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Did You Know That 80% of People Don’t Feel That Their Workload is Under Control? (Development Academy)

Further to the above research, more than 82% of people don’t use an effective time-management system.

Nobody can buy time. Time is a precious resource and choosing how we allocate it inevitably makes a difference to essentially every aspect of our lives. Thus, it applies to our careers as well, and it is an important business skill to acquire. That’s why we have listed time management as an important skill in our Skills and Characteristics of a Good Manager blogpost. However, no matter which sector you work in, and no matter your role or the roles of your staff, it is important to manage your time effectively. Whether you work in a busy office, or are studying to be a key worker in the healthcare sector, time management is important for employees, leaders, managers and students alike. In this article, we will go into detail about tips and strategies to improve employees’ time management skills.

How can managers further develop their time management skills? Professional training is intrinsic to the skill development of your management teams and will assist them in performing in their roles effectively. At Basegreen Academy, we offer the Level 3 Diploma in Management, as well as the Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership, which will provide your staff with the adequate skills and knowledge in leading teams, adapting to change, strategic planning and time management. We further also offer short E-Learning Courses, which are broken down into shorter, specific topics, including Time Management, and will fill the skill gaps of your employees effectively. View them here.

What are the Consequences and Impacts of Ineffective and Effective Time Management?

Disadvantages of ineffective, poor time management:

  1. Things get forgotten and left out; an overwhelmed member of staff is likely to be so focused on their most important tasks, that they may leave out other tasks they’ve been allocated.
  2. Distracted and confused team members; without a clear direction, your employees may be unclear about their priorities and may not have a good understanding of what needs to be completed.
  3. Procrastination, stress and overworking; you may need to catch up on work with extra hours. Every person needs a rest, and excessive workload or working hours may tire you out. Additionally, having too much to do and not allocating time properly may result in completing the workload slower.
  4. Over all, worse atmosphere, and less focus and productivity.

Benefits of effective, good time management:

  1. You will deliver your work on time; if you have managed your time well, you will have worked to your schedule.
  2. You will do more; effective time management allows you to focus on your most important and relevant tasks, while not being distracted or worn down by less important and unproductive task. Working to a timeline means working smarter. In turn, your efforts will prove to be more productive and effective.
  3. Reduce burn-out, work-related stress and procrastination; look after your employees and yourself. Allocating your time adequately will take pressure of your day-to-day tasks. It will also avoid ‘choice paralysis’ and help you and the members of your team stay focused on what they need to do, rather then feeling so overwhelmed with their numerous task that they no longer feel motivated to complete tasks in your workplace.
  4. Reach your goals more easily; over-all, learning time-management skills and techniques is a good idea, and it will improve the quality of your day-to-day work tasks.

Time Management Tips & Strategies

1. Strategic planning, SWOT analysis and SMARTER goals

Planning doesn’t have to mean exactly ‘predicting’ how things will go. Everything we do is unpredictable, and we have to account for the unexpected. However, we can always map out the tasks we need to complete, and allocate them to a specific time and place, which gives us and our collegues/members of staff clarity and guidance on the next steps they need to take. It is helpful to identify our tasks, determine their importance and allocate them accordingly. Our plans should be designed to be flexible, so that if something should get in our way, we can work around the problem with a solution. Would you like to know more about adapting to change? Read our Tips and Strategies for Dealing with Change in the Workplace article. A great way to set an achievable plan is to create a SWOT analysis, where we map our the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of what we are trying to achieve. We can then use the SMARTER goals model, to help us create a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely solution, which we then Evaluate and Re-Evaluate. Our article ‘Tips for Providing Constructive Feedback: Make Use of SMARTER Goals’ provides specific examples of how we can use these planning tools.

2. Prioritising important tasks and decision making

This is applicable while planning, but also while executing day-to-day activities. While making decisions, it’s important to consider all the important aspects of it as well as the impacts, but to also make them in the time you have available. Be aware of your boundaries and deadlines and stick to them. Sometimes it’s better to just make a decision rather than stay on the fence for too long. Prioritising our tasks includes assessing their importance, and deciding when and how they should be completed from there. An important aspect to decision making is saying ‘no’ sometimes – see below.

3. Setting boundaries and saying ‘no’ when you need to

There is a time and place to say ‘no.’ Learning to be comfortable with saying ‘no’ helps us establish productive boundaries and prioritise our tasks effectively. Ultimately, we have to weigh our options, and see if what we say yes to will be valuable to our project and if it utilises our time and resources well. It helps us stay focused and on track.

4. Delegating task and team management

The average employee is productive for only just under 3 hours per day (Vouchercloud). The power of full engagement can make impact to the efficiency of your organisation. Delegating and managing tasks correctly will help provide your emplyees with direction and a sense of urgency, while not overwhelming them. Delegating tasks includes allocating the right team members to perform the tasks, and also providing them with the correct training that they may need. At Basegreen Academy, located in South Yorkshire, England, we offer accredited online and in-person in Professional Services, Health & Social Care, the Ambulance Sector, Education & Training and First Aid. We also offer short E-Learning Courses to boost the skills of your staff in specific areas and fill their skill gaps.

When you allocate the task, you should provide the members of your staff with a brief, and specific information relating to the task, and keep your communication open. Click here to learn more about effective communication. When their work is finished, provide them with constructive feedback (learn more).
Managing your team effectively will utilise the skills and talents of your workforce and ensure a smooth-running process of your project. Read more about the Skills and Characteristics of Good Management.

5. Sticking to your plan – but remaining flexible and reprioritising

Now that you have your plan in place, ensure that you are following up with it and not loosening up the boundaries you have set in place. However, if you recognise that there are more important priorities other than the ones you have already identified in your plan, adapt your plan to your situation – and ensure you make all your team members well aware of the change. Read our Tips and Strategies for Dealing with Change in the Workplace article.

6. Use time management tools and develop your time management skills.

See ‘Time Management Tools and Skills’ further down below.

The 4 Ds of Time Management:

Now that we’ve taken these tips into account, we will discuss an effective time management technique called ‘the 4 Ds of Time Management.’

Do:

Build momentum for your larger projects by completing your smaller tasks first. Your smaller tasks can easily become overwhelming because, as easy as they may be to complete, if you leave them for too long, you may quickly end up with a long lists of tasks to do. This is why tasks such as answering emails, making calls and printing and filing documents may be the first tasks on your schedule.

Delay/Defer:

Reschedule tasks that are not urgent. These may be projects that are quite recent and don’t need immediate attention. These are items to put on your to-do list rather than attending them immediately. This also gives you time to decide whether or not to go through with the task.

Delegate:

As mentioned above (4. Delegating task and team management), allocate tasks to the correct individuals, so that your team can handle the workload effectively. Break your project down into steps and explain in detail what the expected outcome should be. The more specific you are, the more accurate can the individual receiving your instructions be in fulfilling your demands.

Drop/Delete:

This goes back to saying ‘no’ and setting boundaries. Remove unnecessary and unproductive tasks from your schedule, and focus on what will make a difference to the vision of your organisation. Go through your emails and ask yourself; ‘Will this contribute to getting the results our team wants?’ Be assertive and consider it carefully before you invest your time, resources and efforts to this task.

Time Management Tools and Skills:

See the tips and tools which will assist you in managing your tasks effectively in accordance with your time below.

1. Provide training to develop your employees’ skills and knowledge

Develop your workforce and make sure that they are adequately skilled and knowledgeable for their tasks and responsibilities. According to The Learning Wave, as many as 74% of employees believe they’re not reaching their full potential due to a lack of training. At Basegreen Academy, we take a flexible approach to the training and development needs of your organisation. We offer a complimentary Organisational Needs Analysis, which you can request here. By listening to the specific requirements, challenges and demands of your business, we can provide you with a unique learning solution designed to fill skill gaps in your organisation. We offer courses in Professional Services, Health & Social Care, the Ambulance Sector, Education & Training and First Aid, as well as a number of short e-learning courses which can be completed if the members of your staff need to become trained in one specific area over a shorter period of time. Though we are Based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, we are flexible in the mode of delivery of our courses, and offer many of our courses online via distance learning. Enquire with us today.

2. Use a smart calendar

You may be using a printable or old-school calendar, which does what you need it to. To stay even more organised, why not try a smart calendar with extra features and options, which will help you stay organised and manage your time? Apps like Outlook Calendar, Calendar, Any.do Calendar and Google Calendar can be use to integrate with your contacts, activities and to-do lists, and are shareable on the cloud to use together with your employees. If your organisation operates in shifts, try an employee management software like Parim, which can also act as an organisational calendar for some businesses.

3. Use time-management apps as needed

Depending on the needs, requirements and challenges of your organisation, you can take advantage of smart apps that will for example help you with your to-do lists (Clear), work hours (Parim or Clockify), task management (Google Tasks or Remember the Milk), project time trackng (ClickUp) and other tasks at work. Utilise these well and encourage their use among your employees. Learning to work with smart apps may be beneficial for members of your organisation long-term.

We hope you’ve found this article about time management helpful, and that you will utilise our tips in accordance with the needs of your organisation.
Should you require further training, Basegreen Academy offers courses in management, which covers planning skills in detail – see for example our Level 3 Diploma in Management or our Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership. We also offer management courses specifically for the Health & Social Care sector. Should you require developing a specific area of your employees’ skills and knowledge, see our E-Learning Courses Suite, which covers topics like Time Management and others.

Please contact us in case of any queries.

hello@basegreenacademy.co.uk

0114 212 5910