How To Maximize Your Time, Your Employees’ Time, and Your Client’s Time
In professional sports, time management is vital to a Team’s Success. Coaches and players both need to be aware of the time remaining in the game, or for the possession and make the most of it. The same is true in business, managers and employees both need to be aware of project deadlines, and time allotments.
If the old adage – “Time is Money” is true, then we must be effective managers of time. So how do we as managers properly manage time?
Get to know your team
As a manager at a small advertising agency, I spend my days interacting with clients, sales reps, and employees. Four years ago, when I first started I had to learn how each employee preferred to interact with management and other team players. I had to discover which employees I could wind up, point in the right direction and let go and which employees required more interaction and direction. Knowing how much oversight an employee or project needs help me to better allocate my time and to eliminate time spent chasing rabbits.
Know the Situation and Clearly Define the Project
In the creative industry, we can often lose time by focusing on the details instead of the main objective. I have found that using creative briefs, story boards, and mockups to clearly define the projects give employees the knowledge they need to get the project done. Explaining all deadlines, budgets, roles and expectations helps employees know the situation and plan accordingly.
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. We’ve all been there, we’ve all experienced a time when we forgot something or we overlooked a crucial part of the project, thinking that somebody else had it covered. Don’t let this happen over and over again. Outline project details and make a list of any questions that you need answered. Then, get to work answering the questions. Letting a question go unanswered or not providing direction can bog down the project.
Train and Practice
There is nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out how to make the software do what you want. Set aside time for your employees to brush up on their skills and learn new ones. Use tools like Lynda.com, W3 School, Google, YouTube, and others to learn new tricks that can add value as well as speed up time.
Have a good file system in place
Make sure that everyone knows the proper way to name files, and where to save them. Knowing where logos, photography, and other resources are located makes life easier. Also knowing which file is the final version, helps save time and eliminates mistakes.
Setup SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures)
Having detailed instructions for each client or project type can be a major time saver; especially when new employees are added to the mix.
Although the things listed above require spending additional time, it is time well spent. Make an investment in your company and your employees; setup basic policies and procedures, create the right working environment, train your employees. Most importantly learn how to become an effective communicator.
By: Peter Maddux, Operation Manager