Time Management: Using the Team
According to most surveys, we have more tasks and less time to do them than ever before. Most of us know this. We feel like we're drowning in an endless stream of time deadlines. If this is you at work, then there is a simple way to manage your deadlines better: use the team. In other words, don't manage your time all by yourself. Get the team to help you. Here are 3 easy ways you can work with your team to manage your time better.
1. Control the Water Cooler
One of the biggest wastes of time in many organisations is the time people spend at the water-cooler or coffee machine gossiping. These are favourite haunts for moaners, whingers, and complainers. If you get sucked into this group, you'll not only lose your time, you'll also lose your energy and motivation. So, if this is a symptom of your workplace, put the issue of gossiping on the agenda of your next team meetings and kill it stone dead.
2. Create Team To-Do Lists
Writing to-do lists is acknowledged as an effective way of identifying current tasks and priorities. It is, however, a task that often gets relegated because of the time it takes to do and because it is hard to do it alone. A more effective way to compile to-do lists is to do them in teams. The team meets weekly or even daily and each person shares their current to-do list with everyone else. This has a number of advantages. First off, similar jobs can be pooled and given to the most qualified member of the team. Next, overloads and underloads can be evened out. And lastly the team can put their collective thinking caps on to find the best way to manage everyone's time.
3. Barn Raising
A great time-saving technique that uses the team is to get everyone to help you when you have a big job on your hands. It's based on the idea that "many hands make light work". Examples could be an office clear-out, a marketing event, a training conference, a visit of dignitaries, or a health and safety inspection.
In North America, this is sometimes known as "barn-raising" after the 19th century tradition of helping new settlers in the West to build a new barn when they arrive on their farm. On their own, the newcomers would struggle to put up such a big structure and, being new, would have few funds to pay someone else. The tradition is still practised today in closed communities such as the Amish and Mennonites when the job of helping newcomers build their barns is completed in a fraction of the time because everyone lends a hand.
Most people think that time management is something you have to do all by yourself. It's not. Use the team, and not only will you find that your tasks are done quicker and more effectively, you'll also be building team spirit into the bargain. And that's an even better use of your time!
Other Resources on Time and the Team
1. ehow has a feature on tips for teams on time management here.
2. Use the free BuddyCoach service from brefigroup.co.uk to find out your personal effectiveness here.
3. For 25 different time management products for your own learning or corporate training, click here.