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Time Management

Featured in the First-time Leadership training manual

By Clare Llewellyn West

Category: Leadership

Credit price: 4 download credits (Single user)

Most managers and team leaders would admit to finding time management a real challenge. For individuals new to the leadership role this challenge can have two extra dimensions. Firstly, they are often expected to carry on working in a hands-on role whilst somehow fitting in their new responsibilities. Secondly, this may be their first experience of being expected to make their own decisions on how they allocate their time at work. There are many standardised approaches to time management, generally based on specialised diary systems, which suit some people and not others. When people cannot get on with these systems, or just find them unsuited to their particular work environment, they often blame themselves for being hopeless at time management and give up trying. The objective of this time management training activity is to provide a pick and mix of time management techniques. Participants are invited to select a few which suit their time management needs and to implement them over an agreed period.

You start by asking the participants a few questions about their own time management. If they have not encountered the ‘Rule of Four’ exercise from the ‘Managing yourself’ activity from First-time Leadership, you introduce it; if they have worked with it you remind them briefly of the principle. You then show the basic 4D filter for time management decisions. The participants then carry out an exercise which encourages them to look at some of the practical time management challenges. Finally, you present them with a menu of time management techniques and encourage them to start applying a few of them over the coming weeks.

Who is it for: This time management training activity is intended for use by trainers to encourage participants to develop and discuss practical strategies for managing their time better.

Resource Type:Activity
Min Group Size:4
Max Group Size:20
Typical Duration:01:35:00
No of Pages:32

Resources: View standard resources for Fenman training activities

Purpose: This time management training activity is intended for use by trainers with first-time leaders as there will be very few new leaders who do not benefit from spending some time considering how they use their time and how they can improve their time management. This training activity works best if the principles of urgent versus important work have been mastered first. Time management is also very closely linked to stress and so this activity supports ‘Taking care of yourself’. Some of the assertiveness skills which support good time management are covered in ‘Making yourself heard’. The theme of making the most effective use of time continues in ‘Communicating the essentials’ and ‘The ABC of planning’. Delegation, which is one of the topics touched on here, is covered in greater details in ‘Learning to let go’. Much of time management is about developing good habits (and by definition ‘unlearning’ bad ones) and so the benefits of this activity are enhanced if participants get the chance to apply some of the time management techniques and then return to discuss progress and reinforce their good intentions. If you are working with a group at regular intervals, it would be beneficial to end a day with this time management session and then have a discussion about progress at the start of the next event – perhaps before moving on to one of the linked topics suggested above. You could also give participants Handout 8.12 The time log, in advance and then use their discussion of where their time went as your starting point.

Download the training activity, Time Management as featured in the Fenman training manual; First-time Leadership