Time management is one of those things that many people never seem to have time for. But for anyone serious about workplace productivity, leveraging those 24 hours simply needs to happen. So many employees – with the help of HR – turn to a time management coach. If you, or your workers, could use a bit of time fine-tuning, here’s what you need to know.
Why Is Time Management Essential Right Now?
Like almost every personality trait, someone’s ability to stick to a schedule varies greatly. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got people like Priceline’s Jay Walker, who took only one year to make his first billion dollars. On the other end, you’ve got those employees who simply can’t meet their deadlines.
And it seems to be getting worse. Employee stress levels, particularly for HR professionals, are at an all-time (sorry about the pun) high. First, there was the Great Resignation. Then we discovered Act Your Wage. Sure, these were reactions to workplace stress, and maybe a good solution for those who were part of these trends. But don’t forget that when an employee quietly quits, their burdens fall on others, and that means less time to handle an increased workload.
Coaching and Time Management
There are dozens of explanations for why some workers are perpetually late. Maybe their life at home takes a lot of effort, or perhaps they are disorganized. As an HR person, you might be able to find out, but you’ve probably got a million other things on your plate.
That is where time management coaching comes in. Coaches are specifically great at working closely with their clients and learning about the habits that help or harm them. Over time, a good coach can change those behaviors through:
- Building skills
- Using digital apps for time management
- Creating routines
- Applying frameworks
4 Essential Time Management Techniques
These last two areas are interesting because they can be learned quickly and applied in many ways. Coaches love teaching them since employees can use these concepts immediately, as opposed to skills, which take much longer to learn. Without further ado, here are a few of the classics:
Multi-tasking is out and chunking is in. It seems that people can’t do two things at once. Chunking instead is about organizing similar tasks into a chunk of time and getting them all done before moving on to the next group.
For example, let’s say you’ve got to:
- Make ten phone calls
- Write five emails
- Prepare for a presentation
Instead of writing an email, making a call, and working a bit on the PPT, you should do all of your calls, then write all of your emails, and lastly finish the presentation. The concept is that it’s easier to get into the mode of a certain kind of task than to constantly adjust to various ones.
- N.E.T. Time
No, you don’t necessarily need to play basketball at work. “N.E.T.” means “No Extra Time” and is an idea from motivational speaker and self-help guru Tony Robbins.
The ironic thing is that the N.E.T. time principle helps you find extra time. Many employees feel that they go from home to work to home and can’t fit anything more into their lives. But, in reality, they have many extra moments throughout the day. The trouble is that they fill in those gaps with Facebook posts, Instagram scrolling, and WhatsApping.
N.E.T. time is about squeezing every minute out of the day. When you’re on the subway, generate some ideas about the career management plan that you need to create. If you drive, listen to a professionally-oriented podcast. Tony Robbins believes that you should always occupy your mind productively, even while doing no-brainer tasks.
- Time Drains
Ever finish a task and wonder “how did that take so long?” It could be because you’ve unwittingly wasted precious minutes on things that could be done more efficiently, or which don’t need to be done at all.
A common issue is organization. If you notice that you constantly seem to be looking for a certain type of item, then think about a new organizational system. Another issue is delegation. If you can assign parts of your work to others who aren’t that busy or might even be better at certain functions than you are, then start allocating.
Is the mobile phone the gateway to enlightenment, or a total waste of concentration? It’s actually a bit of both. So focus on its benefits by leaving actual physical distance between you and it, and only allow yourself to check your phone for 5 minutes at the top of every hour.
It’s the same story with all of your distractions. Taking breaks, reading important personal messages, and having water-cooler discussions are all important. The trick is to control them by setting limits, preferably by attaching some kind of schedule to every non-work activity that’s going to happen regardless.
Why it’s time for GrowthSpace
Time management coaching is one area where GrowthSpace can help. If it’s an L&D challenge that you’re up against, GrowthSpace can deliver experts of all types who will enhance the skills that your employees need. Add that capability to an intuitive goal-setting/assessment process, and an automated platform for customized learning experiences, and you’re looking at a whole new level of talent development. GrowthSpace – building great skills, proving ROI, and saving time – all on the same platform.