and will learn how to manage time more effectively without becoming defensive.

Another way I have helped others with time management is to model how to manage time myself. I post my schedule outside my office door daily, and try to keep on the schedule. I make a habit of including as many tasks as possible on my schedule so that I can get the most work done as possible. I have found that by scheduling the little things that only take a few minutes I get more done. If I only write down the major time commitments of a day I tend to get behind because I am not allowing for the day to day tasks that need to be performed and that do require time, even if it is a short period. I always include periods of time in the morning and afternoon that are available for staff to spend time with me asking questions or discussing issues. I have always had an open door policy with my staff, but now that I set a side specific time each day the time is used much more efficiently. I am not interrupted as often and the staff members are more prepared when they come to spend time with me because they can see the amount of time I have available. By modeling how to manage time the staff members are becoming more efficient workers. I am also a better and more effective manager.