A very large part about being an effective leader is being able to bring the best out of your team. It’s well known that there is strength in numbers, and it’s also no secret effective time management can get a team further ahead.
Being in control of your time implies that you’re potentially less stressed out, more productive, and are able to deliver a higher quality of work on time. Apart from that, having more time to spare opens you up to new opportunities, allowing you to achieve a superior work-life balance.
When it comes to business, time is one of your most valuable assets, so what can you do to help your team become more time-efficient? Here are five recommendations.
1. No meetings day
While sometimes necessary, meetings may also prove incredibly distracting sometimes. The idea is to pick any day of the week and make it a ‘no meetings day’, such as ‘no meetings Wednesdays’ carried out at Facebook headquarters.
During this time, team members are able to spend more time focusing on projects and catching up on other tasks without the interruption of interacting with other members in a formal setting.
2. Limit chit chat
Chatting and getting to know each other is great. It allows the opportunity for team members to really learn more about their colleagues, as well as allowing for a collaborative and communal office atmosphere.
However, there’s a time and place for everything, and limiting regular small talk should be something to keep an eye out for. In general, the most effective way of doing this is leading by example.
3. Take note
If one of your team members is missing deadlines, or working very late hours there might be more than meets the eye. Encourage your team to keep track of their productivity using a time tracking app such as Toggl, or simply jotting down their daily activities on a notepad.
This will help you figure out how long things actually take. Maybe you’ll realise that a certain member is checking their email too often for instance, and in that case, you might want to suggest they set aside certain times of the day dedicated entirely to emails instead of ‘grazing’ throughout the day.
4. Prep for success
You can’t expect your team to shine if they haven’t been given the appropriate tools and instructions to do so.
Clear communication of goals and expectations is really important. Make note of which priorities take precedence, as well as establishing deadlines for each project.
Make sure that your team is able to easily access any relevant information or data while working. Procedure guidelines are also handy – should anyone have any questions they can always refer to the shared document later.
5. Make time
Even though you might not always feel that your team’s personal time management doesn’t fall directly under your responsibility…it does. Changing the way you approach casual chats or handle meetings, is a great starting place. So is helping your team understand how to better spend their time. But what if they ask for help?
As tempting as it might be to think ‘I don’t have time for this’, there’s always time for a five minute chat or email. Brushing others off when they’ve asked for help is one sure way to lose your team’s trust. After all, why would you expect your team to be there for you when you’re never there for them?
If you’re committed to improving your team’s time management, then take the time to help them whenever they need you. You might be very busy right now, but take a look at your calendar and let them know when you’re available next. Block out a time slot to discuss any issues that might be interfering with their time management, this might even help you gain insight on certain aspects that could improve your team’s performance as a whole.
Want to know more about time management? ThinkTalent run a number of Leadership and Management courses aimed at personal and professional development.