Time Management #2 Growth Opportunity for New Managers

Frustrated in New Job? Part 2 – 6 Time Management Strategies

Time Control

When I started this series of blog posts about growth opportunities for new managers, I mentioned time management as the #2 biggest opportunity.  Managers working in a business that is already fast paced and somewhat frantic, like fast food franchises for example, find that once they have taken on a new position, their time schedule has become almost unmanageable. The stress level rises, the work/life balance suffers, tempers run short -  there is only one goal: daily survival.

This of course is no way to succeed, even in the short term. Here are 6 time management strategies that I know have worked for some of my clients in the past.

1. Fully step into the new role.

Stop doing your old job. I know – it is comforting to know you can do these tasks well. Fact is, you no longer get paid to do them. Get used to all aspects and expectations of the new job and use your advanced skills from the previous job to help your staff do their work better.

2. Stop procrastinating.

Get honest.  Identify the areas in your new position that you are not yet comfortable with. Decide what/who it takes to support you in mastering these tasks.

3. Step up delegation.

Start moving your staff towards independence by empowering them according to competency.  People will continually draw on you if they are not sure where you stand on allowing them to make decisions. What does it take for you to trust them with this? Training your staff towards self-sufficiency frees you up from time consuming ” hand-holding”.

4. Get your team on the same page.

Allow them to get to know you:  what do they need to know about you that helps them do their job confidently and effectively? What are your expectations? What can they count on from you? What do you want to count on from this team? What are the goals for this team? How do they best support you? Clear expectations reduce time investment, as you don’t need to regurgitate every issue with each team member. More to come on this in one of the next blogs in this series.

5. Prioritize.

What do you want to accomplish in this position for the next month, 6 months, 1 year? What do you have to put in place to achieve these goals? What will you not tolerate? Who needs to know? What boundaries need to be set? What conversations must be had? What habits will you change?

6. Schedule clear time slots.

If you over plan your day, you inevitably will run behind, and eventually run yourself ragged. Classic time management theory advises that no more than 60% of the day should get scheduled. This practice allows for unforeseen events, running overtime and having time available for special projects.

The day of a busy manager has many kinds of  “time eaters” – many times we no longer feel  in control of our time. This is the first indication that attention to time management ought to be on your agenda.

Time Eaters can be our own ineffective habits, and some of the questions above may help you.  Other time eaters can be employees, peers, even your own manager - boundaries need to be discussed.

So when look at your day now – who is in control? You or your defaulting schedule? What will it take to get under control? Do you remember the last time you had that feeling of being on top of things?

Tell us how time management works for you, or what your challenges are – we know the solutions are often not easy to implement. Here on this blog, you will get commentluv. This is a plugin that allows you to leave a link back to your own site when you leave a comment.

Until next time,


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Snow Days and Life Tune-ups

Snow days provide a wonderful opportunity to pause and reflect in life.  Whether you’re held up in a hotel or hunkered down at home with family while the world outside is brought to its knees by Mother Nature, the best thing to do is to utilize it!  So on this fine Ontario Snow Day, I’d like to suggest that you take some time now to reflect, re-assess and re-align your direction.  I call it a life tune-up!

Here are some ways to do that:

  • What course correction is needed in my life right now?  Based on all the new information and experiences and learning since you took a pause and reflected on things last, what needs to change to make sure you are tracking on target once again?  A full review of all areas of your life is in order once in a while to identify adjustments that might be needed on the plan.
  • Where have I stopped honouring my boundaries (that is, my values and beliefs)?  As time goes on, sometimes we let our boundaries slide, and then we find ourselves in a situation that is uncomfortable, frustrating or downright ugly.  Often this is a direct result of not honouring our own boundaries.  Now is a great time to ask, “where did I say ‘yes’ when I should have said ‘no’?” and, “what truth of mine do I need to communicate in order to honour my self?”.  And example might be, “I am not willing to be around people who
  • What do I want?  So often we forget how to allow our ‘wanter’ to be activated, by believing something unattainable, too much work, or a pipe dream.  But every now and then it’s good to let those lost dreams bubble up, to play with them and adjust them until we gain some new clarity about that positive future outcome that we’d just love to create.  So pause and ask yourself, “what do I really want? really?”
  • What’s the first step I need to take? Backtracking from that exciting dream or goal, what are the milestones that need to occur back to now?  It’s far easier to figure out the immediate next step if we work backwards from the final outcome and identify the milestones needed to be achieved back to the present.
  • What’s holding me back?  Really, what’s getting in the way?  What gets me stuck?  And what support do I need to get through or around the obstacle to get back on track? Sometimes the thing that’s in the way is removed simply in the process of identifying it.  Other times, some work is required to uncover the root cause and to devise a solution.

So I hope you enjoy this break from the routine, even if it only afforded you a remote work situation for the day.  And I wish you all the best as you re-align your life towards more of what matters most and more enjoyment and success.

How do you keep you life on track?  Please share!

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