Time management is a choice. How we use our time affects our performance—and the performance of others. Learn key time management principles that will help improve the efficiency of you and your employees.
- Perhaps the quickest way to improve your performance and that of your team is to have everyone better manage their time. Years ago during my litigation career, I found myself exhausted because I was putting in 70-hour work weeks playing some kind of nonsense hero role. After I quit litigation, I chose to become an expert at managing my time. As a result, I went from working 70 hours a week to 40 hours or less while making the equivalent income and producing great results.
What I learned is like with most things, time management is a choice. I choose to be efficient so I don't feel overwhelmed and can have sustained performance. How about you? The first thing you and your team can do is know where your time goes. When I was a trial lawyer, I knew where my time went in tenths of an hour for 17 straight years. When I quit litigation, I actually lost track of my time for a while.
Then I read the excellent book, The Effective Executive, by management expert Peter Drucker, who began the book by explaining the importance of tracking your time. He did that with Fortune 500 executives, and it was a eye opener for every one of them. I can tell you, when you track your time, it'll be a real eye opener for you too. From then on, my employees and I tracked our time for two weeks, twice a year. We shifted our time to the most impactful work and either eliminated, delegated, or outsourced our low-value work.
Doing so increased everyone's productivity. Now let's talk about doing the work you're paid to do. Say you're a manager making $100,000 a year, or roughly $50 per hour. How often would I find you doing $25 an hour work you can do like a pro in your sleep and you'll never be judged on? This is the work that you should either outsource, eliminate or delegate, something we'll discuss in more depth later.
Think about cascading everybody's work responsibilities so that everyone works in their highest and best use. $25 an hour work is done by $25 an hour employees, not $50 an hour employees, and so on. Another time management challenge is limiting distraction. It's tough to be productive when you're not focused. It takes a while to get your energy back on the beam. It's one reason why I suggest you and your team members agree to block off time during the day where you promise not to interrupt each other with got a minutes, emails, or distracting conversations.
You'll find that these quiet times work best in the morning and will generate a great deal of focused productivity. So that's a great start. Track your time, focus on doing the work you're paid to do, and block out time in your calendar to help limit distraction. I encourage you to give it a shot. It's worked wonders for me.
In this course, join HR expert Don Phin as he shares strategies for creating a culture that encourages high performance as well as best practices for improving employee performance in the modern workplace. Don covers techniques for setting clear expectations, delegating tasks, and managing remote workers. He also explains how to get to the root of poor employee performance and coach both high-performing and low-performing employees.
- Determine the most efficient processes to use when selecting a new hire.
- Apply knowledge gathered from employee feedback to enhance overall efficiency.
- Identify an example of an appropriate workspace.
- Define “emotional quotient” and explain how it relates to employee performance.
- Recall effective strategies for addressing poor employee performance.
- List three benefits of using performance management tools.