Most supervisors find themselves in a race with the clock every day. A universal norm is that there’s seemingly never enough time to get everything done. Developing skills and employing best practices in time management is not only important, it’s essential to ongoing success in frontline roles. In this episode, podcast host Joe White provides five recommendations for better utilizing the time we each collectively share.
The SoS podcast is a production of AEU LEAD, an organization redefining how mid and frontline managers are developed.
Hello, and thank you for joining us. I'm Joe White, and this is the Supervisor Skills: Secrets of Success podcast. This episode is the 11th in season three. With this release, we have three remaining this year. Our topic of discussion today categorically falls under the heading of Time Management and Organizational Skills.
Functionally, effective time management practices have many benefits. Perhaps the one and only drawback is that it requires discipline and effort to utilize. As a tool, it's a secret of success among frontline leaders that consistently exceed performance expectations. That said, it's my sincere hope you'll find value from our discussion today and benefit professionally because of it. Let's get started.
A common trait shared by some of the world's most successful people involves their ability to get the most from the 24 hours given to them each day. Highly structured early morning routines that begin one to two hours before workplace demands do seem to be a key to more effective time management. Richard Branson, as an example, gets up at 5:00 a.m. every day. When asked why, he responded by saying it gives him a head start on the rest of the world.
Time management is a process involving organization and planning. In the workplace, it's used to enhance productivity. In practice, it's the means of getting the most from the amount of time you have to complete assigned tasks or achieve operational objectives. It directly impacts performance and is a skill essential to success for frontline supervisors. Those that develop proficiency in time management get more done, experience less stress, and often receive more promotional opportunities.
Because time management requires organization and planning, it's a process that benefits only those who consciously and deliberately use it. Procrastination, multitasking, allowing distractions, and a lack of initiative are all tendencies that result in a reactive culture. By our very nature, these tendencies require no effort on our behalf and will occur by default in the absence of the structure and discipline needed to avoid them. If you never seem to have enough time or are always putting out brush fires, so to speak, and struggle to make headway on task you're responsible for completing, time management may be a tool worth adding to your toolkit. For those interested in learning more, here are five suggestions for consideration.
1. Get a good night's rest.
Jeff Bezos, Jennifer Lopez, and the Dalai Lama all share one thing in common. They prioritize getting seven hours or more of sleep each night. Sleep supports healthy brain function and helps maintain physical health and well-being. When we don't get enough sleep, it impairs our ability to concentrate on tasks or to think clearly. Unplug technology, resist the temptation to scroll through social media, and take steps to begin relaxing before going to bed.
2. Start your day early.
Getting a late start results in an unnecessary sense of urgency that often dictates the entire course of the day. Many successful supervisors arrive to work before direct reports and use this quiet time for planning and preparation free of interruption. This practice directly translates to composure and perceived control. For those looking for ways to improve performance outcomes, an earlier start will make a huge difference.
3. Take care of yourself.
Aside from a good night's rest, supervisors should incorporate routines that promote health and well-being. If you work at a desk for extended periods, build in micro breaks to stand and stretch. If you're on a job site where vehicles are often used, try to walk more. Prepare healthy meals in advance, limit caffeine, and drink more water. Do everything possible to manage stress and to avoid confrontational situations when and where you can.
4. Feed your mind.
For the first time in history, the rate of technological advancement is now outpacing rates of adoption. Change is inevitable, and the rate of change is only going to increase with time. Couple that with a complex labor market that's only going to get more challenging, and the need for continued personal professional development for those leading the next generation of workers becomes immediately apparent. Invest in yourself. Read, listen to educational podcasts, take classes, and do everything possible to prepare yourself for the challenges ahead.
5. Focus on priorities.
At the end of the day, we all have a job to do. Preparation and plan should be built around priorities and performance objectives. That said, things happen, and you must deal with them when they do. Supervisors that consistently exceed expectations go with the flow, but they never lose track of where they are and what needs to get done. Having big-picture focus, clarity of expectations, and organization of fault are keys to success. Deal with the moment, but move on from it as soon as you can.
Time management is something we often take for granted. It's so easy to get caught up in the ebb and flow of daily demands and, in the process, lose sight of priorities along the way. Those that consistently hit operational objectives and exceed performance expectations, more often than not, seem to get more from the time we each collectively share. While slowing the hands of time isn't an option, making better use of it is, and for those wanting to achieve more more efficiently, time management skills are the key to doing so.
Thank you for joining us. It's my sincere hope you found benefit in our discussion today. Our next podcast is scheduled for release on Tuesday, October 17. For that episode, we'll be discussing change management.
Should you have any questions or need additional information regarding today's topic, just let us know. Our contact information is provided in the show notes accompanying this episode, and for those that may not have reviewed or rated your experience with our show, we would greatly appreciate you doing so.
That's it for now. Stay safe, and thanks for listening.