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Time Management Techniques and Tech

Time Management

What’s your time worth?

Can you recall how you’ve spent all the minutes in your work day so far? 25 minutes on a report?  17 minutes reviewing documents?  No?   Some employees may know how they’ve spent their time, but the average worker also admits to wasting about 2.09 hours in the work day on things like the internet, according to a study done by Salary.com.  Think about how many dollars that equals to?  Wow.

Effective time management techniques can be difficult to hone, especially in an office setting.  Individual efforts to control time management techniques are necessary, but for supervisors and those in management positions, improving management of a group, overall can be tricky if you’re not sure where to start.

Modern Time Management

Supervisors must not only lead and direct employees, but manage how their time is spent as well; this includes properly advising employees on how to build time management techniques that work for individuals and for the team.  Ironically, even though technology like the internet can be a source of low productivity, it can also be one of the most useful tools in improving how employees utilize the hours in their work day and time management techniques.

Technology allows supervisors the ability to review sales figures, in/out times, productivity and how employees perform unsupervised from a remote location.   Whether that remote location is an office down the hall or an office on the other side of town, the figures are available to analyze.   Employers can effectively staff properly, delegate assignments, calculate labor costs and plan ahead for situations such as holidays.

Software that saves… TIME!

There are several programs that can be used to track how an employee’s time is spent, manage assignments, improve time management techniques and increase productivity.

  • Microsoft Outlook comes with a Calendar and Tasks feature which can help plan the workday and remind employees of meetings, deadlines, and priorities.  Events and tasks can even be automated.
  • Intuit QuickBase can manage tasks and increase productivity with more than 400,000 database applications built using a library of over 200+ ready- to-use templates. Intuit is also behind QuickBooks and TurboTax which are great, widely used programs in offices worldwide.

Tick Tock!  What to do?

While time management software is available to help track the time and productivity figures, there are also time management techniques that can improve those figures.  Time and people are the two most important assets a company has.  Properly tracking employee time can create a larger picture of how time management techniques are improving or declining; this information, in turn, can be used to prepare and implement a plan of action to increase productivity further.

Here’s some helpful time management tips:

  • Utilizing Time Management Software.
  • Tracking amount of time to complete each assignment.
  • Learning to prioritize.
  • Keep track of appointments and tasks in a calendar.
  • Leave time in your day for “what ifs”.
  • Delegating projects accordingly.
  • No unnecessary web surfing or social media.
  • Don’t over commit.  Complete must-do assignments first.

While there are hundreds of time management techniques and solutions that advertise “secrets” of productivity and time management magic, it is important to choose software and adopt habits that work for your specific situation.  Most good software can cost money, but the good ones usually offer 30 day free trials.  It is worth the time and investment to make sure whichever system you go with is the right one for your team.   Research time management techniques and solutions for about a week each and see if they work before committing to a paid subscription or large purchase.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user monkeyc.net

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