It is no secret that in the coming few weeks businesses will be a buzz with work around the festive period. Following close behind is the preparation for Christmas.
Most businesses do start their preparations in earnest long before the crazy period but for those who struggle with staff that have poor time management getting the desired results can be both frustrating and stressful.
Poor time management is not just seen at the level of staff. Management can also be guilty of this. In fact in most working environments lack of productivity can be felt by staff because managers have their hands so busy it becomes challenging to manage their time effectively.
The same can be said for staff. If your staff have their hands full with filling in for others or doing more than one role you can witness their downfall in time management.
Before we look at how to remedy poor time management, let us look at what are some of the leading causes of poor time management.
Poor time management is essentially the failure to plan ahead and evaluate what is required from you around specific tasks. Another challenge is not prioritising work accordingly. It can also be a result of the lack of motivation and desire to be at work. It can also be caused by not setting your goals clearly and having a proper understanding of what’s required from you.
It can also come from being overwhelmed with tasks that are considered to be tedious and perhaps a better system might alleviate this challenge.
If you find yourself guilty of poor time management then there are ways to remedy these habits. Here’s how you can improve on the way in which you manage your time:
- Start by prioritising your tasks. Work on your different tasks by prioritising them by the most important and the ones that need to be completed first and move along the list. This doesn’t mean you are brushing of tasks that are not important, you are just using your time to finish essential work first like getting back to a customer query or completing a task for your manager instead of planning for the year end function. It’s not that planning for the year end function isn’t a priority but between calling a caterer for that event and responding to a customer a query, the latter takes the priority.
- It is possible that someone would know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. But the challenge is not knowing how long a certain task might take them. Estimating your time to complete a task incorrectly can be the reason why staff are falling behind on completing work. When this happens staff might rush through the task just to complete it seeing that they are out of time. This really has an impact on the quality of work being produced. In order to prevent this, try to note how long a specific task takes you. Just make a small note of it and monitor it over a period of time and try and see how you can now eliminate distractions and improve on your time management of that specific task.
- If you are struggling there really isn’t anything wrong in asking for help. Another reason you might find it difficult to cope could be that there is a new system in place that you are not familiar with or maybe it’s new technology. Whatever the reason if training needs to be provided to make your understanding of the equipment better then ask for it. Remember you don’t work alone. In an office you are part of a team, and one of the reasons you might be slacking behind is the hesitance to ask for help.
There is no guaranteed remedy to prevent lack of productivity from time management. What we can do is identify we need help and work on improving our time management skills.
Devan Moonsamy is the CEO of ICHAF Training Institute, a South African TVET College. He is the author of Racism, Classism, Sexism, And The Other ISMs That Divide Us, AND My Leadership Legacy Journal available from the ICHAF Training Institute.
The ICHAF Training Institute offers SETA-approved training in business skills, computer use, and soft skills. Devan specialises in conflict and diversity management, and regularly conducts seminars on these issues for corporates. To book a seminar with Devan or for other training courses, please use the contact details below.