With the end of the year rapidly approaching, many managers are under plenty of stress trying to complete multiple tasks in the next month. Here are four principles of effective time management to help you achieve more with less stress.
1. Important Items versus Urgent Items
Many managers spend their workday in a frenzy of activity, but achieve very little. To make the most of your time, ensure that your understanding of what’s important is not clouded by your sense of urgency.
Important items are the proactive or progress tasks that will move you closer to your goals and objectives, help you reach a position fundamentally better than the one you are in now, and have a direct impact on moving the business forward.
Urgent items are the reactive and maintenance tasks that do not support your goals and objectives, but still must be completed, occur as a result of everyday interruptions, and leave you in the same position as you were before.
2. When are you most effective?
Knowing when you are at your best and planning to use that time of day for your priorities is effective time management. Whenever possible, tackle important work or activities when you are most alert and energetic because they will seem easier and you will accomplish them faster. Be sure to schedule less demanding tasks when your energy levels are decreasing.
3. Remain Flexible
Avoid scheduling each day to the extent that it is impossible to stay on track. Consider that interruptions are bound to happen and projects may take longer than anticipated.
To allow for the unexpected, leave some open time in your daily plan. A good rule of thumb is to leave approximately 40% of your day unplanned because certain days of the week can be more hectic and require more time. Leaving part of your day unplanned can also help ensure that you have time to work on the important tasks that will move you toward your goals.
4. Planning Time
Underestimating the time needed to accomplish a task is not uncommon. To give yourself sufficient time to do things properly, reduce stress, and promote productivity be sure to:
- Schedule about 10-20% more time than you think the task will require
- Set aside larger blocks of time for priorities
- Build extra time into your schedule when planning a new project.
The managers who accomplish the most know exactly what needs to be completed each day. They consider the time spent on planning to be an investment in effectiveness and success and understand that the tasks that need to be accomplished in any given day or week are more likely to be completed when time is taken to plan properly.
In today’s increasingly busy workplace, many managers find themselves working longer hours in an attempt to meet the demands and pressures of their position. This has left many managers feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
Do you ever feel stressed and frustrated because of:
- Missed deadlines and commitments?
- Forgotten details and lost paperwork?
- Projects not running as planned?
- Not having enough time for family and friends?
- Having too much to do in too little time?
If you answered yes to even one these questions, you are not alone. A major cause of stress among managers is the feeling that there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything they need or want to do.
Some managers say they choose to work in their free time because it is the only way they can:
- Have time to focus on important projects.
- Work without interruptions and distractions.
- Ensure that important tasks and projects get done.
- Reduce stress and anxiety during other periods of the week.
However, the secret to accomplishing more with less stress isn’t in working more hours – it’s in working smarter. A key difference between effective and ineffective managers is how they use the hours they have.
Time management has long been recognized as one of the keys to ensuring higher productivity and reducing stress by using your time most effectively. Time management is the personal management of tasks, behaviors, and activities.
To ensure effective management of time you must:
- Work toward professional and personal goals each day.
- Focus on the important rather than the urgent.
- Use your most productive time wisely.
- Allocate sufficient time for the completion of tasks and projects.
- Take time to plan and prioritize when scheduling your day.
- Eliminate behaviors that waste time.
Starting in January 2018, public employers must disclose the ratio of CEO pay to median employee pay to comply with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Near the end of September, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] published interpretive guidance in the Federal Register explaining the flexibility employers have when implementing CEO pay ratio reporting. Remember that public employers must begin reporting the ratio of CEO pay to median employee pay in their 2018 proxy statements.
The SEC provided the guidance, which can be found here, in an effort to address the unexpected challenges companies have been facing as they prepare to comply with the pay ratio rule. In general, the new guidance eases compliance and allows companies to use readily available information to produce the disclosures.
In particular, the new guidance:
- Clarifies the use of reasonable estimates, assumptions, and methodologies, and statistical sampling permitted by the rule.
- Clarifies that a company may use appropriate existing internal records, such as tax statements or payroll documents, to identify and calculate the median employee’s annual total compensation.
- Clarifies that appropriate interval records can also be used to determine if the company must include non-U.S. workers in pay ratio calculations. However, the SEC allows companies to exclude non-U.S. employees if they account for 5 percent or less of the company’s total workforce.
- Provides additional guidelines on determining whether its workers are employees for purposes of the rule, allowing employers to exclude independent contractors from pay ratio calculations.
The additional guidance also includes examples which illustrate how reasonable estimates may be used in finding the pay ratio. Finally, we encourage public employers to do their due diligence and document all assumptions and methodologies when computing the ratio to reduce the risk of an SEC enforcement action.
Come see Organizational Architecture present at The OSCPA Columbus Accounting Show on Thursday, November 9th, as we cover the topic Finding and Keeping the Right People During Times of Transition during our session.
Afterwards, meet us and learn more about our organizational design and human resources consulting services.
Happy Halloween! It is hard to believe we are already at the end of October and beginning the 2017 holiday season.
Rather than list out the various holidays celebrated by different people throughout these two months, we wanted to provide some general reminders to help you plan your holiday season. We encourage you to ensure that you are being fair and consistent when granting time off or flexible schedules and inclusive if you decide to have holiday themed office celebrations.
- If you have not already done so, prepare and post holiday schedules now. Include the dates you will be open for business and the ones you will be closed.
- If the holidays fall on weekends, address whether you plan to close the day before or the day after the holiday. If so, make sure you let people know by sending out a company notice with the posting.
- Some industries, such as medical or retail, may have normal hours and scheduling or even longer hours. Make sure people are aware of this. It is completely appropriate to state that you have certain ‘blackout’ periods in which no time off may be granted due to business needs.
- Keep in mind that there are several religious and other holidays throughout this period, some of which may be unfamiliar to you. Remember to treat people fairly, even if it is a holiday that you do not know.
- Check your employee handbook to remind yourself of holiday policies, such as who eligible for holiday time off and holiday pay. Make sure you understand how holiday pay is calculated and explain it to those employees who will be receiving holiday pay.
One example of how Organizational Architecture assists its client with management training is our work with ACRT Inc. and its management development workshops. Training and development programs can help new managers grow into their role and make current managers even better!
ACRT is a leading independent utility vegetation management consulting company that prevents and rapidly resolves utility challenges by assessing and monitoring utility systems for vegetation liabilities and storm preparedness. They have teams of employees all over the United States ensuring that electrical power lines are clear of hazards that can disrupt service.
They were ready to implement several initiatives to help their workforce, but with limited bandwidth, they needed to bring in an external resource to assist them. Their leadership had already done a needs assessment of their managers and identified development areas, so they were ready to hit the ground running.
We were able to help them by developing and delivering training workshops on topics such as
- Customer service
- Effective communication
- Effective interviewing and selection
- Effective presentation techniques
- Leading productive meetings
- Understanding generational differences
The workshops included facilitation, workbooks, activities, handouts, and other tools for effective learning. Additionally, many of these workshops were developed to be uploaded to their learning management system [LMS] so that remote learners could take advantage of the learning.
Bob Chess, Chief Human Resources Officer at ACRT, said,
Organizational Architecture was a huge help with developing and delivering our leadership workshops. We had begun to develop an internal capability for staff training and development as part of our overall succession planning process, and needed assistance in the meantime ensuring our staff received the training they needed. Partnering with Organizational Architecture allowed us to focus on launching other HR initiatives while ensuring that development of our managers was underway.
They were effective in helping us develop the content for the workshops as well as the tools to ensure effective learning. Organizational Architecture was able to provide an outside perspective on how to deliver the training effectively, which equipped our managers with tools to integrate into ongoing performance management and delivering annual performance reviews.
No matter what type of training your staff or managers need, Organizational Architecture can provide the necessary training to help your management team be successful and effective leaders.
Come see Organizational Architecture present at The OSCPA Cleveland Accounting Show on Wednesday October 25 and Thursday October 26, as we cover the topic Finding and Keeping the Right People During Times of Transition during our session.
Also stop by our exhibition booth to meet us and learn more about our organizational design and human resources consulting services.
The Ohio Department of Commerce has announced that Ohio’s minimum wage is to increase on January 1 2018. It will increase to $8.30 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.15 per hour for tipped employees. The minimum wage will apply to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $305,000 per year.
The current 2017 Ohio minimum wage is $8.15 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.08 for tipped employees. The 2017 Ohio minimum wage applies to employees of businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $299,000 per year.
The Constitutional Amendment [II-34a] passed by Ohio voters in November 2006 states that Ohio’s minimum wage shall increase on January 1 of each year by the rate of inflation. The state minimum wage is tied to the Consumer Price Index [CPI-W] for urban wage earners and clerical workers for the 12-month period prior to September. This CPI-W index increased by 1.9 percent over the twelve-month period from September 1 2016 to August 31 2017. You can access the Constitutional Amendment online.
Employers should remember to post the Ohio Minimum Wage 2018 in their place of business. Additionally, we remind employers to stay up to date on the required postings for their state. Click here to access the list of required postings in the State of Ohio.