As a manager you’ll have many challenges to face. The most important of these challenges is going to be in developing a series of time management techniques that enable you to keep track of all of your projects and responsibilities without letting anything slip through the cracks.
I have found over the years that there are a few tools that have had a significant impact on my time management skills. Hopefully you can gain some benefit from these tools and tricks as well.
Calendars. If you don’t have a calendar, you need to get one. You can purchase a planner at your local office supply store or even search the internet for a free calendar program. Use the calendar to schedule meetings, reviews, and important deadlines. It’s imperative that you are able to take little more than a glance at your calendar to see what events you have coming up.
Keep track of your contacts. As a manager you’ll likely need to get in touch with your employees, clients, members of upper management, and the various vendors you deal with as you accomplish your day to day tasks. While a rolodex is useful, it’s slightly outdated. Utilize the contacts section of your email database or simply invest in a contact management program that will allow you to store information and make valuable notes about everyone you deal with on a daily basis.
To-do lists are essential to time management. Each evening make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish the following day and make sure those things stay at the forefront. You can do this by scribbling your list on a napkin or post-it note – or by investing in a virtual program that allows you to manage your list on the computer.
Find a way to manage your projects. Every project you are working on has its own set of deadlines and goals. Set up separate files for each project you have and make a to-do list for each one. You can do this on paper, in your favorite office program, or by utilizing a formal project management software program that allows you to store files and lists for each project.
Having a firm grasp on your overall schedule, daily tasks, contacts, and projects will allow you to form an effective personal time management system. Do you have any favorite time management tools you already implement?
Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.