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Time management continues to be a concept many of us are still trying to perfect.
According to a McKinsey & Company study of more than 1,500 global executives, only 9% were “truly satisfied” with the way they spend their time in the office.
Just under half of the respondents said they were “somewhat satisfied,” and about a third said were “actively dissatisfied”.
If that’s not worrying enough, nearly half admitted they do not spend enough time “on guiding the strategic direction of the business”, while 48% said the way the allocate their time is not aligned to their organisation’s strategic practices.
With time being a critical business resource, what can you do to make sure your employees are managing their day better?
1. Face time counts
The report found the employees who indicated they were highly satisfied spent 38% of their time on face-to-face communication. While it may be tempting to flick someone an email or instant message rather than making the walk to their desk or office, putting in the face time can yield better results – giving employees more value out of their time.
A quick weekly catch up, a simple chat over coffee or just taking the time to have a conversation in person shows people are willing to put that little bit extra, which will result in others wanting to go the extra mile as well.
2. Stop looking at short-term solutions to long-term problems
Sendhil Mullainathan, a Harvard economist and Eldar Shafir, a Princeton psychologist, recently released a book titled Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, which suggested scarcity negatively impacts the way we think.
We know time is a finite resource, but working with that mindset may cause tunnel vision, with the authors suggesting it makes us unable to make logical decisions. More often than not, that may result in people opting for a short-term solution rather than addressing the long-term problem.
Investing a bit more time at the start of a project or strategy to predict and plan for unexpected hiccups could save you even more time in the long run.
3. Be self-aware
Have you ever looked at the clock and wondered where all the time has gone? Similar to keeping a food journal or accounts sheet, encourage your team to keep track of how they are spending their time.
By understanding exactly which activities are taking up the most time and energy, employees will be able to better allocate their time to activities which are yielding the most results or value for them and the business.