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You may struggle with managing your time efficiently and effectively or maybe one of your team finds time management a challenge. There are plenty of time management courses and time management tips around, but it is first of all critical that you understand what the root cause of the time management problem is. This will enable you to understand what action you need to take. You may find that a time management course is not the answer and that it is something much more fundamental in your business that needs addressing.
To highlight this I have given you some examples below of business issues that can mask themselves as time management problems:
The wrong person doing the wrong job or process. Are your staff in the right roles and are they doing the right jobs? A person may appear to have problems managing their time, but they may be in a role or doing a job that they are not suitable for.
Under resourcing. Is your business under resourced in terms of staff or any other resource? If it is, this could be creating too much pressure for each individual person such that they appear to have time management issues. Equally the resourcing issue may be that their equipment is inefficient e.g. they are working on an old slow PC that needs upgrading.
Inefficient processes and procedures. Are your business processes and procedures efficient and effective? Inefficient processes and procedures can mask themselves as time management issues.
Delegation issues. Do you have poor delegation skills or you may not want to delegate because you are a perfectionist or feel that you will lose control? Any of these will impact your ability to manage your time effectively.
Too many meetings. How many meetings do you have in your business and are they all effective? A lot of time can be wasted in unnecessary or badly managed meetings. Maybe you need to look at the meetings in your business rather than time management.
Lack of training. Do you and your staff need any training to do your roles better? What you thought was a time management issue may be a training need.
Inappropriate environment. Is the working environment appropriate for the work that is being done in your business? If people are uncomfortable, too close to each other or the layout encourages interruptions you may want to look here for improvements.
Poorly defined roles and responsibilities. Are you and your staff clear about your roles and responsibilities? If people are unclear this can cause duplication, inefficiencies and show up as time management issues.
No clear plan or strategy. Do you have a clear plan and strategy for your business? If you are working without clear direction you will find that you and your staff will be struggling to know what to do next and what the key priorities are.
Not reacting to changing customer needs. Is your business listening to its customers and being responsive to their changing needs and preferences? If you are struggling to adapt to your customers you may find that this shows up as time management problems.
This is just a small sample of business issues that can mask themselves behind what appear to be time management problems. I am sure that you can think of many more. It does highlight that the presenting issue is not necessarily the area that actually needs addressing in your business. You may find that it is something completely different!
Author: Liz Makin
Published: March 2010
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including communication, resilience, time management, stress management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please call Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk
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