Being a first-time manager can be both thrilling and scary. You’ve worked hard to get to this position, but once you’re there, you suddenly realize that you have a lot more responsibilities and tasks that have to be handled. If you want to be successful, then finding a way to manage your time is imperative.
Time Management for New Managers
When it comes to time management skills, these aren’t something you’re born with. You have to develop and hone them through experience. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all time management scheme. You have to establish a process that works best for you. However, there are some tips and tricks that you can try. Some of the time management techniques you might consider using include the following:
Know What Projects Are a Priority
Trying to juggle tasks and projects can be tough, but you can make the process easier by knowing which projects are the highest priority. More often than not, this is based on deadlines. Thus, if you have a presentation due at the end of the week, you’ll want to work on this before the quarterly report that is due in two weeks.
Creating a list of the projects that are coming up is the best way to figure out which ones need to be tackled first. It’s advised that you write your list in pencil, as priorities could change from day-to-day.
Plan Your Day
Knowing what you need to take care of during the day will help you stay focused and get your tasks completed. When it comes to effective time management, you might spend 15 or 20 minutes at the end of the day or first thing in the morning, putting together a plan for the day. If you completed any tasks, you can cross these off your list and work on the next priority that needs to get done.
In addition to planning out your day, it’s also helpful if you set goals. This can help you determine how much time to dedicate to specific tasks and instill a sense of accomplishment when you achieve your goal. Knowing that you reached your goal, no matter how small, can encourage you to keep moving forward and get things done.
Block Out Time on Your Calendar
Once you have determined which projects you need to work on, the next step when it comes to time management for new managers is to block out time on your calendar. If you’re like most managers, you won’t be able to dedicate your entire day to get projects done. You’ll more than likely have meetings to attend, emails to answer, and phone calls to make, among other tasks.
However, by structuring your day, you can get all of these tasks accomplished. You’ll need to find the system that works best for you, but you might consider setting aside 15 minutes in the morning, after lunch and right before you leave for the day to check and respond to emails. For the presentation that’s due at the end of the week, you might need to set aside an hour each day to work on it.
Using online calendars can be helpful, as you’ll be able to see them on a variety of different devices, including your desktop, laptop, and your phone.
Get Rid of Distractions
After you have blocked out a specific time on your calendar to work on a task, you need to stay focused on that task. That means blocking out all distractions until your time is up. Transfer your phone to voicemail, close your office door, close all tabs on your computer that you don’t need, and avoid going onto social media.
Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
It may seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished, so you might feel like every minute you are at the office has to be dedicated to working. However, when it comes to time management tips, you must factor in time for breaks.
This gives your brain a chance to relax and refocus. Your breaks don’t have to be overly long. Even taking three minutes out of your day to get up from your desk and stretch can be beneficial. However, taking 15-minute breaks at certain times during the day can help you feel refreshed and help you transition from one task to another.
Depending on how you prefer to work, you might consider setting a timer for one hour and then taking a 15-minute break. You also have the option of working for 20 to 25 minutes and then taking a 3-minute break. Do what works for you and keeps you focused and energized.
One of the benefits of being a manager is that you have team members under your supervision. No one said you had to take on and complete every task that comes across your desk. Your team can help get things done as well.
Delegating or outsourcing specific jobs not only takes things off your plate, but it also gives your team something to do. This can make them feel valued. Just make sure you aren’t overloading them and causing more stress while relieving some of yours.
Should you find that you or your team members don’t have the skills or abilities to complete a specific project, then you might outsource that project to someone who can handle it, including freelancers or other specialists. This will save everyone a lot of time and frustration, and you’ll still be able to cross the item off your to-do list.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
You probably already know how technology can make your job easier, but it continues to advance. It’s now possible to automate many mundane tasks that you might have to do every day. This can free up some of your time and allow you to focus on other things.
It’s also possible to track how you are using your time so that you can be more efficient. If you are responsible for creating blog posts, you can use technology to post these after they have been written. Using technology to your advantage is a time management strategy that could help you get more things done.
At any time throughout your day, your priorities can change. While it’s essential to have a plan, set goals, and block out time, you also need to stay flexible. This allows you to handle any new tasks that might come your way while also reducing your stress.
Take Advantage of Your Resources
As a new manager, you will learn a lot about yourself. You’ll have a lot more responsibilities to take care of and finding a way to manage your time will ensure you get things done. You might consider taking advantage of every resource you can, especially when it comes to marketing and other tasks.
At E-Marketing Associates, we can help you accomplish a wide range of tasks, including design and management for small business websites, helping with social media, and getting you leads. We want you to succeed in your new position, and we have the skills and expertise to help you look good. Contact us today!