ADVANCED TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES
Zeller also recognizes that different types of employees face unique challenges related to time management. He offers a breakdown of techniques pertaining to certain groups of employees:
*Administrative staff. Issues that reduce productivity for this group include meetings, phone calls, stalled projects, and large volumes of paper. It is imperative to understand the supervisor’s goals. This can be accomplished through regular meetings with the manager. The next step is to create a task list which groups items based on their completion date and places priority on the most important tasks.
*Salespeople. For salespeople, time divides into three categories: direct income producing activities (DIPA), indirect income producing activities (IIPA), and production supporting activities (PSA). Zeller believes that successful salespeople maximize their DIPA time. This can be done through prospecting, cold or warm calling, networking, and other activities. He suggests that sales professionals should spend 60 percent of their time each day on DIPA and half of that should be spent prospecting and following up on leads. In contrast, IIPA should not consume more than one hour per day. Examples of IIPA include marketing and lead generation programs. PSA should not use more than two hours per day. Ironically, the more DIPA a salesperson invests in, the more PSA tasks are created. Zeller recommends keeping the ratio of DIPA to PSA at around six to one.
*Business Owners and Executives. These groups are among the most time starved. Yet, even when businesses stabilize, entrepreneurs and executives seem to become addicted to time deprivation. Michael E. Gerber indicates in his book The E-Myth that balance must be found among three task categories: growth activities, work in the business (i.e., internal operations), and work on the business (i.e., looking for new opportunities). Most executives spend more than 80 percent of their time working in the business, less than 15 percent in growth activities, and less than 5 percent working on the business. In reality, they should spend at least 40 percent of their time in growth activities, less than 25 percent working in the business, and at least 15 percent working on the business. Developing a robust organization chart and management plan can help executives reach these goals.
*Managers Who Must Coach Employees. The first step to improving employees’ time management is to assess their strengths and weaknesses in this area. Coaching will only succeed if employees have bought into the need for better time management skills. Most people are not motivated to change their habits unless they are experiencing pain in their lives. This pain may be due to personal commitments that were missed due to excessive work, poor performance reviews at work, or health problems due to a lack of work-life balance. To improve employee productivity, managers must develop a plan and goals. The goals must be realistic, measurable, and have a deadline for completion. Lastly, it is important to teach employees to use time blocking and time tracking charts.