Adopting effective time management techniques when working for a time challenged boss will save your sanity. Learning how to manage your boss’s last minute requests in a professional manner will contribute to improved working relationships and a happier atmosphere all round.
The key to creating such an environment lies in teaching your boss how to become a better time manager, without them realising it. Let’s look at a few techniques that will help you to achieve this.
1: Understand your boss
It’s time for you to put your empathetic hat on in a bid to understand the reasons why your boss is so time-challenged.
Is he or she being pressured by external or internal sources? Or have you simply drawn the short straw with a manager who is inherently disorganised?
If you can understand the cause of the problem, you can do something about it.
2: Develop a good relationship with your boss
How can you even begin to understand your boss if you don’t have a good working relationship with him or her? Learn to identify their strengths and weakness, what their objectives are and how they like to operate.
Figure out ways you can support them according to their needs, as this will help to reduce the time burden they place on you.
3: Don’t agree to everything
It’s tempting to say yes to whatever your boss wants as you think this will keep you in good favour. However, unrealistic demands on your time have consequences on your overall performance. How favourable do you think you will look in your boss’s eyes then?
If your boss is pressuring you to take on a new project, remain positive and calmly explain the impact this would have on your time or productivity i.e. ‘I’m more than happy to do X,Y and Z today but that will mean I won’t be able to finish A,B and C.’
4: Establish the priorities
Remember, just because your boss gives you a series of tasks to do, does not mean that they all have equal footing on the urgency scale.
Meet with your boss to determine what the real priorities are, then tackle these first. Using this technique will help you to establish a plan for how you spend your time.
5: Be a pro-active problem solver
Taking a pro-active role at work will allow you to forward plan for any problems you may encounter. Place yourself in a position where you can approach your boss with solutions that not only save time but money too.
Your boss will appreciate your insight and look to you for future recommendations on how to minimise inefficiency.
6: Communicate on a regular basis
If you are feeling overloaded this is something your boss needs to know about. Now! Not when things get out of hand.
Let your boss know how all their last minute requests are affecting your ability to deliver. Enlist his or her support in allowing you to better manage your time.
It’s inevitable that you will face time challenges when working with your boss, but that doesn’t mean you have to let them affect your performance or enjoyment of your job. Even if you only manage to implement a few of these time management techniques, you will begin to have greater control over your boss’s demands on your time.
Till Next Time
The Time Doctor – Mike Gardner