6 Time Management Techniques for Managing a Time Challenged Boss

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

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Mike Gardner - The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor helps the overworked and overwhelmed learn to say 'No' nicely, and improve their management of time, emails and meetings. He is also an avid fan of Aston Villa, a Dad of Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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6 comments on “6 Time Management Techniques for Managing a Time Challenged Boss

  1. Laura on said:

    These would have been great when working with my two last bosses!!! Truth be told, they are great for understanding yourself when you are your OWN boss too ~ I still need to master #3 when deciding what to do in my practice……..Thanks!!

    • The Time Doctor on said:

      Hi Laura, they are definitely of use when working for yourself and everyone struggles to say no, a good article for the future i think


  2. Jessica on said:

    Thanks for the time manager booklet!

  3. Maven Fairy Godmother on said:

    Both my boss and I are time-challenged. She is better organized than I am, so I’m working on some kind of system to show her (and her boss) what my many ideas are, and what they would take to implement. I need help with prioritizing. Any suggestions?

    • The Time Doctor on said:

      Hi Charlotte,

      I have sent you some info via e-mail that will help with prioritising, let me know if it is helpful


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