Thursday, 26 June 2014

Good time management skills

Responsibility for team tasks

A team member needs to accept responsibility for tasks entrusted to him or her. Completing tasks is a cooperative effort. Unless the team pulls together, the work will not get done.

Within a team, members will resume different rules according to their styles, skills and personalities. Some examples of the roles people can adopt are outlines below.

The person who leads the team

The creative person who thinks of new ways of doing things

The person who develops contacts and brings new idea and information to the team

The person who judges accurately and stops the team from making wrong decisions

The person who promotes decision making

The person who puts the team’s idea and goals into reality

The person who puts ideas into practice

The person who delivers on time

These are all desirable roles in team membership. Some members are able to switch or take on various to allow goals to be achieved.

Once roles and styles are identified, allocating responsibility for particular tasks becomes easier. If the task in hand involved research, you need a resource/investigator. If it involves making judgement between alternatives, a monitor/evaluator is needed. A completer/finisher is always necessary to ensure that the task is completed within the given time frame.

Problems, options and solutions

Problems are given to teams to analyse and work through. Within a specified time, a team will be asked to provide some options and solutions. At times when there is no single clear answer, a process of discussion and negotiation will take place.

A good way to assist discussion and negotiation is to hold a brainstorming sessions. This encourages team members to contribute ideas in a non-threatening situation. It is surprising how easily ideas will flow once there is this sort of stimulation. People begin to see things in an innovative way.

Problem solving is the ability to find lasting solutions to complex problems. A successful team is able to focus on the problem, analyse and develop the options and put the solutions into practice.

Task reviewing and re-prioritizing

Many times in an office your carefully planned day and list of things to do today will be upset and thrown into chaos. Some of the reasons for this could be:
  • The unexpected need for you to attend a meeting
  • Having to fill in for an absent staff member
  • Having to attend to a more pressing project
 Designated timelines for tasks

When setting timelines, try to be realistic and operate within the resources at your disposal. Estimating times is difficult, but it will become easier with experience.

If you were asked to key in a 30-pages document on a word processor, how long would it take? It will depend on:
  • The number of other duties you have to complete
  • The complexity or technically of the language in the document
  • The difficult of the layout and design
  • Etc
It may be the organization’s policy for another staff member to help with collating and checking. In any case, when you are striving to meet deadlines, allow some leeway for unexpected interruptions and seek the support of other staff members so that goals and targets are met on time. Cooperating with others is a valuable part of teamwork.

Good time management skills and the ability to prioritize are keys to getting work done according to its degree or urgency. Keep your employer informed of the progress and constantly look for ways to improve your work habits.

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