How a busy person manages their time wisely
14 July 2015 -
Chartered Managers add value to an organisation and, whether you’re an owner or pivotal figure, you are driven to succeed.
How can you best get through the heavy workload that comes with the added responsibility?
The last three weeks have been manic! I’ve launched a national competition to design the keys to BLOODHOUND, planned and executed two major events for my educational ambassadors (Goodwood Festival of Speed and British Grand Prix), spent a week developing the project’s South African deployment and gave a keynote speech to 200 people. The icing on the cake will be the back-to-back birthday parties for my kids on Saturday (retro tea party) and Sunday (paintballing) – it’s going to be great fun.
I’m Major Oli Morgan and I’m a team leader for the British Army’s involvement in the Bloodhound Supersonic Car project. I’m busy – just like you. I’m committed to the field of management by taking my skills to the next level and I’ve used my skills as a Chartered Manager to give me the competitive edge. Post-nominal letters like CMgr aren’t just for show – we‘re the people that make the difference and help drive an organisation forward.
The nature of my job means that I have to give a lot of thought to time management. I’ve come up with three tips that I find useful, and I’m interested to hear your thoughts. How do you wrestle with your productivity?
1. Issue an ‘event warning’
In an ideal world, you’d have all the information you need before dishing out instructions to your team – but that seldom happens. How do you get around this? I issue an ‘event warning’ to my team as soon as there is a likelihood of an upcoming activity or deadline. It’s as simple as it sounds, but how many times have you been told about something at the last minute and said through gritted teeth: “if only you had told me last week, I could have done some preparation”. By giving your team a structured heads-up, everyone is on the same page and working towards a common goal. Put your trust in employees and allow them to use their initiative. Event warnings act as a pre-emptive contingency against any last-minute plans, and boost overall productivity.
2. Use technology to keep up to date
I’m on the move a lot and group messaging tools are an absolute godsend. With the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts, I’m in touch with my entire team and we can send each other messages and photos, regardless of where we all are. Top tip for managers: be aware which platform each of your team members prefer, as they will likely respond to urgent private messages quicker.
3. Search for your superhero
Ever used the wrong tool for a job? Did it then take ten times as long because you damaged what you meant to fix? The same is true with time management. In the hands of an expert your difficult task could be completed in double-quick time, saving you hours of banging your head against the wall. Ask for help from your network. I rely heavily on Linkedin and the willingness of professionals to help or at least steer me towards an expert (and always pay the favour back.) In the time it takes to ask and get a reply you can use your time to work on other jobs – don’t be an amateur lion tamer or you might get bitten.
About the author:
Major Oli Morgan cut his teeth commanding Apache Helicopter technicians in Afghanistan, and later ran equipment trials in Helmand. He now supports the Bloodhound Project, as it seeks to break the land speed record, leading a team of highly skilled engineers from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), is responsible for the project’s PR and marketing, and spearheads the Army Education Outreach Programme; receiving the accolade of Modern Day Visionary from the IMechE for his work to inspire children into engineering and science.
Images courtesy of Stefan Marjoram & Bloodhound SSC.
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