Techniques and Tools to Overcome Time Management Hurdles for Managers   

In 2024, research reveals that 82% of all people lack an effective time management system, which causes them to allocate 51% of their workday to less productive activities. What’s more, US businesses lose around $588 billion a year due to workplace distractions. The average person tries 13 different time management methods, but only 18% of individuals end up adopting a method that works. 

Time management is a twofold issue for managers: they struggle to manage their own time, and they are the first to suffer the consequences of their subordinates’ inadequate time management. 

Tools to overcome time management hurdles 

Calendars and scheduling apps can help managers plan their day in advance. Project management software like Slack, Asana, and Trello helps organize tasks, assign responsibilities, and track progress.

Managers can use calendar apps like Google Calendar or Outlook to schedule meetings, set reminders, and plan their day.

Timesheet calculators 

A timesheet calculator provides visibility into how time is being allocated, making it easier to identify inefficiencies or areas where employees could manage time better. It can help discover time-wasting activities or distractions that may be a hurdle to productivity. 

With the data from the calculator, managers can more accurately estimate how long tasks or projects will take to complete in the future. This enables better planning and resource allocation, reducing the likelihood of missing deadlines due to poor time management.

When employees are required to track their time, it promotes accountability for how time is spent. This can help foster a culture of productivity and responsibility within the team, as employees are aware managers are monitoring their use of time.

By reviewing timesheet data over time, managers can gain insights into workload distribution among team members. This helps prevent burnout by identifying individuals who may be consistently overloaded.

Techniques to resolve time management issues 

One technique that remains highly effective in 2024 is the Eisenhower Matrix. It has four categories: tasks that are urgent and important, urgent but unimportant, important but not urgent, and neither.  

Urgent and important 

Tasks in this category require immediate attention. They are critical to achieving goals or addressing pressing issues. These tasks should be tackled as a priority.

Urgent but unimportant 

One can delegate these tasks, freeing up the time to focus on ones that align more closely with company goals and priorities.

Important, but not urgent 

These tasks can be crucial for long-term goals or objectives but are not immediately pressing. They require planning and should be scheduled for completion at an appropriate time to prevent them from becoming urgent in the future.

Neither urgent nor important 

Finally, this group of tasks is often considered a waste of time. They should be eliminated or minimized to avoid consuming effort, and time one could better spend elsewhere.

A similar technique is the ABC method, which classifies tasks into categories (A for high priority, B for medium, and C for low).

Limit distractions

Managers should identify common distractions and take steps to minimize them. As of 2023, the most common distractions were the internet (41%), coworkers (27%), and email (26%). According to 2024 data, 50% of employees admit to being distracted by their phones at work. Whether it’s catching up on social media, answering calls, or replying to texts, notifications are always prompting people to act. Instruct employees to turn their notifications off and stop using their phones for as long as they need to complete a task. 

It can help to invest in training or coaching programs focused on time management skills. Some of the most positive workplace distraction statistics come from team members who underwent training from their companies to help them focus. After the training, 75% of employees said they were more productive, 57% reported being more motivated, and 49% reported they were happier at their workplace. 

Review and adjust  

Managers should periodically review their use of the above time management tools and techniques to identify what’s working and what isn’t. Based on changing circumstances, they can make any necessary adjustments. 

Finally, a manager must ensure they get enough rest and exercise to maintain productivity and avoid burnout. They should not neglect relaxing activities that contribute to their health and well-being.

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