Short and Sweet #15: Time management

2 months ago, David Sweet


Welcome to this episode of Short and Sweet. Today we are talking about time management. Give you some tips for time management as a new manager.

Often times as a new manager you’re inundated with so much to do and it can be very difficult to manager your time correctly so that you can maximize all that you’re doing. So here’s some tips that you can put into play right away to help you be more effective with your time.

First and foremost, there is no such thing as time management; it’s only self management. You need to be able to manage yourself and what you’re doing. Time management is actually a misnomer. When I teach sales people, one of the most popular courses that they ask for, is time management. And as a new manager, you need to realize that, it’s how you use your time.

One of the biggest culprits of waisting time is email. And a couple of easy, simple ways to get rid of that is first, check your email later in the day. Everybody is checking email right away, they’re going to be sending you emails, you might as well save your time and have some time later in the day where you have collected all those emails.

One effective method is the 4D approach; Do it, Delegate it, Differ it, or Delete it. The first D is to “do it.” If you can do it under 60 seconds, the do it. The second D is to “delegate it.” If you can have someone else help you out, give them the chance to do it and take that off of your to-do list, and that will save you some more time. The third D is to “differ it.” If this is going to take you more than 60 seconds to answer, put it on your to-do list. The forth D is “delete it.” If it’s just not that relevant, then get rid of it. Judge for yourself it they’re important or not, and if you can get rid of them just delete it. The 4D approach is are ally effective method for time management.

Another effective way to manage your time is to have a to-do list, and that to-do list you have to have some place where you can capture everything: Whether you’re out and about and an idea comes to you when you’re running or if you’re in a meeting and you need to type something up. I found a couple of applications that I have on my phone and on my computer that are really good for capturing ideas (and they’re both free). First is Evernote which you can create to-do lists on and the second is Wunderlist. Both can sync between all my devices, and it really helps that I can capture ideas at any time so I don’t forget anything and then go back later for when I’m doing my planning and start checking things off.

Another effective method of time management that I learned from Stephen Covey’s third habit is to plan weekly but execute daily. Oftentimes people are planning the night before just day by day and in little chunks of time, and they never get around to those big projects. By working at a week at a time it gives you a chance to put those projects and give them priority during the week and schedule time around them, whether it’s an hour to during the days. And then each night before you go home at night you can take a look at what you’re going to do the following day.

My final bit of advice would be to set time limits. By having time limits you provide yourself a sense of urgency which will help you really get things done. Giving yourself a sense of urgency will speed up what you’re trying to accomplish whether it’s getting through your inbox of emails, whether it’s looking at projects, whatever you have to do, if you’re setting time limits for yourself, it creates urgency to get more done with the time you have.

So there are some simple time management, or self management techniques that you can use to help improve yourself as a new manager going into your job and make yourself more successful.