Here are a few thoughts on different strategies from GMD people around Time Management tools and how they can help you improve your own time effectiveness.

Effective Time Management Tools.

  • Setting SMART goals – make sure the goals you set for yourself are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • Effective planning – make sure you have clear objectives, as well as defined tasks and resources to make a clear plan that will lead you to your goals.
  • Stress management – make sure you manage your stress with stress-relieving strategies and tactics, in order to feel more relaxed while doing your work.
  • Proper task delegation – delegating tasks helps you ease the workload and share it with competent colleagues and employees.
  • Avoiding distractions – distractions take away from the time you should be working (or even relaxing), so you should learn how to avoid them.
  • Single-tasking – focusing on one task at a time helps you deliver quality end results much better than when you multitask.
  • Saying “No” – this little two-letter word will help you save more time for your own priorities.
  • Setting priorities – Investing time into the right tasks will ask for less effort but bring better results. This is also known as the 20/80 rule.
  • Beating procrastination – Identify the causes of why you are procrastinating and tackle them.

In order to improve your time management efforts, you’ll need to practice these skills. Below are a few suggestions on different tools you could use to assist with becoming more effective with your time.

The Eisenhower Matrix

OVERVIEW

A time management technique in which tasks are prioritised is known as the Eisenhower Matrix – this technique is based on labelling each task as: important / not important, and urgent / not urgent.

You assess the tasks according to their importance and urgency and tackle them in relation to this.

The Eisenhower Matrix is named after the American president Eisenhower, who was known for productivity during his time in Office.

Time management skills it improves: effective planning, setting priorities, single-tasking, saying “No”, avoiding distractions, SMART goals, proper task delegation

Issues it solves: ineffective scheduling, missed deadlines, multitasking

HOW IT WORKS

List all your tasks, and divide them into 4 quadrants:

  • The 1st quadrant – Tasks that are important and urgent. You should do them immediately.
  • The 2nd quadrant – Tasks that are important, but are not urgent. You should make a plan when you’ll tackle them.
  • The 3rd quadrant – Tasks that are not important, but are urgent. You should delegate these tasks to your colleagues.
  • The 4th quadrant – Tasks that are not important and not urgent. You should eliminate them altogether from your schedule.

Advantages:

  • A straightforward principle to prioritizing tasks
  • Allows you to consider what tasks you can delegate or eliminate

Disadvantages:

  • May be difficult to determine the importance and urgency level of tasks
  • Present bias may stop you from implementing this technique in full – you will feel an urge to focus on urgent tasks, which are not necessarily important

To-Do List – Delegation

OVERVIEW

Instead of listing what you need to do, you list the tasks you need to delegate within a certain time period.

Time management skills it improves: effective planning, stress management

Issues it solves: ineffective scheduling and frees up your time.

HOW IT WORKS

  • At the end of each day, take 10-15 minutes to note down everything you want to delegate tomorrow, and to who.
  • Next to each item include what the important elements are, you need to communicate and teach.
  • Also, for each item, note when it needs to be completed, and when you will review the progress.

Advantages:

It gives you the perspective on the amount of work you do not need to do, and the amount of work you are training the team to develop into. It is motivating to see how much you’ve empowering your team to develop. An easy way to track your progress

Disadvantages:

If you do not monitor the progress in a timely manner you might run over the deadlines.

Must-Do – Should-Do – Like to Do.

OVERVIEW

Now that you have your To-Do list, it is important to prioritise the tasks to maximise the effectiveness of your time, here we have my thoughts on what to focus on first.

Time management skills it improves: effective planning, setting priorities, single-tasking, saying “No”, avoiding distractions.

Issues it solves: ineffective scheduling, missed deadlines.

HOW IT WORKS

Must Do’s

Normally directed by our Boss or organisational expectations, we rarely miss a deadline on these tasks, as they are at the forefront of our mind, and regularly executed, they may also have consequences attached to missing the deadline.

Should Do’s

All the tasks we know what should be done to address and improve the performance of the individual or department, we naturally shy away from these as they can be difficult, challenging or at times might be confrontational. Deep down we know they are important and should be addressed, at times we hind behind how busy we are, yet we are busy doing all the like to do’s. Start each day with the Should Do’s.

Like to Do’s

Elements of our job we are good at and have always done, sometimes we hind behind the fact we do not have time to train someone else to do these activities, yet we have the time to complete the daily, weekly. At times these tasks do not form part of our job role, yet we find the time to complete them, because we enjoy doing them. Stop these tasks unless they are also the should do’s.

Leaders are people who do the right thing; Managers are people who do things right.

Warren Bennis

If you would like any support with developing your time effectiveness and assist your team to perform at a higher level, please contact me at GMD People.

Paul Canning

Paul.canning@gmdpeople.com

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