Time Management

How Organised Are You?



Do you have more than five items needing attention on your desk?
Do you make decisions for people who work for you?
Does your work get interrupted by other people (other than customers)?
Do you “grasshopper” around the urgent tasks, moving to another before completing the first?
Do you put off doing jobs you don’t like doing?
Do you leave things right up to the last minute or deadline?
Do you delegate bits of jobs rather than the whole job or project?
Do you forget to let other people know when you have delegated jobs?
Do you ever find that work has been duplicated, with two people thinking they were responsible for it?
Do you ever find that work has to be done again because people didn’t understand what you wanted?
Have you ever wished there were more hours in the day?
Do you often find yourself searching for misplaced items; ie reports, files, dockets, phone numbers, pens, keys?
Do you incessantly mull things over in your mind before acting or putting anything down on paper?

0 Yes’: You don’t need training; you should be sharing your experience with us.
1-7 Yes’: You sound pretty organised. So what would you like to improve on?
6-13 Yes’: You sound desperate for help. Commit to managing yourself better, now.

The ideal division of your (and your staff’s) time

1. Yearly

• Determine optimum periods for vacations, long weekends, days off etc.
• Determine optimum periods for training, business trips, visits etc.
• Determine optimum periods for work, project development etc.

2. Monthly
• Determine the number of days rest
• Calculate the number of working days for important jobs
• Determine the days for meetings, important appointments, seminars etc. When everything should be ‘under control’.

3. Weekly
• Determine the days off
• Calculate the total number of working hours.
• Determine which working days will be important for business.

4. Daily
• Establish the number of working hours
• Calculate the hours spent travelling / commuting
• Determine the number of hours with your family
• Determine the number of hours for yourself
• Determine the work sequence:

  1. What will you do in your prime time when you are most the physically and mentally alert and therefore the most productive? It should be top priority work.
  2. When will you schedule the routine tasks that don’t need much thought.
  3. Schedule time for planning and thinking.
  4. Don’t forget about lunch breaks and scheduling a different kind of task in order to revitalise yourself i.e. Training, merchandising, start a new promotion.

Do you need more staff?

Everyone says they’re busy, but if someone offered you $1000 per week for an hour of your time at 10am every Monday you’d find it, wouldn’t you?  That’s what increasing sales is capable of doing.

So, divide and conquer.  Who is your customer specialist and who is your operations specialist?  Give everybody a job role i.e. Sales Manager or Operations Manager. Even if there are only 2 of you, one will be better with people and the other will be better at something else. By giving them a role you delegate work and create time for you.

Download a job description template here.

Skills Matrix

A Skills Matrix is an excellent tool to provide a guide for determining the relevant skills and training needs of both employers and their employees.  This can also assist with promotional decisions.

One thing you must make sure of is that you regularly review the matrix and keep it up-to-date regarding training undertaken and staff changes.

Initially it will feel strange, but once you and the staff agree on a level, it will remove the expectations you have and replace it with an agreed direction.

Use a number of ranking systems, in this example we have selected the basic 1 to 5 system, where 1 represents the need for more training and 5 is a mark of competence in that skill.

Color code the boxes to help track improvements or to remind yourself attention needs to be paid to certain areas of an employee’s skill set.

Use it in your recruitment of new staff, so you target the right people for your business.

Change the headings to suit your business staffing skills requirements.

Don’t forget to make sure you include yourself!

And remember one thing when recruiting staff; it’s no good having a whole team who want to be the boss – recruit for the position!

Download an outline skills matrix here.