Consider the best time management for employees is actually energy and focus management.
First note: consider the energy and focus context, an aspect of your culture, of your organization. If your company is going in 20 different directions, then don’t be surprised if your team members are too. Make sure your strategic plan for the quarter is crystal clear and that everyone understands their contribution, role and responsibility in accomplishing the goals of that plan.
If you only do one item to improve time management for employees, or rather their energy and focus management, do this one:
#1 At the start of every work day, have each team member briefly and powerfully declare the ONE bite-size strategic item they have accomplished by the end of that work day that has made THE difference. Once completed, have them announce it to the team. I personally prefer “BOOMASHAKALAKA!” – though you could also just say “done.” This simple declaration will set them up for success in focusing their energies on the work that will make meaningful progress – this will create momentum and increase morale – both of which create the experience of more time and more energy. It’s a virtuous cycle.
- As a leader or a manager, know your team is a reflection of you. If you run around like a “chicken with your head cut off” and feel there are “never enough hours in the day” know your team will have a similar experience. Be grounded and clear on what there is to make happen next.
- Request your team be responsible for their well-being and keep their energy buckets filled. For example, not getting enough sleep is a deal-breaker for energy and focus. Also learn what your team’s bucket fillers are – music, stretching, fresh air, power nap, cat videos… Also learn what drains their buckets and check-in when you see they’re dragging.
- Leverage your team’s energy cadence – when are individual team members most productive? Creative? Don’t schedule team meetings then. Also what’s their rhythm for focus – how long do they tend to be focused before they need to shift?
- 19-day challenge distracted team members to stop the incessant mental pinging of tasks and being reactive. Stop the madness. This requires mindfulness and a willingness to give up the addictive adrenaline ego hit of “all the things need all of my attention all the time.” When something shows up, tell them to simply write it down then move on – they’ll get to it when it’s time – now is not that time. Share one of the many online resources out there on “How to be Mindful.”
- Really evaluate your team’s work based on the 80/20 rule – where 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. Take 3 things OFF your team’s plate permanently and highlight the 3 consistent actions that make the difference.
- Standing meetings work to keep everyone literally on their toes, focused and succinct.
- Manage the e-mails, texts, social media, notifications, and cellphones. Also manage supplies and machines – make sure your team has the resources they need and that they work.
Next time you’re looking for time management for employees, look at how you can expand your team’s energy and guide their focus.
Click here to learn more about How to End Time Poverty.
Team Building/Culture Building Activity:
Download this half-page, “Make Magic Happen Daily Creationary Goodness” to support your team in organizing their work day from an empowering context. Have them share their experience after one week of using this tool every day.