How often do you hear yourself say, "There aren't enough hours in the day"? Effective time management isn't a trivial manner that you can put on the back burner. In a recent Forbes article, contributor Paul Brown bemoaned the fact that many of the traditional strategies to manage time - allocating specific times of the day to handle email and phone communications - never really panned out for him.
Brown's original assessment was time management wasn't valuable, but the issue was he hadn't hit on an approach that worked for him. This is an issue that many managers face - trying to put a circle piece into a square shape. In other words, every person will need to develop a unique approach to manage his or her schedule, between working with clients, meetings and traveling.
For Brown, this meant physically creating a list of daily tasks and ranking them by priority. Accordingly, he makes sure to accomplish the most pressing items first and works his way down the list. How does this help? It ensures he addresses and stays focused on the most important tasks. What's more, this strategy gives you the opportunity to delegate other jobs that aren't central to your role to your supporting team members who would be able to complete it without a problem and in good time. What it comes down to is knowing which tasks are equal to your time - both professionally and financially.
In a recent blog post for the Harvard Business Review, the central issue is knowing how to maximize each team member's value and their impact on their departmental or even personal objectives. This is as much about helping team members to develop their professional capabilities as it is helping to delegate tasks more effectively to ensure necessary work is getting done efficiently. Analyzing which team members are the most reliable to handle important tasks - but not necessarily priorities for management - can be a difficult process because it can lead to some tough conversations.
Putting more responsibilities on your team members can be an eye-opening experience because, when push comes to shove, it forces them to either rise to the challenge or not. Ultimately, this approach will strengthen your team: You can see more clearly which team members want the opportunity to move up into a managerial position in the future and identify any senior members that might not be as effective in their role. When thinking about time management, it's a better idea to begin approaching it with your entire team in mind.