Time is not really running out

… but you might think so because: do we really enjoy the Christmas season in peace as Silent Night and Jingle Bells suggest us? No. Still under pressure, we conclude the last projects of the year and plan for 2016. So once again the good old subject called time management is back on the agenda. Is it out of time? Not at all. I would like to pass on some tips and hints of two colleagues who published about time management earlier this week.

Written by Jens Kügler

Nico Rose is executive in a trust and blogger of the German magazine Lead Digital. He gets to the point when he writes: time management techniques do not lead us to have more time, but it feels like that. And perceived control leads to less stress––like a placebo effect.

How does the blogger manage his time? First, he immediately carries out everything that takes less than two minutes, whenever possible. He will read the short messages or sign the documents presented to him at once so that these little things do not “pile up” and his employees can continue to work without delay. Tip number two is to schedule no more than 60 percent of one’s day in advance so that there will will be enough time for unexpected work. Important to him is that those 60 percent remain definitively blocked as time slots.

Thirdly the manager recommends to set up an automatic redirection for specific messages in the email client. Especially for those on whom he is only cc-receiver. These mails do not mean direct work orders for him. Rose writes that he reads mails like these in the evening when he’s got time.

Theresa Schunk is member of the project management and CRM platform Teamleader. She also presented her recommendations to the Internet community this week. For the readers of her newsletter, she would compile six tips for entrepreneurs.

Tip number one says: take five to ten minutes per day to update the calendar, including all tasks and delivery times. This calendar should of course be editable from anywhere, if possible, on mobile devices. Sounds very general? Tip two is already a more specialized one. Everyone should make a note of how long he has needed for certain tasks. This “time tracking” helps to uncover problems of certain tasks and motivates to focus on these, as the author points out.

Third, supervisors should let their employees manage and accomplish their (small) projects by themselves. Here, Schunk adds a Steve Jobs quote which I like to copy: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”.

Of course, Theresa Schunk recommends the use of project management software and surely relates to her company’s own products. But there is nothing wrong about seeing and supervising all projects, tasks, processes and employees on a single screen and window. She also speaks of the usefulness of “templates” for frequently used communication texts that CRM tools provide. Sounds plausible, be it self-promotion or not.

Last but not least she advises her readers to use any travel and waiting time productively. Clouds, digital calendars––our today’s possibilities are greater than ever. And I really have nothing to add––as a regular rail traveler using notebook and wireless USB modem.

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