In our last blog post we explored some simple steps that you can take to organise others and save yourself time. Here are a few more handy tips and tricks based around this very important topic. The more time we save the more successful we can be!

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Here’s an idea

How many times have you been on an important phone call when a colleague comes into your office (or lingers beside your desk), stands there, and waits for you to finish the call so s/he can tell you something? This, of course, is distracting – if not discourteous, to you and can destroy your focus during the call. And, of course, your colleague is wasting his/her time waiting for you to finish.

The solution? Keep a pad of paper and a pen on the corner of your desk. Every time this situation occurs, push the pad over to the person standing by your desk, and signal that you want him or her to jot down their ‘interruption’. Most people will get the message, jot down a note – then leave.

 

Ask yourself

Do you make it hard for others to manage their own time? Are you their main time management problem because of your own self-interest? If allowed to develop too far, some of your own blind spots may stand in the way of staff achievement. Consider the following bad working habits which may be irritating your colleagues when it comes to their ongoing struggle to use time effectively:

  • Do you accept phone calls in meetings?
  • Are most of the jobs you delegate last-minute panics?
  • Do you rarely make quick phone calls?
  • When delegating urgent work, do you discuss re-scheduling of their existing important tasks?
  • Do you sometimes fail to ask, at the beginning of a phone call, if it is convenient to talk?
  • Do you ever fail to return a phone call when you say you will?
  • Do you ever spend a little more time on making your handwriting more legible?
  • For important phone calls, or for calls dealing with complex matters, do you plunge in without first writing a summary of what needs to be said?
  • Is there a regularly occurring staff joke about one aspect of your behaviour, like not getting to the point, or arriving late? Is it not time you took it seriously?

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Two timely tips

  • It takes the same amount of time to be pleasant to other people as to be nasty to them, but pleasant and nice will get you much further.
  • A little pressure is a great motivator – but too much pressure usually shuts people down, so be realistic about what can and can’t be accomplished and set realistic deadlines.

 

Increase productivity by streamlining your red tape and paperwork

Is your staff buried in forms, reports, and memos? Some corporate divisions spend so much time wading through paperwork that they can’t focus on the job at hand. As a manager, it’s up to you to eliminate useless forms and reports. Try this tactic: For every report or recurring memo that has a distribution list, incorporate a box on the first page that says: “Check this box if you find this report (or memo) unhelpful or unnecessary.” Then, at the bottom of the box ask employees to photocopy the first page of the report and put a copy in your mailbox. By studying “the checks”, you’ll be able to see which reports are not worth the paper they’re printed on. Important: Make sure the process is anonymous, so people aren’t afraid of being honest.

If you interested in learning more about these types of skills or are seeking further training in a particular area you can contact us on 1800 998 500, email us at [email protected] or visit our website.