Over 1,500 executives worldwide responded to a McKinsey survey and revealed that they spend 18% of their time solving short-term problems – double of what they consider ideal. In contrast, they spend only 17% of time managing and motivating people – where they would like to invest at least 22%. After all, is time management a responsibility of employees or a company role? We believe that it’s of both parties. So here are some solutions that you can take by yourself and others that you should recommend to your bosses.
Have a daily ritual
In the book “18 minutes”, the CEO and leadership consultant Peter Bregman states that we need to have a routine to save time. If you plan your day at the first two hours of the day or overnight, it’s easier to accomplish everything on time. Don’t try to remember all your appointments, tasks and calls. After all, what’s better at work: a great memory or a good reputation for not forgetting important issues?
Prioritize your tasks
Work keeping in mind that you should fulfill all tasks scheduled for the day. So, don’t make a long list. Instead, list all your tasks and leave for today only the highest priority, i.e. those that are urgent and important. Urgent tasks may be delegated, and when you do it, set a delivery date and, whenever possible, remind the expected aim for that type of task.
Know your best time
We all have productivity and creativity peaks throughout the day. To maximize our time, it’s essential to know when they happen. The most important tasks are supposed to be worked during these peaks. Answering emails doesn’t need to be one of them, once you can do it every one or two hours. It may seem difficult to recognize your peak, but if you carefully observe your routine, you’ll easily identify when you produce more – for example, between 10am and noon or between 3pm and 5pm.
Stand up during meetings
If it’s essential to have a meeting, share a clear agenda before inviting the team and set a time to start and to end. When the meeting starts, stand up. Bob Sutton says in his book “Good boss, bad boss” that meetings where all participants sit are usually longer than which where everyone’s standing and didn’t yield better decisions. If you want to know how to lead a great meeting, check here our guide for productive meetings.
Give more autonomy
According to a survey of Betania Tanure consultant, only 18 percent of U.S. executives believe that hierarchy is important. The reason is that people need freedom at work. An example of this culture are companies like Google and 3M, where professionals have 20 percent of free time to lead projects they want. Thus, they fall in love with the companies where they work and also dedicate themselves more to fulfill their tasks.
Use an automated timesheet
The last step to establish a smart time management in your company is to automate bureaucratic and useless tasks that everyone must perform. One of them is filling timesheets. It’s a duty more in the routine of those who already have many tasks to work. In the end, timesheets are forgotten or completed with a random number of hours, what spoils the comparison between hours worked by the company and hours contracted by the client. The solution here is as simple as possible: adopt an automated timesheet that measures the time spent by task, project and client.
Imagine an online management tool where the whole workflow happens and is measured with costs, time and activities reports. This tool is Runrun.it, able to replace follow-up meetings, manual timesheets and increase the productivity of a company up to 25%. http://runrun.it