As a team leader, you are tasked with a number of responsibilities from managing your team and workload as well as cultivating new ideas and opportunities. In order to be effective in this role, enlisting the right time management strategies is key to accomplishing your work goals.
Here are seven time management tips to help you work as productively as possible
Have an organized work space
When your work area is filled with papers, to do lists and any number of other things, your productivity level is automatically diminished. In order for you to be successful and productive at your job, you must keep an organized work space. Start getting organized by focusing on the following areas:
- Paper – Keep a document storage system on your desk
- Get a junk jar for random stuff that will no doubt wind up on your desk
- Choose furniture and a layout that works for you
- Get your cables organized at your desk
Organize and prioritize your email
Checking your email can be a full time job. Especially when you are checking it multiple times throughout the day. In order for it not to take away from more important tasks, you need to schedule specific times to check it. This could be in the morning, at lunch and sometime again in the afternoon and right before you leave work. Take it a step further and organize your email by setting up folders for clients, team members, vendors and any other people you interact with on a continuous basis.
Know how to delegate tasks
As a team manager, it is tough to loosen the reigns and pass on work to your team. With that being said, delegating tasks to those that are equipped to complete them is key to your productivity as a manager. Stick to what you do best and delegate out the rest. That way you are giving your best work to your strengths.
In order to make delegating work, keep these tips in mind:
- Know what tasks you can delegate and what to keep for yourself.
- Provide complete instructions for each task.
- Come up with a way to track progress and status.
- Trust that you picked the right person to handle the task and that it will get done.
- Avoid micromanaging.
Limit your time online
Focus is the number one word that is associated with successful people. Nowadays with social media you are faced with a real distraction. Yes there is a time and place for it but if you are playing games and checking Facebook multiple times throughout the day, you are definitely subtracting from your productivity.
Make a Plan
To-do lists are a must if you are going to get things done. They help you keep track of your tasks and plan your time accordingly. Otherwise you wind up forgetting important things and the day ends and you feel like you haven’t accomplished what you needed to. Take it a step further and assign a priority level to each task. This is not about perfection either. If you didn’t end up getting something done, keep it on your list for the next day.
When you have a project you are heading up, you are looking at a number of different tasks that need to be handled on a daily basis. You have to prioritize the tasks since not all are created equal. Some are time sensitive and others are dependent on another task being completed. Sit down and figure out where the team’s focus should be. This is something that should be done on a daily basis so your team knows where their efforts should be put when the day starts.
In addition, in order to have an effective and productive team, you need to know the progress everyone is making with their tasks. This is where a team progress tracking software comes into play. This way you know what’s been done, what’s getting done, and what can’t be completed (and why).
Collaboration is key
A great leader knows that two heads are better than one. You have hopefully assembled a great team so take advantage of their skill sets. Keep a running dialogue with your team by having regularly scheduled brainstorming sessions. You never know when you will strike gold.
In order to be a great team leader, you have to be able to manage your time effectively. If you are disorganized and you don’t work from a to do list, you are no doubt wasting time. The above time management tips will help you be more productive and put out your best work.