Monthly Archives: February 2015

Guiding employees toward better time management in the New Year

With a New Year upon management staffs, many of you might be considering following through with some work-related resolutions. Getting your employees to do the same is no easy task and neither is the ability to stay on target with your resolutions.

Helene Segura, a time management strategist, explained at the beginning of every New Year, the majority of Americans choose time management as one of their New Year’s resolutions. Time management is often accompanied with resolutions such as losing weight, going to the gym, eating healthier and quitting smoking.

“As a business leader, it’s important to not only help your employees achieve improved time management strategies, but to give them as many options to get there as well.”

Helping workers achieve their goals
While you might have your own personal resolutions you want to attend to, numerous workers want to improve their work lives with better time management. As a business leader, it’s important to not only help your employees achieve improved time management strategies, but to give them as many options to get there as well.

In a recent Forbes interview with Dan Ariely, an author on human irrationality and professor of psychology and behavior economics at Duke University, the behavioral expert explained people usually choose time management for a resolution because they’re not any good at it and are obsessed with planning their time better with work and other personal things.

“[The] reality is it’s no wonder we are bad at [time management] because it’s a really, really hard thing to do,” Ariely said in the interview with Forbes. “Not only is it hard to manage multiple things, but you also have dynamic changes throughout the day in which you have some hours where you are more alert and have high cognitive capacity and some hours where you are more tired.”

Management taking action on time management
This is where management has to step up and provide employees with a time management strategy to get their New Year off on the right foot. Workplaces depend on time management strategies because in the end, having employees more effective at work will decrease downtime and money wasted due to inefficiency.

According to Self Growth, time management often fails within a business when everyone is not on the same page. As a manager or leader of a group of workers, it’s imperative to make sure every single person has the same agenda and knows the goals of their team.

When employees create their own agendas and lack serious direction from a business leader, a lot of time is wasted on trying to manage time in the first place. Instead, getting professional support for time management resolutions could get all of your workers on track and moving toward a common goal.

Time management has to be addressed immediately or problems could snowball.Time management has to be addressed immediately or problems could snowball.

Fixing time management problems immediately 
Another big issue with handling time management as a business leader is letting things get out of control to the point where it may not be fixable. According to the wellness blog Everyday Faith and Fitness, sometimes people’s biggest problem is not having enough time in the day to get things done. This can work on a personal level if for example you were trying to make it to the gym twice a week, but couldn’t find the time.

“It’s your responsibility as a coach and leader of the team to get your workers feeling like they aren’t time constrained each day.”

However, on a work-related level, your employees might not be succeeding because their management strategies have turned so sour that they don’t feel like they can get a full-day’s work completed in one day. To nip this in the bud, it’s your responsibility as a coach and leader of the team to get your workers feeling like they aren’t time constrained each day.

Biting off more than you can chew 
Several workers and managers often try to fix time management problems by taking on more than they can handle. To successfully manage your time, try to realize that taking on too much as a leader could put you even further behind.

“If you were a farmer and worked from sunrise to sunset, and farming includes very basic things to do with no real questions, life would be very simple,” Ariely added in the Forbes interview. “But we live in an incredibly wonderful age with lots of things vying for our time, more than we can handle, and on top of that we aren’t limited to sunrise to sunset.”

According to Pep Worldwide, one of the best ways to address time management is to act smarter and to not work harder to achieve better time management. When work is completed more efficiently and without additional work, employees will feel less stressed about how they manage each day. Time management is not an easy task, but with the right help, downtime could turn into a thing of the past.

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Are your office meetings driving down productivity?

Meetings can be a serious time waster and lower productivity.

There are many obstacles that you have to deal with each workday, but to keep your staff on the right path, you need to make sure unnecessary interruptions are severely limited or eliminated all together.

Throughout a typical workday, some of you might think you spend the majority of your time in meetings. Unplanned interruptions that come from last-minute meetings can significantly impact your productivity and the staff beneath you. You have to control your staff’s and your own time to be a successful leader, but if you don’t take a hold of this, you cannot control unplanned interruptions.

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report, approximately $37 billion is wasted in the U.S. each year due to unnecessary meetings. One of the fastest ways to tell if you’re spending too much time in meetings is if you have ever used an auto-reply saying “I’m in meetings all day,” Entrepreneur reported.

To know if meetings are driving down your productivity, here are a few questions you should be asking:

Do they really need to be here?
One question you should ask is who really needs to be on the attendance list for specific meetings. According to Entrepreneur, keep the attendance list short to make sure other’s time isn’t wasted. Productivity can be significantly affected when workers are constantly going to meetings they don’t need to attend.

When workers begin to feel overwhelmed by the amount of meetings each day, it can slowly manifest into lowered job satisfaction, self-esteem and confidence. Drop the meeting’s roster by as much as possible, so worker momentum is not lost with unnecessary and unimportant gatherings.

Can you move meetings to the phone or Internet?
If the meeting is a simple announcement, these interruptions should be moved to email, Time Management Ninja reported. However, if the meeting is necessary but doesn’t  require some attendees to fully participate, move the meeting to the phone or Internet by chat or webcam.

This will allow workers to attend but work on other things while in the meeting. Phone meetings are a great way for some of your workers to discreetly multitask. Again, being able to work partially is much better than getting to do nothing at all because employees’ momentum is lost when they are removed from their standard daily duties.

Do people take your meetings seriously?
If half the appropriate people show up to your meeting, you’re working within an unorganized system. If you take some of these helpful steps to clearly enforce time wasting prevention and the necessity of meetings, each gathering will be deemed essential.

According to Fast Company, you have to be prepared when you schedule a meeting because sometimes you end up with 20 people in a room talking loudly while you try to hook up your laptop to the large screen. Make sure equipment is ready to go for meetings to cut unnecessary and wasteful time.

Additionally, if you work in a smaller office, the meeting rooms are likely limited. Make sure rooms are appropriately scheduled to avoid interruptions from other employees.

Is the meeting trying to do too much?
Time limits on meetings are a good way to prevent them from going on too long. However, you should focus on whether everyone is on topic. According to USA Today, when meetings try to tackle multiple issues, original points get off subject and lost in the overall importance of the meeting.

Instead, keep meetings concise and to the point. If there are any other topics that could relate to the subject, have your workers email you their concerns to prevent wasting other employees’ time.