Time management isn’t actually about managing time; the purpose of it is to actually manage tasks. It’s about making the time to get the things done that need to happen, so that you can get to the things your business needs from you. Managing your time is about the systems that move your business forward as well as leadership and employee management. Your management style might change over the years or it may be set, but it will different than your employees’ last boss or the person down the street with a similar business.
Time Management and Employee Management
The Nitpicker: Do you micro-manage, are you always looking over the shoulder of your employees and subcontractors? Do you resent letting go of things because you know others will never do it as well as you?
Time management works well for the nitpicker but when you delegate a project get clear on what the project is. If you want your independent contractor to build you a website, you tell them what pages it should have and what you want it to look like. If you’ve given someone the task, they know how to do the work, your job is to just deliver the particulars and the vision and then let them go do the work you’ve entrusted to them. We want to empower the employee or the independent contractor. As a nitpicker your natural inclination will be to get stuck on the intricate details of a project, the how because your intention is to have a successful website be the end product. But instead you’re too focused on what they already know how to build a site, that’s why you hired them.
The Laid Back: Are you more open, less directive than a micro-manager? Do you give your employees lots of space and want to be accepting?
Taking the same website project example, you want a beautiful website that speaks to your vision and customer service? There’s no structure in that description, you don’t mention any specific pages you want on the site, you don’t say what information you want and where you want it to be found on your site. If you speak only to the vision and never in the execution or the process, you’ll get a varying response based on the person doing the work. You want to have enough structure that you ensure you set them up for success. You have a vision in your head of what you want the site to look like, so be up front and share your vision. Actively give at least 5 specific details about what you’re looking for. You don’t have to get into the how, just provide them enough structure so that they can join their ideas and your desires and deliver the ideal project.
I’m one of the small business owners who does what I’m good at and I hand off the rest of it to other people. I don’t spend time posting on social media, or marketing, I spend my time talking to my clients because that’s what I’m good at. If that’s you, you hand off projects with the wish and hope that the people you hand work off to, do the work well. You hand it over to them accompanied with the sentiment of ‘please rescue me’ or ‘please help me’. When you delegate more projects to them do you do so with the hope that they save you? That will work for a little while, but after about 3 months your employee will be exhausted because they’re doing more than what their job description states, resentful because they’re doing more than what they paid for, or angry because they never succeeded in having you feel less overwhelmed. If you have that history with your employees, you’re unintentionally creating this negative vibe between you and your employees.
Slow down. Before you delegate the project, get clear on what the project and boundaries of the project are, as well as how much you’re paying them for it. If you have another project or problem, negotiate a second job for that work. Eliminate the feeling of stress and overwhelm by getting specific on the needs, the systems, and the projects you need.