Many entrepreneurs fall into a time management trap. We believe that there’s one right way to become super efficient, and that everyone should master it if they want to make the most of each working day.
I’m here to tell you this is a myth. And a harmful one at that!
There are dozens of time management styles that work beautifully for different personalities, and none is fundamentally better than the others. As a leader, you’re better off finding out which style suits each of your team members than forcing everyone to use the same, rigid system.
Of course, if you believe your contractors are losing focus or slacking off, it’s SO tempting to make them use the Pomodoro technique or Getting Things Done. Don’t.
Instead, find some time management activities that will encourage everyone to follow their own path. Show them you trust them, praise them when they work efficiently, and give them the space to explore time management on their own terms.
Need some ideas to get started?
Here are 5 great time management activities you can try with YOUR team!
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Time Management Activity: Take a Course
Not sure where to start? Get your entire team to take a course together!
Effective time management doesn’t come naturally to anyone, but learning about it as a group is a fantastic way to make the process feel more fun and engaging. This type of time management activity is great for boosting efficiency and morale.
Invest in training and complete the exercises as a team so that everyone feels supported and encouraged to improve their working habits.
A few great online options include:
Time Management Activity: Try Co-working
Since your team may be scattered around the country—or even the globe—you probably tend to keep meetings to a minimum.
However, an often-overlooked time management activity is co-working. You might be amazed by what a single-hour, focused co-working appointment can do for your team’s productivity!
Just having access to each others’ ideas, energy, and creativity can be incredibly motivating. Co-work by Zoom or using a Google Hangout instead of a phone call, since a being able to see each other is essential.
Time Management Activity: Create Quiet Times
This might sound counterintuitive, but one of my favorite time management activities is encouraging (and enforcing) down time.
Apps like Slack and Skype do a fantastic job of keeping our teams in touch and hyper-aware of deadlines, but they can also be time management killers. To combat that, I implement “dark time” every day to give my team the space they need to focus.
During “dark time,” only the most urgent messages should be posted. Everything else can wait. It’s the flip side of co-working; intentional, enforced isolation. Depending on how your contractors prefer to work, it could be the best way to help them manage their time!
Time Management Activity: Celebrate Wins
Force-feeding your team a time-management technique or app makes them feel like they’re being punished. Instead, focus on the positive and report your wins.
Schedule a daily check-in for all team members, and encourage them to chime in with their successes from the previous day. No accomplishment is too small to celebrate.
This may not seem like a true time management activity, but it reinforces the knowledge that doing work well, thoroughly, and on-time is a practice that will earn praise. It also gives your team members a chance to cheer each other on.
Time Management Activity: Applaud Efficiency
By the same token, a fantastic time management activity is rewarding exceptional efficiency.
When a team member proves that she can get her projects done in record time, prove to her that you see and value her hard work!
Random, unexpected bonuses and gifts or even public shout-outs are a great way to improve overall morale as well as encourage better habits. Make sure everyone knows that you’re showing your appreciation for skillful time management, and give specific examples; they’ll need to know what’s being rewarded so they can step up their own performance.
Time management activities may not seem like top priority for your business, but don’t discount their importance. Creating space for them will only improve your team’s ability to deliver quality work on tight timelines, something every entrepreneur craves!
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