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Get smart on time management to reduce stress

Get smart on time management to reduce stress
 Delegating tasks to employees is an effective time management strategy, Mr Woodhouse said.

Business bosses who are under the cosh with work should take a step back and re-evaluate their time management, according to a business consultant.

Company chiefs can be reluctant to relinquish responsibility, which could be to the detriment of their business according Daryl Woodhouse, founder of business consultancy firm Advantage Business Partnerships.

The first step to better time management, according to Mr Woodhouse, is to outline tasks that require completion within a month and estimate how long it would take to do so.

He said bosses should consider delegating some of their responsibilities to an employee – taking into account the wage value the tasks are likely to command.

In addition, bosses should also consider the total average number of hours they work each week and how much they actually would like to allocate to their role before taking on a task.

The second step is to analyse. Mr Woodhouse said: “Now ask yourself: which tasks do you enjoy? And look at which of those tasks would be enjoyed more by another.

“Also consider whether another member of the team would achieve a greater output in less time. Be honest with yourself: do you have colleagues who could do some of those tasks as well as or better than you?”

After identifying areas where changes could be made, who will do what, and when they will do it; the third step is to establish the optimal goals for each type of reallocated task.

What is more, bosses should consider and decide on any other support needed while ensuring the objectives are specific objectives that are measurable, achievable, realistic and timely (Smart).

On the fourth step, Mr Woodhouse said: “Arrange to check in with all those involved in the acquiring or handling of tasks after 60 days. Discuss as a team: what worked well? What could be improved over the next 60 days? How does each member of the team feel about their amended role and their productivity? Arrange another review meeting to repeat the process and keep driving continuous improvement.”

Finally, once the tasks are complete, bosses should recognise the achievements of all involved to keep everyone feeling positive and valued.

He said: “I don’t mean you need to have a party – but do if you want to. Simply noting the achievements of individuals and the team, and saying thank you.”

Adviser view

William Hunter, director at Edinburgh-based Hunter Wealth Management, said: “It is extremely difficult to give up a client, even though you know you should to ensure enough time is allocated to other clients. There is a mental block that sometimes prevents you from doing so because of the loss of income.

“We had one client who was not a huge income stream for us, but he tended to call us every couple of months and ask us the same questions that we had answered time and time again. We do not think there was an error in communication on our part. We let him go eventually because he took up too much of our time.”