5 Must-Have Time Management and Organizational Skills for Business Leaders

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn may have written those words in the 17th century, but they’re just as relevant now - especially in modern-day workplaces where poor organizational skills are eating into company budgets. Employees who don’t organize their time well can cost their company more than one-fifth of their actual salary, according to one study. 

Effective time management doesn’t just happen. You might think it’s as easy as making a plan for your day, but what happens when you’re hit with several projects at once, each with different deadlines and requiring meetings across teams and departments? Add in a full inbox with urgent emails tugging at your attention, and something’s got to give. Soon you’re missing deadlines, producing sloppy work, and cutting corners just to tick things off your rapidly-growing list. 

From CEOs to interns, every employee can find themselves overwhelmed if they don’t know how to handle their time. And it won’t be long before that’s reflected in your company’s bottom line, not to mention your workplace culture and wellness.

Keeping up a constant juggling act can lead to anxiety, stress, and eventually burnout, so teaching your staff key organizational skills isn’t just good for business, it’s good for your employee’s mental health.

5 Ways to Improve Time Management and Build Organizational Skills

1. Discover Employee Roadblocks

If someone on your team is missing deadlines because they can’t manage their time, the first step is to find out why. 

Employee productivity tracking solutions like Prodoscore give you unparalleled insight into how your workforce is operating, using non-invasive technology that works to streamline the employee experience. Each member of your team is given a productivity score based on their activity in common workplace solutions like your office suite, CRM, phone system, and other staples of your organization’s tech stack. These scores allow you to better understand employee productivity, engagement, and accountability, making it easy to see how they spend work hours. 

With productivity intelligence tools, you’ll be able to better identify who may be overburdened and which employees may be working less productively than they appear to be. From there, you can take steps to remedy the situation - delegating tasks more effectively to free up an overworked employee’s schedule or prioritizing tasks for a team member who routinely gets stuck in bottlenecks.

2. Be Selective About Meetings

In a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, 65% of senior managers reported that meetings keep them from completing work, and 71% responded that meetings were largely unproductive and inefficient.

The negative effects of bad meetings don’t mean that you should cut them out entirely - they’re still effective tools if handled correctly. The idea is to know when to hold a meeting, and when to substitute one with a quick call or email, and to be more critical about who really needs to be involved in a meeting and who can be left to continue working. 

For those who may need to know about certain topics covered in meetings, you can instantly send them a quick summary or link to the minutes rather than involve them directly. Fewer meetings will interrupt workers less, while increasing employee productivity and workplace satisfaction.

3. Learn Your Inner Clock and Your Team’s Peak Periods

Some people work best in the morning, some hit their peak just after lunch. It’s important to know your internal clock and sync that to your work schedule. Pay attention to when your mind begins to wander or you get tired. Once you’ve identified the slumps, you can plan for them - doing the more intense work before they hit, and putting aside more menial tasks for those periods when your brain is in go-slow mode.

Managers can use productivity tracking to spot these dips and peaks - helping employees understand when they’re most productive and when they need a break. With that data, managers can then schedule meetings and stagger deadlines to take advantage of when their team members are most engaged.

4. Improve Communication

Good organization requires a collaborative approach where both managers and employees respect each other’s time. If you’re rushing your team by handing out last -minute deadlines and arranging meetings without warning, you’re setting them up for burnout. 

Make sure you’re giving clear directions, timing tasks appropriately, delegating effectively, and setting priorities. Your team will appreciate the consideration and be better able to manage their workload.

5. Support, Don’t Criticize

If you have an employee who’s really dragging their feet, don’t be tempted to pile on the pressure. Burying them in work and getting angry when it’s not done will only make things worse. 

If you can, try to get them to open up about their time management issues and respond in a supportive manner. They may be unable to focus because of health issues. Perhaps they’re distracted by a situation at home, or they could be struggling because of a skills gap. Identify the issue, then provide practical help such as training opportunities, mental health support or flexible work hours.

Productivity tracker Prodoscore offers enhanced insight for your management teams, collecting real-time data on how and when your employees are interacting with company applications. The unobtrusive monitoring system empowers managers and their teams to make better decisions around scheduling and time management. Contact us today to schedule a free demonstration or find out more.

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