Mentoring topics are plentiful. They can range from general discussions about developing career goals and how to inspire others to wrangling big data and making social media work. That’s why we’ve decided to create a mini-series that focuses on top topics and how mentors and men-tees can approach them so they contribute to excellence in the workplace. In Part One of this five-part series, we’re kicking it off with a topic that we all can relate to – time – or the lack of it.
We all have 24 hours in a day, but some are better at managing it than others. We all know those firecrackers who seem to juggle multiple deadlines and meetings, all without breaking a sweat, and they still have time leftover for that after-work run. Really? If only! How do they do it and why can’t we?
Where do the time suckers dwell?
Time management is really all about knowing where to focus your time and why. It’s more about self-management which involves changing behaviors and developing new habits. And, it’s not an easy task. Let’s start by asking a few questions about your current work situation to see if you can discover where your time suckers dwell:
How do you handle distractions? Do you know that some of us can lose as much as two hours a day to distractions? Think how much you could get done if you had that time back. Whether they come from emails, IM chats, colleagues in crisis, or client calls, distractions prevent us from achieving effective work flow.
Are you using old equipment? When’s the last time you upgraded your software or PC? Proper resourcing can help.
Have you examined your processes and procedures? Clunky spreadsheets or outdated procedures can often be re-designed to save time and money. Keeping up with technology changes is key.
Do you have delegation dilemmas? Are you worried you’ll lose control if you pass along a project? Learn to trust your team to do the right thing.
Do you have too many meetings? How many meetings do you have during a business day? Are they all effective? A lot of time can be wasted in unnecessary or badly managed meetings.
Do you have a clear plan or strategy? If you’re working without clear direction you may find that you’re struggling to decide your next move.
This list is just a small sampling of where you may be losing time. Mentors can work with you and your staff to identify problem areas and help you to take time back. They can share their personal experiences and talk about what worked and what didn’t. They can share valuable time management tools and give you tips for dealing with deadlines.
The result of good time management is increased effectiveness and productivity. It’s a key aspect of project management and involves skills such as planning, setting goals and prioritizing for a better performance. Time is of the essence. Don’t let another minute go by. Take control of your time today.