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Do you find yourself wasting a lot of time performing admin tasks, creating your own systems, tweaking your Excel sheets, or organizing your Google Drive? If you are, you should know that as a manager, there is a much better use of your time.

A leadership coach will tell you that while managing your time is great; you should also be taking control over your priorities. If you are a knowledge worker or someone whose job is to “think for a living,” then you should know that there is a better use of your time and skills than performing simple tasks that you could easily assign to someone else or even have optimized by an online tool.

Traditional time management taught us to start our day by making a list of what had to be accomplished by day’s end. We would spread out the tasks over a 24 hour day, allotting time for things like meals, a bath, and of course, sleep. Work fit into at least 9 hours of that day and the concept was that if you planned your work day well, you could fit everything that needed to be done before it was time to clock out.

But what if you had more tasks to do than the time you had to do it?

Time management only works if you had a strict timetable and a fixed number of tasks each day. Mostly, time management only made sense if you were a robot. As more and more people started to feel the strain of being overworked and dissatisfied with their ability to manage their time better, leadership coaches realized that maybe knowledge workers should focus on priorities vs. a stiff timetable.

However, time management and priority management can co-exist. Here are some concepts to consider:

The 80/20 rule

Leadership coaches practice the 80/20 concept where 20% of your efforts should produce 80% of the results.

As a manager and knowledge worker, you should be adopting priority management by thinking about the work you are doing. Consider what your people are doing and determine who among them are delivering exceptional output. Those valuable people should also be doing more tasks that have a higher impact and less time on the wrong activities.

More $100/hr tasks. Less $10/hr tasks

As a manager, you shouldn’t find yourself doing entry-level jobs. The $10 and $100 amounts are of course a metaphor for the tasks assigned to entry-level employees and the responsibilities of a leader. For an organization to run more efficiently, a leader will delegate the $10/hr tasks to the right team member, leaving the manager to devote their time to making the executive decisions.

Reframe your organization and create a system you trust

It can be tempting to want to take on tasks that should have been assigned to your team because you feel that you could probably get it done quicker. What this says is that you may have surrounded yourself with the wrong people. If you can’t rely on the members of your team to perform basic tasks, then you may need to restructure your team.

It is possible that you inherited this team from the leader before you or there has been a decrease in individual productivity for whatever reason. But before you can create a system you can trust, you need to have a team you can count on.

Investing in training your employees to enhance their specific skills today means success in the future. A team that’s been trained to adopt priority management will collectively reach their goals without feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated.

If you found value in this blog and If you have time, let’s jump on a call to brainstorm some strategic leadership concepts you may be unfamiliar with…I think you might be pleasantly surprised! Then, without obligation, we can consider if working together would be beneficial.
If that sounds good, you can use this link to schedule a time convenient to you for us to chat: I look forward to furthering our connection and learning more about you and your business.

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Inscape Consulting Group
Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC, CMC
Office: 604.943.0800
Mobile: 604.831.4734