There are plenty of time management tools available, from apps and software to physical items, as well as time management techniques. It’s important to recognise that not everyone thinks or works the same way, so having a range of options can help you find the right combination or options for your team and the individuals within it.
While consistency can help everyone work well together, it can force certain ways of working on employees that might not get the best out of them. There are a lot of things to consider when implementing time management techniques, and we’ve looked at some of the ways you can help your team be as productive as possible.
What Is Time Management?
Time management is the ability to use the available time effectively or productively. It’s most commonly used in conjunction with work or project management, but it can apply to anything in life that requires ongoing effort and time, whether that’s a hobby, exercising, or something else entirely.
Time management techniques can help reduce the amount of time wasted doing tasks that have no direct impact on the result of the endeavour or project. This might mean:
Cutting wasteful meetings
Breaking down tasks into smaller pieces
And much more
Depending on the working environment, the nature of the work being done, who’s involved at what stage, and the personality of your staff, you’ll be able to find a solution that delivers results that everyone can be proud of with a number of time management techniques.
What Skills Are Needed For Effective Time Management?
Organising tasks and creating an environment where your team can thrive are just two parts of good time management, but there are a range of skills needed to implement time management tools and processes properly to get the best results.
These are needed by staff to make sure they’re managing their time well, too, so before any changes are made, helping people refine these skills will be incredibly valuable:
Prioritisation - being able to determine what tasks need to be done first, whether to meet a deadline or to allow another team member to complete a task reliant on your work.
Communication - being able to communicate with others effectively, whether that’s seeking clarity on a topic, passing along information, providing updates, and more.
Goal setting - being able to set realistic goals and manage expectations to make sure stress levels are managed and work is delivered on time at the correct standard.
Accountability - being responsible for tasks and performance, looking for ways to improve, and understanding the impact on others should work not be done or if delays arise.
The Importance Of Time Management
The importance of time management cannot be overstated, for individuals, teams, and the business as a whole. When looking at ways to improve efficiency and productivity, time management tools and techniques are a good way to do it. This is a way to help everyone perform better with the right resources, and there are lessons that can be shared and learned throughout a company, which can also save money.
Before implementing any processes or making changes, think about what individuals and teams need to succeed. Crossover can be useful in tools and resources, but it’s important to take the time - and spend what’s needed - to get the right resources that make a real difference to everyone’s working day.
There are a range of time management tools that the whole team - or business - can use that can deliver results.
Time Management For Staff
Time management techniques for staff vary, meaning you’ll always be able to find a solution that works for staff. While a range of project and workflow or time management tools isn’t the best approach - as it splits projects, is harder to keep everything updated, and more difficult to keep track of where everything is up to - other ways of working can be considered to help everyone maximise their productivity.
Work with members of the team to find out how they work and what steps could be beneficial to their productivity.
Time Management For Teams
Time management techniques and tools for teams or departments ensure that everyone is on the same page and working together as well as possible. There’s no confusion over who’s doing what, when, or what the status of a task is - and any roadblocks can be identified and dealt with in advance to minimise any time that might be wasted.
This is most useful on projects or tasks where people have to work together, or when someone is waiting on another person to complete their work before they can start. Rather than waiting, they can work on other tasks to keep everything running smoothly.
Time Management Techniques To Improve Efficiency
Once you know where an employee or team needs to improve, and understand the different ways of working they have, you can look at implementing time management techniques, tools, and processes to help everyone work more efficiently and reduce stress levels.
Improving productivity and efficiency is something that senior management is always aware of. This can be to reduce costs and improve revenue, and new processes can be a cost-effective way of doing this rather than bringing in a range of tools.
There are plenty of options to choose from, and we’ve gathered six simple steps you can take right away.
1. Be Consistent With Schedules
One of the simplest time management techniques to implement is consistency, both in the frequency of the tasks and the processes used to complete them. In time, it will become normal to complete these jobs when they arise or at certain times, and this can help other work be planned around them.
Go further and look at the actual tasks that need to be completed. If any can be done in a more uniform way, either using templates or tools that makes everything easier and faster, then this can help set expectations for the people doing them.
2. Set Priorities
Prioritisation is a key part of time management. Knowing what needs to be done and by when will make it easier for employees to move onto the next job without wasting time asking for direction or help.
Prioritisation can come from the manager by clearly identifying tasks, what order they should be done in, and any deadlines that need to be met, but staff can also be taught what to look out for and which parts of the job need to be done before others. This helps them learn a new skill and free up the manager’s time, allowing them to focus on other tasks themselves.
3. Use Planning And Time Management Tools
There are a huge range of time management tools that can help with planning and completing work. These resources allow people to collaborate, both within a team and across departments, and provide updates on the progress of work, when it will be completed, and how urgent it is.
Some of these time management tools can track how much time is spent on tasks, store files for ease of access, and even be shared with customers or clients for a closer working relationship. Depending on the nature of the work and industry, some functions will be more useful than others, but ensuring every member of your team is confident with the tool you choose will make it a valuable resource.
4. Use A Screen-Focus App
Distractions are a common reason for lower productivity in the workforce. This might be from talking with colleagues, phone calls, music, or any number of reasons, but there is a way to reduce distractions for people who use computers for their work. A screen-focus app can block notifications, pop-ups, and other applications from appearing on screen for a certain amount of time, allowing staff to focus on their task.
This is especially valuable for remote workers who rely on team communication apps and email to coordinate and work with colleagues. While a screen-focus app can help block unnecessary messages and notifications, care should be taken not to ignore everything as some messages could be relevant to the work being done.
5. Ensure Help Is Available
The worst thing anyone can do in regards to their efficiency and time management is struggle on their own. While it’s important for people to be able to solve problems and figure things out themselves, in some cases this can go on for too long and tasks take longer than they should. This can then affect other people waiting for specific tasks to be done.
Every member of staff should know who to turn to when they are struggling to complete a task, whether that’s a colleague, their manager, or another way to get help. This can be help with the task at hand, or it can be informative, guidance, or any other number of options.
Having these support options in place, and making them clear to everyone who might need them, will save time when needed.
6. Work To Deadlines That Can Be Seen By Others
It is always helpful to make deadlines public. This isn’t so that staff are blamed or shamed if they aren’t met, but so help and support can be offered before the deadlines are reached. This is a proactive step for any manager or team member who has the capacity and ability to help.
This can be done through scheduling or time management tools, calendars, and team meetings. These deadlines also help others plan their work, so they know exactly when the tasks they need to be completed will be done by.
Can A Time Management Course Help?
Another option to consider is whether a training course can help provide the skills and knowledge you or your team members need to manage their time more effectively. There are a range of time management courses that cover different methods and working environments, which can help those in the workplace and those working remotely.
One great course is the Personal & Time Effectiveness In A Virtual World training course, which has valuable time management techniques that can be used in the workplace and beyond.
Other courses can include skills and knowledge that will help with time management along with other topics. This can be a great way to expand expertise in different areas at the same time, with the Fundamentals of Project Management course a good example of this.
Find Out More About How Time Management Techniques Can Help Your Team
Managing the time available at work is a valuable skill for anyone to have, whether that’s as a member of staff or when leading a team or department. While there are obvious business benefits, such as meeting more goals and targets, time management techniques can also reduce stress in the workplace and help people enjoy what they do more.
The change in the attitude of staff and the results they produce will be proof of the importance of time management to your business. There are new tools and resources in the works all the time, and being aware of them can help you make the best choices for your team. If you’d like to know more about ways a time management course can help you, your employees, and your business, get in touch with the team at The Hub Events today.