We’re all given the same amount of time each day. Utilizing that time effectively is critical to be a successful supervisor. The most effective and successful supervisors know how to properly manage their time.
Start by creating a list of all your work priorities. You can then rank the priorities by order of importance and urgency. You can also choose to set timeframes on your goals: yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily. For goals that are longer, break them down into manageable tasks. Always work on the most urgent and most important goals on your list. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
As a supervisor, you are the captain of your ship. There are a variety of responsibilities that ultimately fall back on you. Being a team player is great, but if you are asked to do something that doesn’t align with your goals, it is better to have the courage and conviction to just say “no.” While it can be tempting to say “yes” to everything and everyone, ultimately if it detracts from your priorities and time management, then it becomes detrimental to the team. It is critical that you learn to say “no” when you don’t have time, or the skill set to best complete a task. Offer a different timeframe for the task or offer an alternative solution.
You might be wondering how communication and time management go together, but often when you are pressed for time or in a hurry, your communication suffers. Make sure that you take the time to both listen and communicate clearly with your team. It might be helpful for you and your employees to recap the highlights of what you understood from the communication; that way, you are sure that both of you are on the same page. Clear regular communication will lead to a stronger and more productive team.
Organizational skills go beyond just having a clean and orderly workspace. As a supervisor, you should be organized in both your duties and workspace. If your team is disorganized and not clear on the task at hand, many of your prioritized goals will suffer. An organized workspace goes far beyond looking neat and tidy. Every minute you spend looking for a file or a piece of paper is another minute wasted. Good organization is essential to time management.
If a supervisor can effectively delegate responsibilities to their team members, the team can work more confidently and productively. You should be able to assess each member's strengths and weaknesses and delegate tasks accordingly. If you’re able to delegate properly and ensure that your team members have all the resources they need, your team will need less of your time. Failure on your part to delegate tasks will only produce a time drain.
Do you ever feel like you are wearing multiple hats? At some point, the hats begin to fall and hit the floor. It's all too easy to be in the middle of a task, only to be pulled away to start another. Combine that with phones ringing and emails popping up, and you ultimately end up breaking your concentration and force yourself to spend more time trying to catch back up. You might find it helpful to set specific times of the day to do different things, such as checking emails and returning calls.
At some point, if you have been running nonstop, you will face burnout. Instead of reaching this point, make sure to schedule some time for yourself each day. Encourage others on your team to take healthy breaks as well. A short break can go a long way in ensuring that you remain productive throughout the remainder of the workday.
Our mission at AEU LEAD is to enable transformation. For those wanting to transform through the development of practical training for supervisors and managers, we’re here to help. To learn more about our supervisor training and leadership development courses, please explore our services or contact us.