There is not enough time in the day. It's the most important resource any of us have! Which is why time management is one of the biggest challenges in the workplace today.
To protect your time, you need to be merciless with how you manage it, but you don't want to convey that same ferocity to your team. Here are 7 ways to protect your time, while protecting your teammates at the same time.
1. If You're Trying Something New—Check First
If your employing a new strategy to protect your time, talk it through with those that will be impacted the most! Don't pull the rug out from under people just to save some time. Time saved for you could waste time for others if you're not careful.
2. Have a Trade-Off Conversation
If you're asked to do something that will disrupt your current workflow, make sure all involved parties understand the trade-off that will occur. Sometimes shifting priorities can be beneficial for what needs to get done, but it's best to make sure everyone is clear on what the trade-offs will be.
3. Create If-Then Rules
IF you are continually getting bogged down with questions from your team, THEN ask your team to come up with at least one solution for their question. This should help you save time and help create a more independent team.
4. Create "Dark Time"
A good work-life balance is essential for a healthy and happy workforce. Model a health balance by creating hours in each day where you are unreachable. Obviously this bars any major work emergencies, but don't be afraid to unplug and step away for a few hours each night and on the weekends. Your employees, family and friends will thank you!
5. Hold Regular "Office Hours"
It's exactly how it sounds. Be available to your team or other employees at regular times each week, and stick to it. This will help cut down on those costly interruptions that "will only take a second".
6. Model Time Integrity
"ASAP", "EOD", "can we talk for a minute?" We've all used them. But they're very vague and can lead to some serious wasted time. Be clear and concise with your time, so everyone is aware of the expectations. Don't be afraid to get rid of the nebulous answers and start asking for actual deadlines.
7. Make Meetings Worth It
Each time you pull the team together for a meeting, make sure it's worth it! No one likes wasting time in a meeting that could have been handled in an email. And if you're invited to a meeting that you don't think will be a good use of your time, don't be afraid to speak up! No one will fault you for trying to protect your time from time-wasting meetings.
With these 7 time-saving methods, you'll be well on your way to winning back your day and improving your productivity! Model great time-usage to your team and the benefits could be staggering!