Well when you have the role of manager, you need to deal with a lot of things including making sure that employees are on the right track.
One of the ways that it can improve is by improving the time management in the workplace, with this you can make sure everyone is using their time wisely and getting their tasks done.
Also, it helps in keeping the workflow state going and boosts the positive environment in the workplace.
However, to know how you can do that, here are some of the hacks that you can consider.
Help Your Team To Set Right Goals And Learning Priorities
On average, it’s around 8.5 hours, but you put more hours than that in the workplace. According to the study, 80% of Americans worked an additional 7 hours after hours. But at the same time, they hardly feel like they are getting anything done.
Well, there are several reasons, but the most obvious reason is not focusing on what the priorities are. They are putting their time into activities that are not all-important.
Block out the time for discussing the goals related to the individual and business both. Include your team to have the discussion on both professional and personal levels, so they get clear on what their priorities are and set the right goals.
This is divided ideally into daily, weekly, monthly and annual goals that should align with the mission of the organization.
Not only will this give purpose to the employee but also add meaning to their work. Along with that, it ensures that everyone is working on the right thing and using the appropriate time.
Well to set employee goals, here is what you can start with :
- Include the employees when in the goal-setting process.
- Set the targeted goals for continuous improvement.
- Choose the right type of goals that suits the employees and you.
- Make sure that individual goals are aligned with business objectives.
- Adapt the goals which are in real-time.
Help Your Employees In Resolving The Issues
Well, not just every issue but the complex ones, such issues are not just time-consuming, but it’s wasting the energy and carrying problems which affect the work.
Maybe there are some employees who might miss deadlines? There are chances that they are devoting their time to doing tasks that are not important. However, there are chances that there is something causing a problem.
To deal with such a problem, you can start with :
Setting The Expectation And Commuting
The first step is to make sure that there is a clear expectation that employees not just understand but also are involved in establishing their deadline.
When you give a directive to an employee, make sure to ask when they can reasonably complete the task, and allow them to determine the deadlines. Make sure it’s within reason, but give time to answer them.
This approach can help in allowing the employee to think about what they need to get done and how long it would take to get the work done.
Monitor Their Performance
One of the mistakes that managers make is not following up with their employees about their assigned work. It’s your responsibility to do the check on a frequent basis.
Also here is the goal to not end up micromanaging, instead of ensuring that employees have the resources that they need to get the job done and help in identifying the barriers for completing the job.
Note The Conversations
Well, it’s easy to end up forgetting the conversation, especially doing it in a day-to-day discussion. Make note of the conversation that you do with the employee,
Make sure that you are keeping details of the instructions, task reminders, and clarification.
Create A Process Of Managing Employees
Employees need to understand how they are going to support organizational strategy and be rewarded to get the job done.
It’s important that you create a process of how you can manage the employees and make it easier to understand.
With this, you get the route of the problem to tracking the time for some weeks, and they can use a time log or time tracking tool.
This will let them know about what as well as where to spend time.
Reducing The Distraction On Workplace
Well, it’s one of the most obvious that the workplace is full of distractions. Some of the distractions are not that bad, as they can help in easing pain, make the mind feel relaxed and resilient.
Some of the good distractions which have a positive impact on productivity include:
Finding a few minutes to chat with coworkers can do wonders, not just it gives the mind a break from work but also is good for communication skills.
With the right communication skills, it can help in improving understanding, morale, employee loyalty, etc.
Possibly the most important benefit you get is, socialization helps in creating bonds between the team and improving the relationship.
Taking short breaks can help in giving the mind a rest, the break might be 10 minutes away from the desk.
It can be in the restroom, getting fresh air, or sitting in the break room, but it helps in reinvigorating motivation.
When the employees spend their time with no break at work, it makes them feel tired and has a bad impact on productivity which plays an important role in time management.
Even though it needs limited browsing, with a timer set, it can help in getting information and staying updated on things. But it’s important to use a timer and browsing can lead to time wastage if you are not aware of it.
This gives time to learn about things that might not be related to work but help in general.
Napping at work might sound like something of a waste of time, but surprisingly, it’s actually productive.
In fact, a lot of people feel offended when taking naps, but if you are finding yourself nodding off, this is going to interrupt you at work. So taking at least a 10 to 20-minute power nap can help you in getting much more alert and productive.
Listening to music can also be a great distraction especially when the invisible is too stressful at the workplace. While everyone has a preference, music can help in boosting productivity.
If you are looking for a distraction that is brief during the work break, consider playing music that has lyrics that help in taking your mind off.
It can help in calming the mind, making the thoughts much more efficient and quick.
Making personal calls at work might seem like a huge distraction. But when it’s scheduled in the right way, it can help in getting quick ease to find and remove the weight out of the mind.
However, it’s important to move on and end the call when the time is up.
Taking a lunch break is a perfect way that can help in taking a decent amount of time from work.
However, with the ability, it can help in not just refueling the good food, but you can get fresh air, and sharing the lunch breaks contributes to a better relationship too.
One of my favorite distractions is a coffee break. From taste to smell, it gives warmth and comfort.
The caffeine gives an energy boost on feeling themselves feeling dragging. It also provides the opportunity to get up and walk as well as around the office.
Well, some distractions are quite helpful, but some are not as helpful as they seem. It can cause problems, and disturb the employee in the workplace.
Here are some of the distractions that should be avoided at all costs:
Well, open office configuration might seem like a great idea to increase collaboration, stimulate new ideas and also emphasize hieratic, but it can also cause noise.
In fact, it’s one of the biggest backlashes of using the open office concept. While the benefit of knocking down cubicle walls is open office can lead to noisy and messy affairs.
They are both a curse and blessing, well smartphones have enabled you to connect with others and freed the work on go.
Making a lost thing, but also with this you get connected to a lot of things, it’s a drug of distraction and takes a lot of attention.
Another consequence that you face is an interruption; shoulder tapping is actually a common distraction.
This can be your colleague, boss, or employee that continuously keeps popping which causes disturbance while working.
Building relationships is important, but when it happens at important timing, it can cause a disturbance.
Daily conversation is important, but it’s easy to get trapped in the endless loop of gossip and conversation.
According to Tim Ferriss, it’s important to limit time consumption and production, this can be the greatest interruption that causes in the modern world.
Email can be distracting and there is a lot of time you have to deal with throughout the day.
When you are doing an important task, you get a notification, either you can stop doing it and read as well as replay the email. Or you can stay focused on tasks and look at emails once your work is done.
You can suggest the employee decide the time for checking the emails and responding and making everyone clear about it, so they don’t have to deal with it.
During the busy week, the last thing anyone wants is to waste an hour on a meeting that is not even a little bit radioactive.
Meetings consume more than the work hours, most of the employees end up attending around 62 meetings in a month and but half of these are waste of time.
Unmanaged Workplace Conflict
Conflict is inevitable, this can escalate and be allowed to go without having a resolution. It tends to be costly and distracting.
It also likes the growth of wildlife and impact really bad to others, it can conflict employee mentality and emotionally exhausted.
When ongoing interpersonal issues are over the head, it also gets difficult to focus and leads to the loss of productivity.
Address And Aware With Concept Of Planning Fallacy
In 1977, The concept was developed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.
The planning fallacy is not setting the right amount of time aside to get done work, even if you know that there is always something that causes disturbance.
Even if you know better as compared to the past experience, and this can delay the work
It’s important to spread awareness and also address it so the employees know about it.
Not just that, make sure that they know about ways to deal with it :
Using Past Experience And Data For Advantage
Track the plans and actual to the fundamental first step which can help in overcoming the planning fallacy.
You should track the past performances, so you know what are things which are related to how things get done, you need to use this for planning and managing the time.
Set The Realistic Deadline
One of the ways to avoid a planning fallacy is to set a deadline that is related to you. Include all the things and possible factors that affect the work.
Also, it’s best to have buffer time so you can deal with unexpected situations when you are doing the task.
Even though the previous task was completed on time and you feel optimistic that you will do it again, it’s best that you have everything in consideration so it won’t affect the work.
The key is not just setting any deadline, but being realistic which inspires you to follow and meet. However, to avoid the deadline struggles, here are the pointers that can help:
- Make them urgent by scheduling your deadline as close as possible.
- Determine what you are, a prioritizer, planner, visualizer, or arranger so you can plan according to that.
- Make your deadline actionable by breaking the projects into segments of 10 minutes,
- Hold yourself accountable if you end up crossing the deadline and reward when they succeed to do it.
Remember The Murphy’s Law
This one is named after Captain Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr, an American aerospace engineer. According to the state, if there is anything that will go wrong, it will go wrong.
And it holds an important relationship with planning fallacy. Whenever you are estimating the time, most people tend to stay positive and optimistic. But there can be something new that you didn’t see coming for maple, maybe it is a sudden meeting or office activity.
Depending on what industry you are in, it can get too stressful if you have too much to do despite the best intentions you have.
And here being a tad pessimistic can help, it can help you in predicting and addressing the potential pitfalls. However you can’t plan for every single thing, but here are some of the ways :
- Set your deadline but make sure it’s realistic.
- Add buffer time, according to some research, adding 20 % of your overall estimated time can be enough.
- Prioritize the list so you are focusing and spending on what actually needs to be completed.
- Consider every possible thing that might go wrong and how you will respond. If it’s too overwhelming, you can consider seeing how everyone else is dealing with that.
Use The Three-Point Estimations
The three-point estimation technique helps by forcing to confront the possible optimism as you ask to identify the data divided into three different pieces, including :
- Best case scenario estimate
- Worst case scenario estimate
- Mostly likely scenario estimate
Since you get optimistic when you are estimating, the best case is likely to be an initial estimate. However, most time you have is based on data you have completed similar tasks in past.
Whereas the worst-case scenario is when you need to consider how much time it can take if there is something that goes wrong.
Consider The 100 Blocks A Day
According to Tim Urban, most people tend to sleep around seven or eight hours at night. This leaves a total of 16 or 17 hours awake every day or around 1,000 minutes.
So he recommends considering those 1000 minutes as a 100 -10 minute block method.
The idea here is to spend around 10 minutes on each block eventually you run out of it and it’s time for you to sleep/
Well to do this, here is how you can start :
- Putting towards a better future, how many of them are there to enjoy just?
- Spent with people and how many for the alone time?
- Used to create, and how many to use for consuming something?
- Focus on the body, how many on the mind and neither one particular?
- Your favorite blocks of every day and which one is the least one?
Help Them In Breaking Projects Into Easy To Manage Pieces
The next important point is to help your employees to break their long and overwhelming projects into small and manageable pieces. It makes it much easier to accomplish the task, and assign the time so there is an estimated time blocked for the project.
However to help your employee, here is what they need to start with:
Step 1: Defining The Project Or Task
First, start with the task and it’s best to be more clear on the distinction between the tasks and projects.
A task can be something which you can do in one sitting. If there is a task you are working on for several months or weeks, then it’s better to consider it as a project.
Project is something that is related to the corporate world or school. But most of the things that you want to do and achieve, it’s considered as a project.
Even better to turn most of your goals into projects.
Step 2: Break A Large Projects Into Your Milestones
Depending on its task or project, the step is suitable if it’s a long project as you can divide it further and put it into individual milestones.
Here are two general rules to follow when you are dividing into milestones :
- If your project spans include multiple months, create the monthly milestones.
- If your project spans multiple weeks, create the weekly milestones.
There are different ways that can help you in breaking the projects into milestones, however, the best is to consider the nature of your project, and it’s crucial to define clearly what reaching your milestone entails.
To do that, here are some ways to do that :
- Different phases: The first one can be divided into different phases such as when you are creating something, it can be divided into planning, producing, testing or refining.
- Different categories: The second is to divide into separate categories such as when you are planning a party, it can be categorized into entertainment, food, invites, etc.
- Different parts: The third one is divided into parts, such as if you are cleaning the workplace, it can be divided into different sections like table, drawl, etc.
Step 3: List Out All The Steps
The next important step is to take the task or project, and Ericsson all the visual steps that need to be done in order to complete the work.
It’s okay if the steps are too long or short, the point here is to write every step, and do the brain stroke.
Well if you are struggling to find a step, this can be a sign that you are not completely familiar with the project or task‘s type, also here you need to get more information on that.
You can think about steps that help you in getting a clearer idea. Once you have all steps, make sure to time limit it, you should know how much it will take to get the initial step done.
Even though you might end up taking more than that, still it will give you an easy estimate of overall work.
Step 4: Break Multi-Step Into The Single Step
Often you combine multiple steps into a single, this is completely fine for the sequences that you are performing such as making phone calls that you can’t write.
So think about the steps that you need to perform, so you can feel like a single action that you can write.
Otherside you need to break the multi-step into single-step tasks, often such tasks are used to do, finish or work on.
The more specific your verb is, the easier for the brain and ease to take action.
Step 5: Break Long Stretches Of Work Into Sessions
You can do different things for breaking the long stretches of work into smaller sessions. It can be divided into :
To break down the single-step actions into smaller tasks, it can be called time boxing. It can be an addition to artificial time and limit the task.
You can also create identical tasks into three, and you can check the task every time you get it done.
Alternative You Can Consider To Time Boxing
Similarly to timeboxing, you can also consider breaking the large tasks into numerical units for example :
- Fill out 2 pages of the report
- Email 3 people
- Write 300 words on
- Do exercise 2.3 and 2.5
Create The Flexibility Culture
This is about allowing staff to work when they have productive hours. For example, if there are some people who arrive early and get their work completed an hour or two before others, they can leave in the early afternoon, and who can’t, they can arrive later and work until evening.
The next option that you can consider is letting your employees do work from home, this can be one or two days per week
With this, you can eliminate time wasted on daily commutes and steer clear of distractions in the workplace.
Apart from that, you can allow the team to work when they are on golden hours, allowing it on schedule to get better management of the personal lives, considering the self-care and it will allow a sense of autonomy.
Evaluate The Effectiveness Of Doing Meetings
Meetings are not just distractions, they can also kill morale as well as productivity. Mainly you are pulling the people away from the important work that they are doing, the meeting can be dull and pointless.
Before you do the meeting, ask if it’s actually important. If you don’t see the reason, it’s best to email or use collaboration apps, one to one chats.
Don’t Throw Too Much Of Work To Employees
There are millions of things that you have to do, and if the team is not in its full capability, it would not get the work done on time.
But as a manager, you need to be aware of what and how much employees can handle.
If there is a lot of work already in their time, don’t add more, not just it will damage their way of time management but also will be hard to schedule in order to get it done.
Encourage Your Team To Fill Time Management Calendar
Well, when employees fill out their time management worksheet can help in reflecting on how they are spending their hours at the current time.
From there, they can help in getting the priorities and break products into manageable chunks to get work complete.
By time management calculator, they can help in gaining the perspective to realize as sometimes best to get responding to a few hours and get more concerns.
This can help in directing the employee to consider the aspects where they need to train.
Encourage To Help In Healthy Balance
Even if your organization is improving your time management skills, it’s all for not getting stressed or feeling exhausted. Encourage the employees to take breaks frequently throughout their day.
This can also be used for taking vacations. And as a manager, it’s best not to interrupt the team members when they are on breaks or vacations.
You also encourage the employees to take breaks along with sharing the benefit of it and how it will help.
In order to boost the encouragement in the workplace in order to take the breaks, here is how you can start with :
Discuss The Benefits Of It
A Lot of people feel like taking breaks is something that will affect the workflow. It’s important that you tell them why it’s helpful and beneficial.
If you see the employees skipping breaks there are chances that your company culture is not broken friendly.
According to that, around 20% of employees feel guilty when they leave the workstation for breaks.
At your next meeting, you can discuss the benefits and encourage yourself to work.
Urge Them To Use Apps
Pomodoro apps can help the employee to take short breaks while they work and also help in health as well as boosting productivity.
They can also consider using the donut app, this can help in pairing the employees who don’t know each other well, and prompts them to meet for lunch or coffee.
Lead By Setting Example
As a manager, you have the role and position everyone looks up to, also you can encourage people by setting an example.
Since workplace behavior is contagious, there is a survey, 49% of workers do imitate some home behavior in their work.
If you are a team that is leading to take breaks, do it for yourself, so it can be easier for others.
Provide The Area For Taking Breaks
A Lot of people don’t have the space where they can take quiet breaks, so it’s important to set up a space where the people can go for a while and take breaks.
It encourages the people but also creates a healthy environment too.
More To Explore:
- Most Effective and Proven Time Management Tips, Techniques & Strategies
- 50+ Expert Tips To Eliminate Distractions At Work
- Beginner’s Guide For Time Management In 2023
- 35+ Tips For Staying Productive While Working From Home
- Mastering Time Management At Work: Tips, Benefits, and Steps
“Vision, strategy, and inspiration – these three words describe me the best. I am the founder of “TheLeaderboy” dedicated to leadership and personal development. As a self-taught practitioner, I have been studying the principles of effective leadership for the past decade and my passion lies in sharing my insights with others. My mission is to empower individuals to become better leader