Updated 24 March 2022
Good time management is a foundation of productivity. Judging how much time should be allocated to different tasks, and how to prioritise those tasks, can make a massive difference to your overall productivity. It’s a skill worth developing at both staff and management level to boost the efficiency of your business.
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Good time management is ensuring that the amount of time spent on any task is in direct proportion to its importance to the business. This means that staff and management spend the majority of their time carrying out the most beneficial tasks, and spend the least amount of time on trivial tasks.
Of course, this is easier said than done. In order to achieve this, you first need to work out:
You can help your staff manage their time effectively by prioritising their duties in this way. Staff productivity may plunge if people are overwhelmed by lots of minor duties that occupy too much of their time. The key to solving this is to plan their time around their main goals.
Every member of your staff should have a clear idea of:
Based on this information, help each member of staff to create a time-management plan that sets out recommendations for how much time each kind of task should take. If it still turns out that too much time is being spent on auxiliary tasks, you may need to take further action – such as dividing those tasks among more members of staff, or seeing which tasks can be streamlined or omitted altogether.
Other tips for good time management include:
Sometimes inefficiencies can arise over time as organisations fail to keep up with technological change, or when employee turnover means certain sub-optimal ways of doing tasks get passed on to new staff. It’s good to conduct ‘efficiency audits’ of your processes regularly (e.g. once a year) to make sure that everything continues to be running as smoothly as possible.
As the business owner and director, your approach to time management needs to be somewhat different. You need to have a broad view of what is going on across your whole organisation, while at the same time there may be important tasks that only you can perform. You therefore need to take special care to work out what is the best use of your time (as opposed to someone else’s time).
Here are some tips:
Effective time management can hugely increase productivity, by reducing the amount of time wasted per day. Other key benefits include:
At best, practising good time management can make it feel as if you have extra members of staff –without any of the extra cost.