As a manager, your schedule often feels inflexible. You're constantly moving from one meeting to the next and trying to get work done in between, all while ignoring your team. You aren't intentionally avoiding them; you just don't have time. If this sounds like your life, here are a few tips to help you manage your calendar so you can give your team more attention.
Give Each Day a Different Activity
Segmenting your week results in a routine that benefits both you and your team. You'll have a consistent workflow. Your team will know what you're doing each day. Look at your responsibilities and determine which activities logically fall together. For example, you can plan Mondays for deep work time, Tuesdays and Thursdays for meetings, Wednesdays for your employees, and Fridays for catching everything else.
Evaluate Each Week
Even the most carefully laid plan can fall apart and leave you feeling defeated at the end of the week. Look back at how you spent your time — what took longer than you imagined, what took less time, what was draining, etc. Once you can evaluate your time spent, you can develop an improved plan for the next week.
Avoid Back-to-Back Meetings
Meetings are unavoidable, but they don't always have to be back-to-back. Rather than assuming you don't have wiggle room, build in time before and after each meeting. This will allow for space to breathe and deal with something else before the next meeting. Another suggestion is scheduling shorter meetings. Evaluate what needs to be discussed and reduce meeting length to minimize small talk and maximize productivity.
Pay Better Attention
With more time, you can become more cognizant of employee performance. Learn more about what your team is doing and where they're struggling and offer your support.
Talk to Your Team
Ultimately, the main reason to strive for better time management (apart from your sanity) is to better serve your team. As you make changes, check with your team to see if they feel as if you're devoting more of your time to them. Their perception will help you find a good balance.
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