Time management is probably one of the biggest challenges managers have to face today. From the point of view of a team leader, a Department or a company you sometimes feel like a Hamster on a wheel. If you think you have mastered the critical tasks of the day, you are confronted with a lot of new E-Mails. Then someone with a question is standing in the door, phones ringing and so on. And should we then develop new ideas?

The key is not to be distracted and focus on the important. This sounds simple, but in practice it is very difficult. There are many theories about time management: from the Eisenhower principle, which proposes to distinguish between the urgent and the important-to the idea of writing tasks on a sheet of paper in order not to have to think about it and to gain clarity about how to handle them.

These theories are very helpful in themselves. However, they are often applied in isolation, and the related thematic challenges will be ignored. Let’s assume that you are working on three different projects and some of them are part of your objectives for this financial year. Let’s assume that some of these projects have proved to be somewhat more difficult, so they had to add more follow-up projects during the year. At the same time, you are now flying from your boss more and more individual tasks on the table, some of these tasks are about projects of colleagues and so on. What happens now with the priorities we set ourselves for the original projects?

In reality, the priorities change – they are dynamic. Moreover, many priorities for different people are not the same. The most important thing is to always keep an eye on the goals. This means that you have to work constantly on your strategy, on how to achieve your goal, and you have to adapt this strategy regularly to changing tasks and projects. Never forget what you’re being assessed-your performance indicators, the benchmarks your company sets to assess at the end of the year how good you were.

Here is an example: you are a manager of a business unit and one of your main objectives is to reduce the migration of customers. This is measured not only in money, but also in the number of lost customers. You need to rely on strategies that prevent these customers from going elsewhere.

A milestone in your strategy could be to get feedback from your managers about the state of customer relations. Another milestone could be to develop a Plan with the Marketing department to inform current customers about other projects of the company-including the opinion of customers. The third milestone could be a series of Meetings that you can agree with key decision makers of your customers throughout the financial year. During these Meetings you will receive such important Feedback and can suggest how to improve the collaboration.

All these projects must be prioritised and divided into smaller steps. In order to move forward quickly, as many of these tasks as possible should be delegated to the right people.

The most important thing now is to integrate the tasks that make up your projects. It is then necessary to incorporate them into the many line Management and Routine tasks and to develop an ongoing Plan. This Plan must be thoroughly revised at least once a week. The priorities should be reviewed regularly. For example, if one of your customers suggests that you want to change the supplier, you might need to increase the priority for this project, identify the need for action and integrate it with other tasks.

In short: if you don’t integrate your many tasks efficiently, make your innovation cycle and its results to be achieved. Always separate innovation management from Routine Management, especially when it comes to allocating money or time to your project tasks. According to the current Situation, this is a dynamic process and not a defined decision you make. Do not suffocate your innovation flow in the bud, because you let other tasks win over you. You may need new ideas rather than you believe.

Would you like more information or you have any questions or suggestions? We are always happy to hear from you – by Email, letter or call. So you can reach us:

Jens Moeller Consulting GmbH.
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