Time Management in the Workplace: Use time management lessons to improve productivity. Business process management tools include theories and practices that encourage you to more efficiently use your time, and results in effective resources management.
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There are some time management lessons that should be understood by everyone in an organization to create optimum productivity. No matter how simple a job may be, ensuring the job is done according to tested theories and practices can help reduce costs and increase profits. Here are some business process management tools and tactics to apply to your own work and communicate to your staff.
Time Management in the Workplace:
It's a balancing act!
Identifying and balancing priorities is an important part of managing your time and your resources.
There are some time management lessons that should be understood by everyone in an organization to create optimum productivity. No matter how simple a job may be, ensuring it’s done according to tested theories and practices will reduce costs and increase profits. Here are some business process management tools and tactics to apply to your own work and communicate to your staff.
Time Management Theories
A simplified theory of time management was contained in the Pareto Principle, which has been explored in greater depth by writer and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss as it applies to business and productivity.
This is the 80/20 Principle which states that 80 percent of results come from 20 percent of causes. This means that roughly 20 percent of your efforts lead to 80 percent of your success. So, naturally, it makes sense to do more of the tasks which are in that high success percentile, and eliminate or minimize time spent on other tasks which are relatively non-productive or worthwhile.
Another theory of time management is known as the "pickle jar" (because of how pickles (large and small) kind of nestle together to fit in a jar) theory. These two theories are not conflicting at all – in fact, they complement each other when used together. This is more of a metaphor than an actual theory.
The idea is that if you have a jar you want to fill with rocks, you’re best to start by putting some large stones inside. These are your main priorities. After that, you fill in some of the smaller gaps by pouring in small stones and pebbles – these represent the less important tasks.
Finally, you close up the last gaps with sand – the unimportant but necessary tasks – and then your jar is full. If you try to do it the other way around, putting the sand in first, you end up with no room for the rocks.
In other words, if you waste all your time on unnecessary tasks, you have no time for the really important ones.
This metaphor is based largely on the work of Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a book which contains some significant time management lessons.
Time Management in the Workplace
You will be able to see immediately how these concepts apply to the workplace. Are you, or your employees, filling your jar with sand first? Are you focusing on the 80 percent of tasks that produce only 20 percent of your results, instead of the other way around?
You may be able to easily identify ways in which your business could be more time efficient. The harder part is often finding practical ways to make changes.
One key factor is organization. If your workplace is disorganized, employees end up spending time looking for things that should be right in front of them – and that’s a time waster.
Think about the layout of your office, store or plant and consider how it could be made more time-management friendly.
One of the key elements of time management in the workplace is clarifying the importance of tasks. If you're leading a team, make sure the team knows the main goals of the current project and the immediate tasks at hand which will make the biggest inroads to completion (in other words, the "big rocks" or the 20 percent of tasks that yield 80 percent of results).
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