Being a manager is time consuming. If you accept that fact, you won’t resent the extra hours you spend at the office. Chances are you’ve found yourself stuck at work in the evening completing a project that you could have finished easily within normal work hours in the days before you became a boss.
Even though you have more on your plate as a manager, you can slice some of those extra hours in half by adopting time-saving strategies. Here are a few ideas to tailor time management approaches to your work style:
Are you a morning person or night owl?
Time management experts say that early risers get more done. That’s probably because before anyone arrives at the office, they’ve already checked email and gotten a head start on a project. But if you can’t function before 10 a.m., you can still develop some effective ways of using your time more wisely. Example: Create a to-do list every evening before you leave the office. That way, you’ll have an agenda for the next morning. You won’t be swayed by distractions as your staff arrives. No matter what portion of the day you function best, create a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
Do you respond better to visual cues or verbal information?
Lists and spreadsheets help visual people stay organized. If you absorb information more effectively when you hear it, carry a mini tape recorder with digital capabilities. Keep separate recording files for your to-do list, meeting agendas and other important information. You can sort the recordings on your desktop computer and transcribe them into reports and agendas.
Do you prefer electronic communication or in-person conversations?
If you tend to only use email to deliver instructions to staff members, consider holding a meeting periodically to deliver all that information. You’ll avoid writing numerous emails answering the same questions for each person on your team. If you tend to visit an employee’s workspace rather than sending email or text messages, you’re reaping the benefits of one-on-one communication. However, that opens you up to extraneous conversations that can consume a lot of your time. Develop ways to excuse yourself from discussions that veer off the topic, without insulting the other person.
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Being a boss can be overwhelming and exhilarating at the same time. If you accept the added burden of being a manager, you’ll enjoy your work more and find creative ways to manage multiple priorities.
What time management tips do you have for other new supervisors?