Time is an important resource in an organization; and a manager has to concentrate on effectively handling this resource. One of the biggest problems in an organization would be to manage the time allocated to complete the work. Only a few managers are able to handle this resource effectively.
A manager would have to determine the time taken for each process to be completed. He would then have to determine ways in which the processes can be speeded up, and the effects the process of speeding up the workflow would have on the quality and the staff members.
The manager may have to allocated several resources to effectively handle time such as human resources, logistics, support systems, IT systems, etc. He would also have to identify the factors responsible for wasting time including telephone calls, personal visitors, unnecessary meetings, chatting of the staff members, indecisive staff, procrastination, problem situations, crisis situations, lack of communication, lack of rest, stress, poor technical knowledge and skills, poor planning and strategic management, not having a proper assistant to perform work, etc. The organization may also have to change its policies in order to better manage time. The manager should ensure that the staff members are not stressed too much (Total Success, 2007).
A pretest measurement would help to determine the baseline data, before any activity is conducted. It can be later compared to the posttest measurement. The results would demonstrate the effectiveness of the activity. In this way the manager would be studying the effectiveness of the activity. Before a manager has a time management system in place, he would have to conduct a test to determine the baseline data (SBU, 2007). A good pretest tool would be a questionnaire given to each staff member of how they manage time. This is a good example of a pretest tool (SBU, 2007): –
1. Time spend on sleeping:
2. Time spend on personal hygiene
3. Time spend on cooking/eating:
4. Time taken to travel:
5. Actual time spend in the office:
6. Time spend to complete one unit of work
7. Actual time allocated to complete the work:
8. Quality standards achieved:
9. Quality standards required:
10. Time spend in the office doing personal work:
11. Ways in which the time gets wasted:
The staff members could also use a time used chart, in which every alternate hour or so they would enter the activity preformed (UMD, 2006): –
The management can improve the time management using several strategies: –
Having a strong plan in mind. The manager should ensure he takes into consideration the resources available and the processes that would be involved during the performance of work.
Using interactive software tools that can help the staff members to identify what has to be done, and within what amount of time it should be completed.
Managers can have certain schedulers to help them plan the performance of tasks and even use of hardware devices.
Managers and the staff member should effectively complete the task at that particular moment than wait and keep it pending. In this way procrastination can also be reduced.
Focusing and concentrating on the tasks. The staff members should be constantly prompted of the targets that have to be achieved.
The manager should plan on short-term goals, which would effectively be in line with the long-term goals.
Using assistants to perform the less important task, effectively saving the time of the staff member.
Prioritizing the work that has to be performed and given importance. Having activity logs and submitting work reports (Sonic, 2002 & Total Success, 2007)
After implementing the time management improvement techniques, the manager would have to use same test tools.The results obtained should be determined. This should be compared to the pretest data. The effectiveness of the managerial skills in bringing about appropriate time management can be determined.
Mind Tools (2007), Time Management, Retrieved on September 29, 2007, from Mind Tools Web site: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm?
Sonic (2002), Time Management Tools, Retrieved on September 29, 2007, from Sonic Web site: http://sonic.net/~mfreeman/time.htm
Total Success (2007), Time Management Manage yourself, not your time, Retrieved on September 29, 2007, from Total Success Web site: http://www.tsuccess.dircon.co.uk/timemanagementtips.htm
University of Minnesota Duluth (2006), Time Use Chart, Retrieved on September 29, 2007, from UMD Web site: http://www.d.umn.edu/kmc/student/loon/acad/strat/time_use_chart.html