The Secret to Better Time Management

Time management has been on my mind for a while now. Recently I re-read Druckers’ Effective Executive - the second chapter of which, ‘Know they Time’, is devoted to time management. I recommend it highly!

For the vast majority of managers that I work with making significant improvements in their time management is quick and easy.

It simply requires them to:

  • Work out their top priority for the coming week/month
  • Block out at least 2 x 90 minute slots each week when they are going to work – without interruption – on moving that priority forward.

It takes no more than that – get time for your priorities on your schedule!

This is important because so many managers just hope to fit progress on key priorities around a morass of standing meetings, e-mail and fire-fighting. Weeks slip by without any focus on progressing the priority. Yet once it is scheduled – and the time protected – BINGO! – the priority gets time and progress is made.

And while I am at it – unless work is really THE most important thing in your life – take great care about giving up week-ends and evenings to do it.

Working longer hours is rarely the key to getting more done.

It usually results in getting less done and only serves to slow down the rate of work; why have a sense of urgency to get the job done if you can always stay just another half an hour?

If you find that you must work evenings or week-ends then always make sure that you have a firm end-time for the work fixed – and stick to it. Make an appointment with what you love outside of work (family, hobby whatever) immediately after your work commitment and keep it.

My diary is littered with 5pm appointments with Danny.  Danny is my dog.  By having that 5pm ‘appointment’ fixed in my calendar I can get my work done and get away for a bit of me time.

Setting ‘hard stops’ like this will force you to use your time effectively.

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Update on the Be A Better Manager Book

You may already know that for some time I have been threatening to write the book on ‘How to Be A Better Manager‘.

And I still am.

But I have been thinking a bit about what I am actually trying to achieve with writing the book, and how best to achieve that purpose.

I want to help as many people as possible to become the best managers that they can be.  To become outstanding managers in fact.

And of course I hope to make some money along the way!

Is writing a book the best way to do this?  I am not so sure.

I have also been doing a lot of research on web based learning and training delivery – and it certainly now seems affordable and practical. The last time I looked about a decade back it was still really expensive, and few people could stream high quality video.

So instead I am considering a series of videos that will build into a 6 month course designed to really accelerate your journey towards becoming an outstanding manager.  I may supplement the videos with transcripts and perhaps the occasional teleconference, webinar or good old face to face training session!

My plan is not to make the videos available all at once, but instead to release them at carefully planned intervals that will give you the chance to absorb the material from one video, try it out at work, refine it and develop your practice before the next video is released.  This way you won’t get overwhelmed with information and will be able to make a series of manageable changes to your practice over time.

Alongside the videos will be a range of supporting materials including templates, aide memoirs and links to other materials to supplement your learning.

How does that sound?  Interesting?

If so then please sign up using the form on the right hand side.  I promise not to bombard you with lots of emails!