Get Others Organised

Here are few ideas on how to build that team and lead it.

1) Indicators of disorganised staff
Be on the lookout for messages indicating that the human component in your organisation isn’t being used, time-wise, to best advantage:
? You’re frequently interrupted by staff wanting help, instruction or direction.
? Your staff practises reverse deleg-ation – they refer tasks back to you.
? Deadlines are often missed or postponed.
? Work needs to be redone because it’s poor quality.
? Your action tray is choking and you’re taking home more work.
? Staff morale is low and work isn’t challenging any more.
? Employees seem to spend lot of time chatting and socialising.

2) Find out how they spend their time
Before staff can manage their time more effectively, it’s important that they and you know how they’re currently using their time.
You might keep time/task sched-ule, entering the employee’s name, the task assigned, date assigned, your estimate of the completion date, and actual completion date, with comments column for unexpected interruptions to the task.
Or have them keep an accurate record in their diaries or construct simple matrix indicating time and tasks. It’s all valuable information for future discussions with employees.

3) Look at work layout
By observing what people do and how they do it, you can identify efficiencies.
Proximity to equipment like photocopiers, printers, and phones is key. If people have to walk the length of the office to use copier, you’ve probably found time-waster. Office landscaping also improves productivity by reduc-ing distractions as well as enhancing the visual appeal.

4) Provide the right mix of resources
The right mix of people and other resources is essential for everyone to complete their jobs. Too few resources not only affect productivity and profitability, but also mean idle people fill their spare time interrupting others.

5) Teach time-saving techniques
Never assume ?everyone knows that’ when it comes to time-saving techniques. Teach them things like:
? Allocating tasks for periods when you’ll be most productive.
? Setting daily priorities and sticking to them.
? Handling each piece of paper only once.
? Continuing to ask, “What is the best use of my time, right now?”

6) Make sure you’re not part of the problem.
Make list of time-wasters identified by employees. If ?the boss’ features on that list, find out what aspects of your behaviour need attention. You might need to:
? Communicate more clearly or more frequently.
? Avoid interrupting the staff unnecessarily.
? Ensure staff aren’t kept waiting for an appointment with you.
? Stop being indecisive.

7) And don’t forget to…
? Set deadlines for staff. Without them, projects use up more time than really necessary.
? Keep work challenging – and people will be enthusiastic and time-conscious.
? Build interdependencies. When employees rely on colleagues, they realise that their actions affect others. Time-wasters (the office gossip) and time-wasting habits (arriving late or leaving early), are soon brought under control by peers.
? Keep communication lines open. Blocked channels or slow-flowing information can waste valuable staff time.
? Set the example. By your actions, demonstrate that you disapprove of time-wasting.
Time management is bit of misnomer – the challenge isn’t to man-age time but to manage ourselves.

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