3 Time Management Tips (And Tools) For Office Managers
As an office manager, you have a myriad of duties. From managing employees, administrative tasks, to data collection - your job is multifaceted.
With so many demands, it’s vital to master the art of time management. Learning to plan and control how much time to spend on specific activities as at the epicenter of every highly skilled office manager.
To help you excel as an office manager, here are 3 tools and tricks to ensure you manage your time well and get more done:
1. Organize And Prioritize
As an office manager, your job requires you to keep your eyes on many tasks and areas of the business. Whether you’re making phone calls, organizing office documents, maintaining the books, posting jobs online, speaking with staff, tracking schedules, or doing other office management duties - there’s a demand that you monitor your time carefully.
One way to ensure you’re on top of things is to organize and prioritize. Every day there’s the daily stuff that needs to get done, as well as the big stuff that requires you to track calendar dates and turn in certain materials by deadlines. One way to stay organized and prioritize the right things is to use software that keeps you on task.
The first tool you’ll want to make sure you’re using is an online calendar (one that syncs with the rest of the staff schedules). By being synchronized with everyone's timelines, you can see the bigger picture and workings of the office. From there, you'll want to get used to using a daily, weekly, and monthly view. This way, you can see what’s coming up, what’s around the corner, and decide where you’ll need to focus on a weekly and daily basis.
The next tool you might consider using is some digital to-do list that can sync via the cloud. This way, you can look at your to-do list from your phone or computer. Not only that, if you wish to share your list with a co-worker or your boss, you can easily give them access via the cloud. Having a to-do list on the cloud also ensures that you can never lose the list.
Project Management Tools (Best For Teams):
- Asana (A bit advanced and best for large teams)
- Basecamp (Similar to Asana and costs)
- Trello (Offers a free version that works great to manage tasks, projects, and groups)
Free And Simple To Use For Single Users:
- Google Keep (Free and very simple to use)
- Todoist (Very much like Google Keep, it’s simple to use and syncs with the cloud)
- Microsoft To-Do (Simple, free, and quick to setup)
Those tools are excellent for tracking tasks and checking them off. Instead of just using scratch paper, these apps will make it easier to track and manage your tasks. And if you search online, you can find a myriad of other tools to help with task management and daily to-do lists.
Using online tools will help any office manager manage their time successfully with increased ease (and collaboration with their team).
2. Use Focus And Awareness
In professor Carl Newport's book, “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World,” he emphasizes and shows how the best work gets done when we create deep focus. By utilizing research and examples from studies, Newport’s book clearly shows that the best way to manage time is through attention and awareness.
As an office manager, you can create focus by using a timer. According to authors like Tim Ferriss and accomplished individuals like Arnold Schwarzenegger, setting a timer to work on set tasks helps the mind be focused and work diligently without getting distracted.
If you’d like to make the most out of your time, it’s a great idea to try using a timer for set tasks. This way, you can focus without worrying you’ll lose track of other things that you may need to get done.
Time Tracking Tools:
- Clocker For Mac (This app sits nicely at the top bar of your screen, and it’s a simple to use)
- Tomato Timer (works on all devices and only requires you have a tab open Safari, Chrome, or Mozilla)
- Insight Timer (This timer is often used for meditation because it has a soft ding setting, but it can be used at the office for time management as well)
Using timers to work on tasks has been espoused by some of the most successful people on the planet - give it a try and watch your productivity skyrocket.
3. Automate, Delegate, And Assign Tasks When Possible
One skill that every successful CEO and business owner says creates massive success is the ability to delegate, outsource, and assign tasks to others.
As an office manager, you're very well versed in what needs to get done at the office. It’s also probable you take on tasks that don’t certainly have to be done by you. Given you’re running the office, you’re also aware that if certain things don't’ get done, it makes the whole business suffer - so you do it.
To improve your time management, consider finding new methods and ways to take care of what needs to get done. Take a look at your to-do list and see if there’s anything you can delegate, automate, or assign to someone else.
For delegation, start with what is immediate. Maybe you’re making calls that a salesperson can make. Perhaps you’re doing some cleaning that the janitor can do when everyone leaves for the day. Or maybe there’s something else you can automate and delegate to the software.
For automation, look at your email process and see if it’s possible to put systems in place to reduce how much you write, re-write, and do that can be outsourced to software. For example, instead of typing up the same old emails every week - maybe you can use software like Constant Contact, Aweber, or MailChimp to automate the process. Or perhaps there are reminders you’re manually sending to staff that you can use customized Google template responses to save you time.
By using these automated systems, you can save yourself the time of typing up responses that you are used to giving regularly.
Time Management Is Essential For Office Managers
As an office manager, your ability to manage your time will make all the difference. Your work will become more efficient by improving your organization, focus, automation, and delegation. Software systems like to-do lists and email templates can cut down labor hours and increase efficiency.
Delegation is necessary for ensuring you’re not doing work that someone else is better trained to handle. And proper focus enhances productivity. Your job as an office manager relies on your ability to keep the office running smoothly, use these tips to guarantee you’re doing your best possible work.
Looking for a way to manage your office more efficiently? Check out what Eden’s Workplace Management Platform can do for your workplace.