Showing posts with label time management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label time management. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Helping Managers Develop Strategies for Time

Time is an expendable resources that has limitations and adds up to either contribute or detract from a company’s success. You may have heard the phrase time is money. In business few things could be truer. The way in which managers use their time can have large implications for whether or not activities are aligned to the actual needs of the company. Time management isn’t a fruitless event and can lead to greater personal and organizational rewards. 

Managing time and knowing where to spend time are two important considerations. Someone can be efficient with every moment of their life but if they are spending their time in the wrong activities it doesn’t do them much good. Likewise, on an organizational level percentages of time can lead to thousands, if not millions, of dollars of revenue. 

Distraction of the Available:

It is easy for managers to get distracted in the small everyday tasks they must complete each day. The reports, daily events, and employee concerns keep them jumping from one task to the next in order to finish the day. It is like a running hamster wheel where lots of things are getting done but few of them actually contribute to the organization. 

Instead of being reactive with time it is important to be more proactive in its use. This includes keeping the bigger function of the organization and the department in mind when spending time. Sometimes it is better to adjust tasks, streamline processes, or simply delegate some necessary “busy work” to ensure that focus is maintained on the objectives. 

Over Abundance of Procedures:

The manager’s job is not in isolation and often must take into account the needs of customers, suppliers, bosses, human resources, industry stakeholders, etc… At times organizations may develop too many rules and processes that make functional operation of the department ineffective. There are simply too many details that must be accomplished every day before productivity begins. 

This is something that is difficult for executives to understand because in their search for greater control the actual time the manager has left to focus on his/her core job functions becomes limited.  The manager must choose between pleasing their boss and meeting organizational goals. Sometimes the choice can become impossible to make when pressures are high. 

Time management is not always something that rests with the individual manager’s use of time. In many scenarios it can be the actual policies, procedures, and misalignment of duties that cause managers not to be focused. As these managers spend more time on organizational objectives they naturally are better able to reach important company milestones. Executives should seek to simplify, streamline, and focus duties instead of creating complexity.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Industrial Time Management Skills

Time management is an important part of maintaining productivity within the workplace. With the proper allocation of time companies can accomplish more projects that are beneficial to their needs. When looking at wasted time throughout a corporation a significant proportion of this limited resource simple goes down the drain with little benefit. Proper time management is a skill that can be learned on an organizational and individual level and should be fostered for higher performance.

At an individual level a person can gain a sense of mastery and accomplishment by having time-management skills that make it easier for them to navigate their day. Research has indicated that time management training, based upon psychological theory, increased perceived control of time and decreased stress (Hafner & Stock, 2010). The type of skills learned varied in ability and effectiveness yet the findings remained relatively consistent across the spectrum.

Since time management raised masterly of their work environment and decreased stress there are some secondary benefits to training for appropriate skills. On an organizational level this time training can lead to higher levels of organizational accomplishment and systematic improvements in efficient functioning. The development of organizational time management starts at the top on the macro level and managed minutely by individuals. 

The tackling of poor time management is important as an industrial management technique. Time scarcity and misallocation are systematic problems in organizations (Bevins & Smet, 2013). Based upon a survey of executives they found that it is beneficial to allow for time budgets that encourage the focusing on important projects that help the organization succeed. Doing so reduces waste throughout the company.

Industrial time management starts with the board and top executives who allocate the tasks and time of the management team (Bregman, 2013). The goal is to ensure that their allocation of time is properly aligned with strategic objectives and not wasted on less important endeavors. It doesn’t mean that all of the time is allocated to specific projects but that each project requires a particular investment of the manager’s time to maintain focus. 

At a personal and organizational level time management creates additional efficiencies in organizational functioning. Despite these benefits many organizations have not effectively trained their managers well or developed time budgets. Considering time management as a systematic policy can help encourage greater focus on strategic objectives and reduce organizational waste. Such techniques should be incorporated into organizational training plans. 

Bevins, F. & Smet, A. (2013). Making time management the organization’s priority. McKinsey Quarterly, 1.

Bregman, P. (2013). A personal approach to organizational time management. McKinsey Quarterly, 1.

Hafner, A. & Stock, A. (2010. Time management training and perceived control of time at work. Journal of Psychology, 144 (5).

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Effective Time Management: Task and Assessment

Time management is of concern to most managers and employees that have some control of their daily schedules. It is also a concern to executives and managers that want their employees to be productive at work. Those employees who know how to effectively manage their time appear to have an advantage over those who don’t. Research helps highlight how successful employees are in finding appropriate strategies to put their efforts to maximum use.

Successful completion of goals and tasks requires employees to maintain the ability to schedule their time appropriately and make the most effective use of their efforts. The success of the business, as well as it managers, rely on strong and poor time management (Bahtijarevic, et. al., 2008). Time can be seen as a resource that when used effectively is a competitive advantage to organizations when compared to those organizations the ineffectively use time.

Successful time management can mean different things to different people and should have a process. Time management requires the ability to decide what should be accomplished, the importance of those tasks, and the priority of these tasks (Lakein, 1973).  With an effective method employees are more knowledgeable of the requirements each day and more focused in their efforts.

Effective time management requires a process that is helpful in conceptualizing available time resources as allocated to the organization. According to Macan et. al. it is necessary to 1.) set goals and priorities; 2.) making lists; and 3.) have a preference for the organizations needs (1990).  Not having a preference for the organization means that time will be used on more personal and less constructive activities.  

A study conducted by Mitrovic, et. al. (2013) helps to understand time usage within a Serbian company and how businesses can more effectively improve upon that time management. It aims to study the degree in which employees effectively schedule their time and helps to define factors in this effective time management.  A total of 180 employees out of a possible 220 responded to the survey.


-Daily planning of the day’s tasks was best done immediately after arriving at work. It is suggested that is a tallying of all required tasks, their arrangement and then understanding the amount of time each of them needs to be completed. 

-56% of employees plan their schedules daily, 24% do this irregularly, and 20% didn’t plan on a regular basis. This helps highlight the use of time resources are not being effectively utilized. 

-49% of employees know their most productive part of the day, 22% do not know when their most productive time is and 29% are unsure of when their most productive time is. Employees should understand when their most productive times are and utilize this time effectively. 

-70% of employees knew what the most important tasks for tomorrow were, 12% didn’t know what the most important tasks for tomorrow were and 17% were unsure. Employees should learn how to be more aware of upcoming tasks and learn how to be proactive in their scheduling of time. 

- 39% of employees did not update their project plans, 27% of employees were not sure, and 34% updated their project plans.  Employees had more difficulty managing their time on longer term projects.

The study helps highlight the necessity of training employees to effectively use their time in order to maximize time resources and human capital. The results indicate that effectively managing time requires the use of lists of tasks that are prioritized and have appropriate time allocated to each of these tasks. The best time of the day to prioritize tasks is early in the morning. The longer and more tasks the project requires the less ability employees have to plan their time accordingly.

Bahtijarevic, et. al (2008). Siivremeni menadzment.  Zagreb, Skolska knjiga
Lakein, A. (1973). How to get control of your time and your life. NY: New American Library.

Macan, et. al. (1990). College students time management: correlations with academic performance and stress. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82.

Mitrovic, S., Bozidar, L, Knoja, V. & Nesic, A. (2013). Employee time management: a case study from Serbia. Metalurgia International, 18 (1). 

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