5 tips that will help you optimize your time


5 tips that will help you optimize your time

Time is one of the most valuable resources that any manager can have, learning how to manage time is a valuable skill that will make us more effective in our jobs and, therefore, more productive.

We all wish we had enough time to be able to do all the activities we have planned for our day-to-day, but on many occasions, we find ourselves without enough time. It is not at all productive to have to use our free time to work on overdue assignments, instead of spending time with our family or friends. Therefore, it is imperative to detect and manage the activities that steal our time.

In this article, we are going to see 5 tips to detect and minimize those activities that take away our productivity and make us have to stay late at the office or take work home to meet the deadlines and agreements established. Let’s take a look at each of them below.

Spend enough time planning

Planning is one of the most critical functions of management. It involves setting objectives and determining the means to achieve them. Planning helps us focus our efforts, make good decisions, and manage resources efficiently. Experts say we should dedicate 20% of our time to planning for optimal results.

The planning process may vary depending on the specific situation. However, there are some general steps we can follow:

  1. Establish objectives. The first thing to do in the planning process is to set objectives. Objectives should be specific, achievable, measurable, time-bound, and challenging for both management and the team.
  2. Identify the tasks necessary to achieve the objectives. Once the objectives have been established, we must identify the tasks necessary to achieve them.
  3. Establish a timeline. Each task identified in the previous step should be placed on a timeline so that we know where to start and which tasks may need to be completed to start others.
  4. Allocate resources. In order to develop each task in the schedule, we must assign the necessary human, physical, and financial resources to complete it.
  5. Track progress. It is necessary to follow up on each task to ensure that it is being carried out on schedule and using resources efficiently to ensure that objectives are being met.

Plan meetings to be effective

Appointments and meetings are inevitable for every manager. We have just talked about planning, and this requires meetings to initiate, follow up, correct if necessary, and close each stage of what was planned.

But we cannot fill ourselves with endless meetings that saturate our agenda and do not allow us to develop what was planned.

This is when it comes into play to have appointments planned by dates in order to organize these meetings in our agenda. However, this is not enough, it is necessary to make these meetings effective.

Our proposal to have effective meetings is:

  • Have a time limit for each meeting
  • Have a clear objective of what is expected to be obtained at the end of each meeting
  • Have a person dedicated to taking notes
  • Create an agenda that establishes the agreements reached, the next steps, and those responsible for executing each action determined during the meeting

Establish the time to invest in each meeting

If we get carried away by day-to-day activities, we will find ourselves without enough time to finish the activities we had planned. One strategy to counteract this is to determine the time invested in each activity. It is true that not all activities can be controlled in terms of the time we must invest in them, but we must identify which ones we know how much time we must invest and stick to that time.

An example could be the meetings we talked about in the previous paragraph. If we have determined that the daily planning meeting should last an hour, we should do everything possible to ensure that it does not take more than that. If we identify that during that meeting we are talking about a topic that corresponds to another time or another subject, we must say so immediately and ask to skip the point to review it when it corresponds.

Group of people in a meeting
– Meetings are important, but you must establish a time limit for them

Close pending issues

Something extremely important to manage our time is to know how to close the issues that arise. While it is true that we must invest the necessary time to thoroughly review the important issues, we cannot make them endless. Every topic must have a starting point and a closing point. That means that, as managers, we must know when it is time to close an issue, end a discussion, and establish the next steps for each issue that arises.

One of the enemies of closing issues is when someone is dissatisfied with the way the issue was addressed and closed. It is necessary that our collaborators have the confidence to express their opinions and we must have the openness to take their opinions into account, but at the same time, the character to establish limits to the discussions.

Eliminate interruptions

Sometimes inconveniences or emergencies may arise that can interrupt planned meetings, but this should be the exception rather than the norm.

We must instruct our staff not to interrupt planned meetings to introduce new topics, to talk about pending activities, or to ask to review issues that are not the purpose of the meeting.

Every meeting should always have a specific topic and purpose, an objective that we can evaluate whether or not it has been met at the end of each meeting. We should also take note of interruptions so that we can channel the topic that is intended to be introduced, but is not part of the agreed agenda, unless, as we said at the beginning, it is an emergency.

We hope these tips will be useful to improve your management.

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Bladimir Sánchez

Bladimir Sánchez

Bladimir Sánchez is the father of four and grandfather of two. He has been writing for 7 years, and his hobby is reading. In love with his wife for 35 years, he has in God and her the support he needs to overcome any hardships.

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