First of all let’s make sure we know what time management actually is. As with many concepts and processes, a number of different definitions exist. Time management comes down to how you plan and organise your time to be as productive and effective as possible. This is in relation to your working hours.
Getting time management right is done by working smart and using techniques and technology to support you. Getting time management wrong is done by doing what you have always done. This include not embracing new approaches and not planning and prioritising effectively to deal with varying demands.
In order to master the basics of time management you need to deploy a number of skills and techniques:
- Goal and deadline setting – Be realistic and achievable. Setting goals and deadlines for the sake of it can be counterproductive. They should motivate you, not stress you.
- To do lists – An old favourite but one that many people swear by. Break down what you need to do and then you can plan your time accordingly. It’s also hugely satisfying to tick something off the list when it’s complete.
- Allocate priorities – If you don’t already know when something needs to be completed by, then find out. Identify what is a priority and work from there.
- Avoid multitasking – Focus on one thing at a time. Flitting between tasks generally means that they take longer to do as you lose focus.
- Give yourself a break – Literally, step away from the desk! Mental and physical fatigue are not conducive to high quality work and effective time management.
- Teamwork – Unless you work on your own there’s always someone else who can help. Can you delegate tasks to someone and give them a chance to learn and develop to support you more?
When it comes to time management, technology is also your friend. HR systems have a range of functionality which can support and drive efficient time management. On a very basic level an HR system can be used to capture working hours and for the submission and approval of timesheets. This data can then be used to see if staff are working more or fewer hours than they should, at both ends of the spectrum this should highlight time management issues. If staff are working fewer than their contracted hours why is this, do they have sufficient work, are they actually really productive and efficient and can you therefore allocate more tasks to them? If staff are working more hours than expected is this because their time management skills are poor? Do they simply have too much on, are they poor at delegation or are they at risk of burnout? Your HR system may also integrate with your payroll system and this can help with time management as it avoids manual and duplicate entry of the same information in regards to working hours and pay.
Many HR systems will house a calendar and tasks function. You can use these to automate your to do list and makes delegation and task sharing simpler. This makes keeping track of your tasks much easier. Tasks and reminders will appear on your HR system dashboard so they are there in your face and you can allocate tasks to other users via workflows if you are delegating or collaborating. Your system might also include a traffic light coding for your to do list so that as the deadlines approach then the tasks change colour and this will give you a visual prompt which will facilitate effective prioritisation.
A HR system can therefore be extremely useful in helping an organisation to maximise time management and as Benjamin Frankin said, “Time is money”.
Here at HRX, our HR software can help you manage your time effectively amongst other things. Take a look for yourself at what our HR software can do for your organisation and sign up for your free 30 day trial today!