A lot of my work recently has been dedicated to helping ambitious companies define and develop approaches to raise ‘Time management’ from an individual employee’s personal preference to a strategic organisational process. You can imagine my delight, then, when I read this headline in my January McKinsey Quarterly feed

Making Time Management the Organization’s Priority

If any of these headline items below from McKinsey’s research resonate with you please do get in touch – together we will make lasting, measurable change to the way your team or business manages the one finite and measurable resource that everyone has responsibility to manage well every day. Time! See what clients say here. My work in this area covers the 5 remedies in the report and much more.

Selected highlights from the McKinsey research through canvasing nearly 1,500 executives across the globe:

  1. 91% of executives dissatisfied in how their time is spent – Only 9% of the respondents deemed themselves “very satisfied” with their current allocation of time
  2. Only 52% said that the way they spent their time largely matched their organizations’ strategic priorities. Nearly 50% feel they’re not concentrating sufficiently on strategic objectives of the business.
  3. This McKinsey research identifies 4 broad leadership profiles defining 4 flavours of frustration with time. Which one do you identify with? The Online junkie, the Schmoozer, the Cheerleader, the Firefighter. See the narrated slide-show, “Time management: Four flavors of frustration” for a full description of each (6 minutes long). You might need to create an account, which I strongly suggest you do anyway.
  4. The myth of ‘Infinite time’ often results in Initiative Overload with special projects, strategies and change programmes being heaped indiscriminately upon already demanding day-jobs, with little or no strategic time allocations being built into team schedules.
  5. A lack of organizational time-management guidance for individual managers is widespread and people are expected to manage it themselves the best way they can.

The problem of managing time within most businesses, even with good personal time management skills, is compounded by the ruthless realities within the modern workplace.

Microsoft recently did some research on the impact of interruptions This suggests (and in my experience of working with clients, it is about right) that with ever increasing workloads and interruptions, the probability of the wrong stuff being worked on by most people in the business is high – and this has an impact on overall workload management and productivity.

Microsoft’s research suggests, among other things:

An average of 112 emails being received daily
28% of the day spent dealing with interruptions
Over 40% of disrupted tasks are not immediately resumed
Tasks performed in parallel take the average user 30% longer to complete than tasks done in sequence

I strongly recommend a free subscription to the McKinsey Quarterly I can get a pdf of the full report to you if you ask me.

If you want to find out how we can improve your team or business approach to the thorny, perennial problem of ‘Time Management’  in a more practical, robust and lasting way please do get in touch.

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