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Travis Schneider



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5 Keys to Successful Time Management in the Workplace


When it comes to leadership, whether running a company or managing a team of just a few people, a lot of skills come into play.

Many people wonder what the secret is to acquiring those skills, but in all honesty, there isn’t really a magical fix-all that can turn someone into a master of time management.

That doesn’t meant that there aren’t a few tips or tricks to time management that are worth following, though. Time is one of your most valuable commodities, and there’s not really any way to acquire more of it.

If you keep a few things in mind, though, you can use the time that you and your team have to great effect.

1. Have a plan

As the saying goes, “Time is money,” and just like money, it’s easy to overspend if you don’t set up a proper budget. So many incidentals come up each day that if you’re not paying attention and sticking to a plan, the time will slip by before you ever realize it.

At either the beginning or end of each day, sit down and make a plan of exactly what you need to get done. If you spend the first part of your day reading emails or studying industry trends, schedule it out, and then stick to that schedule. Remember to plot out some extra time to deal with those inevitable incidentals.

The same process holds true when you’re working with a team, though on a wider level. While meeting every single day can be redundant and actually waste time, setting a plan together for your work can ensure that everyone is on task and on the same page.

Check in regularly with each other, and make sure that you are following the same schedules.

2. Divide big goals into smaller, achievable goals

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” When faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, people find it much easier to procrastinate. Since it’s already impossible, after all, you may as well not worry about it until later.

A lot of these jobs that seem impossible, though, are actually quite reasonable once they’ve been broken down into smaller, bite-sized chunks. If your team has to produce a huge video, first focus on writing the script. Once the script is ready, move on to storyboarding and so on.

The end product is the goal, but it is made up of several smaller tasks.

An added benefit of splitting goals up is that it becomes that much easier to delegate. Your team can adopt the mantra of Divide and Conquer, pulling together to get the work done in a timely fashion.

Not only does this cut down on the workload for each person involved, along with making the task seem more manageable, but it allows you to target specific tasks at those employees best equipped to handle them.

3. Make it easier to do the tasks you need to get done

Often, the hardest part of getting a task done is just getting started. Once you’ve begun working, you can build up a powerful inertia and plow through your tasks. Some tasks come with a high threshold of “activation energy.” By lowering the necessary activation energy required for a task, it becomes that much easier to begin. For example, if there is a specific program that you must use for

In the same vein, increasing the activation energy necessary can be beneficial in avoiding distractions. If you find yourself regularly wasting time on social media, don’t just close the tab—log out of the website entirely.

That added few seconds it takes to log in might be just the trigger you need to decide not to let yourself get sidetracked.

4. Know your limits

One of the easiest ways to miss a crucial deadline is to agree to too much. While it’s tempting to promise a client amazing results, those promises won’t do you any good if you aren’t able to deliver.

In that case, it’s likely that you will spend a lot of time juggling several different tasks while not being able to give any task the attention it deserves. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t strive to produce the best results you can; it just means that the results you promise should be realistic.

Know what you and your team can deliver, set reasonable parameters, and stick to those parameters.

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Travis Schneider


Read more from Travis Schneider

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