Have you ever heard someone say ?There goes a busy fool?? ?Well, if you?re a manager take a good look at yourself because it?s possible that you are that busy fool.? Always dashing about, flying from meeting to meeting, trying to keep the team happy, handle enquiries, do the record keeping attend training events, develop new ideas and manage established projects. Wow, there?s hardly time for all the coffee you need to drink to keep going!
When working in organisations as a consultant, I often am asked for time savers for managers. This is so that they can implement new ideas without dropping the other work they seem to be juggling all the time or feeling overwhelmed.
As a manager, you’re often caught between senior managers and executives who see what needs to be done, and your team who are struggling to get the job done.
All too often managers feel so overwhelmed with everything they have on their plates that the idea of taking on a new project (such as developing a new enterprise) is the final straw. ?But actually considering more enterprising approaches could just be the ?answer to their problems. ?Being more enterprising isn’t just about developing new projects to bring in an income stream but can also mean considering better ways of doing things that can benefit both you the manager, your team the organisation and potentially the clients.
But, actually considering more enterprising approaches could just be the ?answer to their problems. ?Being more enterprising isn’t just about developing new projects to bring in an income stream but can also mean considering better ways of doing things that can benefit both you the manager, your team the organisation and potentially the clients.
The truth is we can all make ourselves busy, but busy doing what is the big question. Many of the things you do as managers are out of habit or a belief you should be doing it rather than actually knowing it adds value to the organisation.
5 time savers for managers who feel overwhelmed:
- Keep it all together.? If you feel yourself spending precious time looking for a piece of paper or that stray sticky note with a telephone number on or an idea you had, then now?s the time to start keeping it all together . Use a day book.? Each day start a new page, put the date at the top of the book and use it to keep your to do list, ideas, notes from calls, questions and information. You can easily find things then in date order.
- Files and folders. ?Use either physical folders or computer based files (or a combination of the two) to keep things together by project, client or product.? Then you can easily get your hands on all the information when going to a meeting, answering a phone call or dealing with a problem.
- Automate more things. Technology means more and more things can be automated.? Be careful you don?t lose the personal touch, but things like informing suppliers or customers about changes or paying bills and sending out general information can be automated to save you time and stop you worrying about getting things done on time.
- Delegate to others who know how to do things better than you do.? It?s easy to think you should be doing something or your better at doing something and worse it’s quicker to do it yourself. ?But part of your role as a manager is to encourage others, train them up and also?use your higher level skills. ?So stop getting caught up in work that others can easily do on your behalf. ?Staff want to get on with the work they are paid to do and often they?know best how to do it. ?This leaves you to get on with what you know.
- Set up templates.? When possible get help to set up some standard responses and templates. ?Particularly for answering those questions and enquiries. ?Set up a database of standard replies to cut and paste in.? Of course, you are free to tweak those emails as necessary, but a template gives the basics and you can personalise it.? That way you are more likely to give a well thought out response, presented in a professional way, which eliminates the potential errors as well as saving you time.
If as a manager you are too busy to find better ways of doing things and too busy to reflect on the way business is going then maybe your team can help.
As front line staff they can often come up with solutions to saving time, providing a better solution without adding more work or cost and making changes that can really benefit the team, the organisation and the clients.
I regularly work with teams to help them develop new and enterprising ways of working to save time and costs for their organisations. ? Want to know more drop me a line?