20 tips for time managment


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20 tips for time managment

  1. 1. Tips for First Time Managers 1. Learn the Business You'll feel tempted to overhaul and start fresh. But there's so much you don't know. Rather than risk moving too fast too soon, spend your first months observing, listening, and learning. Keep a log of everything you question. To know what's critical and what's clutter. Lean on those with institutional knowledge and memory. In short, be humble and grow into the job. Take small steps so your employees have some continuity. You'll have time to leave your fingerprints as you mature. 2. Meet with Your People Individually Don't judge the holdovers, at least not initially. Instead, give everyone a clean slate, no matter what you've heard. Remember, all your reports will be on their best behavior initially. You represent a fresh start; they want to be seen in the best light. So give them plenty of one-on-one time early. Learn about their history and aspirations. Watch them in action to see who'll tell the truth, help, or inevitably disappoint. Most important, get buy-in from your stars and respected veterans. Without their support, few others will follow.
  2. 2. 3. Set Objectives You have their attention: Capitalize on it. Set ground rules and expectations early. Outline your short-term and longterm vision for the department. Identify what's mission critical, why, and how everyone's roles contribute to the end result. Set goals, but keep them relatively short, unambiguous, and achievable. Establish time lines and benchmarks to measure progress. Help them understand they're working toward something larger, and how their careers, lives, and world will profit from their labor. 4. Make a Memorable Gesture Want to make an impact in your first weeks? Strip everything down and simplify. That's right: Take them back to basics. Determine what's holding them back, such as a bad apple or redundant paperwork. Take a dramatic action to send the message that times have changed. Or build goodwill by skewering a sacred cow or making a symbolic giveback. Whether you're looking to drive service, productivity, or profitability, focus your team on that area and remove any obstacles or excuses for delivering it. 5. Have a Department Plan An idea is doomed to failure without a plan behind it. After meeting with stakeholders, draft three- and sixmonth plans. Set targets, replete with starting and ending
  3. 3. points (and the steps in between). Hold yourself accountable by evaluating progress weekly and making adjustments as circumstances evolve. At minimum, your job is to get your team members on the same page and level, and foster an environment where they can excel. Without a plan and a dedication to executing it, they will inevitably drift, gradually losing sight of their potential and value. 6. Develop Each Person (Including Yourself) It's the universal question: How can I take my employees to the next level? Like anything, it requires planning, attention, and commitment. Start with recognizing each person's strengths, goals, and areas for improvement. From there, establish individual plans, no different from your department plan. Seek out opportunities where they can learn and contribute (and move out of their comfort zones). Check in regularly on their performance. Face it, your reports won't all stay in their jobs forever. Know where they want to go; motivate them by helping them get there. 7. Recognize Your Limitations You haven't done the job long enough to own a real track record. Seasoned managers will condescend to you; employees will try to roll you. Your newcomer status puts you at an innate disadvantage. So don't place yourself in a
  4. 4. losing position until you've built up your capital. Pick those fights and drive those issues you can win. And realize you can't be everything to everyone. It takes time to make things happen, and there will be mistakes along the way. Be patient and take heart with any victories you achieve. 8. Cultivate a Mentor You've seen it before: One bad manager can stifle creativity, siphon energy, and poison relationships. And you'll have times when you'll ask if you're causing more harm than good. When this happens, reach out to someone who's already gone through that. Find a mentor who can pick you back up and put your challenges in perspective. Stay in touch regularly and take his or her advice, however critical, to heart. Chances are, a mentor will be flattered by your trust. Eventually he may be the one who introduces you to the right people and champions your cause. 9. Build Bridges with Other Departments Along with being a manager, you're also an ambassador. Invest time in building relations with the other departments. If they're not coming to you, go to them. Sit down with their leaders and rank and file. Take an inventory of how your department is viewed. Identify areas where you could improve your performance or
  5. 5. potentially team up with someone to help. Communicate regularly, so you keep your capabilities on their radar. It only takes one opportunity, and a mutual awareness of your unexpected synergies, to forge a long-term partnership. 10. Increase Your Team's Exposure Take it a step further: Turn your reports into your department's ambassadors. Look for opportunities to give them the spotlight, such as training sessions, newsletters, project leadership, and success stories. Sponsor company events or causes and give out awards and gifts. Use your influence to get employees into other departments' meetings or field operations. Most important, get them face time with leadership. You want to expand their world, not narrow it, to enhance their value to the organization. 11. Prove Yourself People often like holding a title more than the work required to keep it. Your résumé and rhetoric may sparkle, but they'll only win respect for so long. So start by learning what your people do: the constituencies, responsibilities, systems, and schedules that drive their day. Don't hide in your office; jump into the trenches and get your hands dirty. Show you can step in and do their job if need be. Similarly, notch some early victories to
  6. 6. prove you can get things done. Bottom line: Establish your credibility. Without it, you're another dead-weight boss, the one employees know will just confuse everything. 12. Be an Example You're wired into the powers that be. Your people will adopt your attitudes and anxieties, conscious or not. So recognize the image you project at all times. Be the example: Convey confidence and stay composed. Own up to your mistakes, so your people do the same. Follow your own rules, knowing no job or rule is beneath you. And stay approachable and positive at all times. At minimum, your people should respect you. At best, they should aspire to be like you. People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say. Always walk the walk. 13. Energize You're a leader; you set the tone and pace and they feed off you. So pump it up. Recognize publicly and praise regularly, accentuating the positives. Reward them for excellence with unexpected treats like a free lunch or a few hours off. Bring in speakers or share articles so they're exposed to best practices. Assign projects to foster collaboration and closer relationships within your team. Bottom line: Don't let them stagnate; stay on the offensive
  7. 7. to keep your momentum going. Reinforce every day why they want to work here, not somewhere else. 14. Treat Them Like Adults You're managing highly driven, talented, and accomplished professionals. Chances are, some think they could (or should) be you. Adjust accordingly. That means asking questions and examining all sides instead of rendering snap judgments. Respect their time: Always be prepared, relevant, and succinct in your dealings. Don't micromanage unless they're not meeting expectations. Set boundaries, but be flexible; they have families and responsibilities, too. Keep an open mind. Don't be afraid to accept input (or even criticism). In other words, practice the golden rule. 15. Care About Them Personally No one aspires to be a lousy manager. It's often the accumulation of little things—careless comments or hypocritical acts—that erodes camaraderie and trust. Fortunately, little things like a private gesture or kind word also set managers apart. So how can you strengthen your relationships? Start by learning what makes them tick. Are they looking for money, recognition, influence, or meaning? Who are their family members and pets? What are their interests? Most important, accept them for who they are. You won't mold everyone into a superstar,
  8. 8. but steady performers bring equal value over the long haul. 16. Keep Out Emotion There's a price to pay for leadership: You always have to be the bigger person. And that means you cannot take things personally, publicize your views or personal life, or get too cozy with your reports. As a manager, your guard must always stay up. Like it or not, you'll eventually hold gut-wrenching meetings on conduct and performance with your people. Your comments and relationship will be used against you. Even more, never use the threat of discipline to stifle questions or dissent. Taking your insecurities out on your employees is the quickest path to mutiny. 17. Delegate Stepping into management is often a battlefield promotion. You may even hold onto your previous duties as you assume new ones. In this atmosphere, you can't juggle everything. No one expects you to have all the answers, and you'll only hurt your team by pretending to know more than you do. Instead, swallow your pride. Recognize your shortcomings and your reports' strengths, and capitalize on them. Step back and let them lead, checking in and providing counsel from time to time. Just
  9. 9. be careful not to abuse delegation: It can never be a means to regularly duck work or leave early. 18. Provide Ongoing Communication Your employees' perception of you can be your biggest asset or drawback. So how can you reinforce a good impression? It starts with reaching out. Appearances matter, so set aside time for each person to provide guidance and support. Collectively, keep them current on company developments and share what you're doing to help them. Maintain a two-way dialogue and seek feedback on what's important to them. You're now responsible for others, and they need to know you're watching out for their interests. 19. Be Consistent Think a title automatically bestows respect? Guess again. Reality is, it ebbs and flows for many managers unless they possess a distinctive quality: consistency. As business grows more complex and uncertain, your people should never guess how you'll react. Instead, they should view you as a patient arbiter who'll provide a fair hearing and honest feedback. Otherwise, they'll invariably tell you what you want to hear rather than what you need to hear. And silence is a far greater threat to any business than candor. 20. Reflect on Your Employees
  10. 10. Management can be a thankless job. Some will turn your name into a punch line. Others will predictably undermine you with human resources. In these times, ask yourself: Are they right? Over time, some lose sight of the big picture, focusing on looking good over helping people succeed. But everyone, employees and peers alike, can see through the self-importance. Fair or not, your personal reputation rubs off on your department. Make sure your conduct and attitudes don't hamper your employees when it comes time for securing resources or earning promotions.