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Time Management 101 for Managers

Aug 17, 2007
Recently, driving down the expressway I peered to my left to see a woman who in the middle of traffic was putting her lipstick on as if there just wasn't those last couple of minutes before walking out the door to do this. I thought to myself, "how often do you feel this way at work-that there just aren't enough hours in the day?" Time, and the lack of it from a management perspective is an ongoing struggle for many managers. Not only are are they managing staff to ensure their work is done, but they also have their own work that needs to be attended to. "How can it be done in the standard workday?" There are some simple, yet productive ways that we can better manage our time and achieve true success in accomplishing our daily objectives.

First, set aside dedicated,uninterrupted time. If you know that your staff starts at 8 am, be there at 7 am to allow yourself time with no interruptions where you can get to things that need your attention without being bothered. Off peak periods are the best time to do this.

Second, have your voicemail reflect your schedule changes. A good method to deal with this is to have your voicemail indicate that you won't be available until "x" time and have your receptionist hold your calls as well. This will allow you to give full attention to the task at hand.

Third, ensure that your staff are notified of your availability or lack of during that time. It is also critical that they are aware of who should be contacted at that time for matters that come up that may require a manager's attention. Many times this task can be fulfilled by a senior rep or handled once you are available. By letting staff know in advance they will have an opportunity to get any questions/concerns answered prior to that time.

Fourth, have a dedicated time set objectives for what you would like to accomplish during that time and stick to it. Often people will find other things that derail them from completing the task they originally set out to do. If you have a monthly report due but there are 5-6 other task that could use your attention, then you need to prioritize what is the most important and in what order you are going to address the items that need your attention.

Finally, time management does not have to be difficult but it does require practice. By carefully monitoring your time so that you are making productive use of it and setting aside uninterrupted time to work on your individual tasks you will find it easier to get to more things done. That short amount of time can provide amazing benefits for both yourself and your team!
About the Author
Tim Hagen, President of Sales Progress LLC, builds programs to help organizations increase sales. He has been doing this for 21 years and has helped both small and large size organizations increase their bottom line. He can be reached at http://www.SalesProgress.com or 262-240-1077.
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