As a Senior Manager how you spend your time is ever more important as often your team will be relying on you to give them direction and be on hand to ask questions and provide feedback. Being at the mercy of your team can be challenging as you also have work too, so here are some simple tips to help you:
Remember the simple approach – a list
Having a “to-do” list is vital for time management regardless of your seniority, or method of recording it. Whether using paper and pen, Outlook or an App, the outcome is the same: a clear, focused work plan based on priorities and time available.
- Ensure you finish each working day with a review and update of your to-do list and goals for the next day. This will allow you to be focused and hit the ground running the next morning.
- Ensure that list has time allocated next to each task: having a to-do list which comprises of 20 hours work in a 2-hour diary allowance is going to leave you feeling overwhelmed, underachieving and stressed. Give yourself a head start and time your tasks, and allocating your list accordingly. A successful to-do list for a senior manager is likely to only have three to five tasks on it.
- Prioritise the tasks, using colour coding.
Manage your Diary
Have blocks of time allocated to be at your desk which you protect with all of your might! If you allow meetings to be scheduled without identifying that work time, you will end up with snippets of time during the day which means nothing can be achieved and the time is wasted. Blocks of time will discourage you from multi-tasking, allow you to focus on your priorities and achieve what you need to do.
Limit your interruptions.
- Check your emails three times a day only. This can be supported by disabling your email alert
- Have your telephone on answer phone when concentrating on a piece of work
- Make it clear to your team when you have an “open door” and when you do not want to be disturbed
Clear Space, Clear Mind
Whilst we have all heard the saying “clear space, clear mind” how many of us are guilty of working surrounded by mess – both electronically and physically?
Tidiness can improve time management simply by being able to find the information needed quickly and being able to focus on a task without distraction. Whether that means a clear desk, or a filed inbox, will depend on the nature of your work.
For those of you, who would feel naked without your littering of post-it notes and piles of paper, consider Einstein’s quip of “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”.
Professor Abrahamson, of Columbia Business School, is of the view that there is no one approach which suits all people. Some use “organising” their desk as an excuse to procrastinate and avoid work, whilst others need a clear space to be able to concentrate. (You can read more at The Financial Times)
Whatever you need out of your personal workspace to achieve your clear mind and optimise your concentration and productivity, then create it and maintain it. Good luck!
Now, if all this sounds great in theory, however, you are struggling to figure out how you can introduce a culture where time management is valued, please call us on 01473 360160 and find out how we can help you and your team.
And if you’re really up for change and direction, we offer effective coaching services. Read more about this and our training here >>