This article was written by Mindy Jo, M.B.A. & M.Ed.
Time management can make or break you in the workplace. There are a number of strategies and skills to focus on, but which skills truly deserve your attention? There are 3 time management skills for this average Jo. Mindy Jo-that is! Whether you’re working for a small business or in a major corporation. Or perhaps, you are employed by a hospital or within a school district. Effective time management is a major key to success-regardless of you are an employee or an entrepreneur.
Take Time To…W.A.Y.T. & Dialogue.
Take time to wait-or pause-and then communicate what is a priority for your calendar. The acronym W.A.Y.T. has been created for the life coaching brand and business-worryaboutYOUtoday.com. When advising, “Take Time To…W.A.Y.T.”, it is suggested you wait and reflect in order to worry about you today by evaluating what is important to you. When you are focused on your priorities, you are better prepared to be a positive change in your world. When you are positive, you are organically encouraging the individuals around you-physically & digitally.
Now, to make the connection to time management skills. It is important for you to effectively communicate with your stakeholders to understand which tasks require your attention immediately. Determine which deadlines have flexibility. Then, plan accordingly to align tasks and/or projects with your schedule.
Effective dialogue is key when communicating with leadership, colleagues, subordinates, clients, distributors…and so on. Actively listen, and then speak to stakeholders to confirm expectations, urgency, and timeframes. The conversation should focus on (S.M.A.R.T.) specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals set for optimal results.
Take Time To…W.A.Y.T. & Decide.
When referencing time management skills, it is also critical that you develop your decision-making skills. Time management requires a decision as to which tasks deserve your utmost attention and when. Decision-making is all about making the most sensible selections after weighing through the options. Decision-making is also about finding the most efficient resolution to any problem.
3 Ways to Weigh the Options
Decision-making can be gut-wrenching and/or cumbersome. There are also those moments when fear may set in, paralyzing you into not making a decision within an efficient time period. This could cause a priority issue to be delayed or missed. Here are a few suggestions to help with that dilemma.
- Set a time limit for yourself when making a decision. Although this may not apply to every task or situation, you can apply a timeframe to most.
- Analyze, or breakdown, the information, and/or data you have when making a decision to the best of your ability. Reach out to SME’s (subject matter experts) if necessary. Collaborating with others is positive, and it also supports growing your networking and leadership skills. This also connects with the first time management skill referenced—dialogue.
- Push the fear of failure from your mind. Failure isn’t necessarily a negative consequence. Many times, amazing success can come from failure. If you do fail at first, continue to push forward. You only truly fail when you fail to persevere.
So, take time to W.A.Y.T. & decide your priorities for proper time management. Take time to W.A.Y.T. & decide your resolutions for proper time management.
Take Time To…W.A.Y.T. & Delegate.
The third and final time management skill to focus on is delegation. Leadership doesn’t have to translate to holding a management position. Leadership is about inspiring and motivating others-regardless of a title or rank. Leadership is also about delegating tasks and/or project assignments to individuals who are well-suited.
Delegation is an efficient use of your time and resources. It should not be misinterpreted as laziness. It is beneficial for both the individual delegating the task, as well as, a potential growth opportunity for the recipient. When analyzing who to delegate an assignment to in the workplace, it’s helpful to evaluate their skills and comfort level. Although it can be positive to stretch an individual’s skill set, it’s important to assess qualifications and motivation for optimal results.
It is a win-win. A necessary task is completed by another qualified individual. You are freed up to do other tasks that require your time. There are only so many designated work hours during the day. You must delegate some tasks to control your calendar.
Control Your Calendar
Effective time management is controlling your calendar. You can control your calendar through meaningful dialogue, wise decision-making, and delegation. If you would like to audit your time management skills, there are apps available to track your time. Online apps, such as RescueTime and HourStack, are useful time tracking tools meant to improve your calendar efficiencies. For example, HourStack promotes optimal planning of your time. RescueTime encourages you to monitor your time and audits for improvement. There are other applications that may be researched and used to best support your time management skills success.
There are a number of time management skills for an individual may focus on. However, there are 3 time management for the average Jo-like myself-to continuously improve and strengthen. When taking the time to Worry About YOU Today, you should: (1) dialogue, (2) decide, & (3) delegate to have complete control of your calendar.