Time Management for the Busy Executive
For most business professionals, there are never enough
hours in a day to get everything done. Many work overtime
just to get a handle on their to-do list. Unfortunately,
even working extended hours may not always prove to be
enough to stay on top of the overflowing inbox.
Today, managers are often called upon to do more with less, as many have lost a portion of their workforce due to cutbacks. Regardless, industry competition continues to mount, and the need to get things done is even more critical. Studies have shown that this does not have to remain the norm. “Using the correct organizational tools can improve time management by 38 percent,” as stated in Mobile Technology Product.
Planning is the first step in getting your workload under control. Take time to construct a plan of action and consider incorporating the following five steps into your workday to increase productivity and keep your sanity.
Write It: It’s much easier to stay on track when you have a written list to work from. Write down everything you need to get accomplished throughout your work day.
Schedule It: Be clear about scheduling an allotted time for each task. Make sure to schedule a start and stop time. There are some great tools that you can use for this, but more on that later.
Break It Up: You are sure to get a lot more done by breaking down larger tasks and delegating them among your staff.
Prioritize It: Arrange your to-do list in order of importance and deadline. Tackle the items that top the list first, and then use the remainder of your time to address less critical items.
Review: At the end of each day, review what you have accomplished, as well as what you have not. This offers self-accountability, as it reveals if there are areas that you may be wasting time on and, thus, losing productivity.
Statistics show time management can cost a lot in terms of productivity as well as profitability. The aforementioned steps are but a few ways in which to address the problem of poor time management. A variety of tools are available to help today’s professional go about the business of getting more done. For instance, keeping track of the time spent on a project can easily be streamlined with the use of Web-based timetracking software such as Intervals. This tool offers task management, Web-based timers and project management software.
40% of Time is Wasted!
According to a Wall Street Journal report “Office workers waste an average of 40% of their workday because they were never taught organizing skills to cope with increasing workloads.” They also report that the “average U.S. executive wastes six weeks per year retrieving misplaced information. For an executive earning $75,000 a year, that translates to a loss of $9,221 — 12.3 percent of total earnings. For a company with one hundred executives at that salary, it translates to nearly $1 million in lost productivity.”
Executives who are in need of a bit more organization may benefit greatly by the use of Asana, which is a shared task list for your entire team. This resource will help keep everyone informed as to what projects are outstanding, as well as what has already been completed.
Harvest and Mite are also time management products that are readily available. Both offer simple time tracking and easy-to-use invoicing, accounting and scheduling. Depending on your needs, one of these programs could be the perfect fit for your organization. There are a host of other time management tools to choose from, which can all be found with a simple online search.
Balancing a large workload, while still trying to get ahead and have a personal life, can be trying, but with the right resources and a little bit of planning, it is not at all impossible.