We frequently wish for more time in the day to get through our immense daily workload of tasks. For team leaders, learning to better prioritize where your time goes can help ease the anxiety and burnout that can come with juggling different hats. Here’s eight ways to help your team learn to manage their time more effectively.
It's been proven scheduled breaks are a godsend for your concentration abilities while completing arduous tasks. The key is to make it predictable and consistent - breaks can help improve productivity but most importantly help restore morale for teams looking to maintain a consistent level of performance.
Keep Track of Your Tasks
Setting up systems of accountability (a smaller example includes setting self-imposed deadlines) can provide useful in granting focus and productivity. It’s the equivalent of having someone looking over your shoulder while working: allocating time for tasks and keeping track of that can keep slacking off at bay.
Set Realistic Goals
Sometimes having too much on your plate can actually impede your ability to finish tasks on a quick timeline. Set goals with keeping an eye on your team’s ability to juggle ongoing tasks in mind.
Clarify Lines of Communication
Meet with your team members and try to help them understand not just what they should be working on but the quality of the work you're hoping to draw and the expectations they need to meet. Avoid micromanaging by establishing clear targets that help to bring everyone on board. Encouraging an honest dialogue about progress ensures prioritization of important areas of work.
Set an Example
Whether you're the team leader or not, being smart about your behaviour and showing great examples of time management can help set the tone for the rest of the crew. We frequently look up to coworkers and bosses as role models for gauging behaviour - so why not model that behaviour yourself?
Set A Time For Tasks
Limiting the amount of time you have for each task can help you determine where to better spend your energies and time. One example of this is the "two minute rule" suggested by entrepreneur Steve Olenski. Make the most of smaller windows of time by immediately finishing tasks you know can be done in less than two minutes. This helps leave time for larger tasks.
Devote Time To Training
Avoid the problem of micromanagement by ensuring crew members are operating at the highest level they can. With training comes further autonomy; suddenly giving your team more permission to make decisions grants more responsibility - not to mention it leaves more time for you to keep at your work.
Meetings: an unavoidable block of time nobody ever wants to deal with. One way to improve meetings is ensure they have a clearly defined purpose. If you can’t prove the meeting is useful, is it worth keeping the meeting in your calendar? Make your agenda clear so team members can leave with actual takeaways in a specific plan. Another option is to see if you can find a way to do the meeting standing up - a method that helps to keep meetings short and to the point. Discuss what tasks were completed and what you have on your current to-do list. These can help keep everyone up to date on coworkers' progress.