Time Management Tips and Traps

Are you looking for time management tips to help optimize productivity? Read the blog post below to learn the tips and traps of time management. 

Millions of people are chronically stressed at work because they feel they need to accomplish too much during the day.

While this may be true in some cases, you need to take a closer look at an employee’s average day. You may find it with activities that seem important on the surface, but simply add up to a long list of time traps.

Common Time Traps 

common time wasters - phone notifications

The first step in time management begins with recognizing common time traps. Becoming aware of behaviors that tend to waste time, empowers a person to reject them.

Consider the following activities that occur during a typical workday:

  • Phone/text interruptions.
  • Poor (or no) delegation.
  • Personal disorganization.
  • Drop-in visitors.  
  • Lack of self-discipline.
  • Procrastination.
  • The inability to say NO.
  • Lack of prioritization and planning.
  • Attempting too much.
  • Management-by-crisis.

Next Level Time Traps

common time wasters - excessive meetings - ahern, murphy, and associates

Although most time traps are under a person’s direct control, some are not. There are time traps set by a person’s department, company, or industry. Some of these time traps include

  • Excessive meetings.
  • Inadequate staffing.
  • Poor communication.
  • Excessive paperwork. 
  • Unclear authority and responsibility.
  • Inadequate controls, metrics.
  • Incomplete information.
  • Unnecessary travel.

Some assume that you can’t resolve time traps unless it’s under your control. This isn’t true. Time traps are always under someone’s control. You should tell your manager about significant time wasters. It is the manager’s responsibility to address issues that hinder performance. Rather than ignore the problem, they need to address the root issue. 

Investing in new software can eliminate inadequate metrics, poor communication, and excessive paperwork.

Lastly, if a direct supervisor isn’t clear about responsibilities, you should speak with upper management. If both immediate and upper management dismiss legitimate concerns, it may be necessary to move on to another employer who values exceptionalism.

Time management tips 

time management tips - ahern, murphy, and associates

The average employee has no control over poor project management. However, they do have direct control over most of their to-do lists. With these items, an employee can improve project efficiency. 

First, those with a disorganized desk should come in early to organize their work area. Although the initial investment of time may seem like a waste of time, the desk only needs to be maintained afterward. 

Second, if phone calls or texts are a problem, mute your phone. This allows you to work distraction-free. 

If unwanted visitors come to your office, politely inform them when it is an appropriate time to meet with them. If you ignore them outright, they are more likely to drop by when it’s inconvenient. Most people will respond well to rejection you respond in a positive, upbeat manner. 

When you arrive to work, your first task should be prioritization and planning your workload. If you find yourself constantly procrastinating, this can be a sign of boredom. Consider asking for a different project that interests you. 

Managers who struggle with delegation should consider additional staff training. This way, they’ll have confidence in issuing tasks to capable employees. 

Lastly, management-by-crisis indicates that a manager is disorganized or lacking the necessary knowledge. If the manager is disorganized, he or she should set time aside to prioritize organization. If the manager lacks knowledge, he or she should consider additional training. 

Does your office need help with time management? Take a workshop with us to optimize productivity within your organization. 

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