Giddy Up! Effective Time Management Tools We Should ALL Live By

Time waits for no one. Ain’t that the truth?

Especially true of the incredibly faced-paced restaurant & hospitality environment. Every guest, every dish, every interaction, every table turn time… it all adds up. Quickly.

Our BIGGEST time manager fan? Our very own Dan Simons. Our staff loves attending his insightful, energetic, everyone-participates classes on topics such as, yeah you guessed it, time management.

Here is a take on Dan’s personal productivity map:

Time Management Mastery: Action Plan

  • Use your time with intent: set boundaries for start/stop times, assign time values to every activity through the lens of Return on Investment
  • Become your most productive you: map your “big rocks and little rocks” so your priorities are crystal clear to yourself and others; use this clarity to say no to anything that doesn’t contribute to your priorities
  • Influence others: use shared digital calendars, unsubscribe from everything and add back only after a month if your truly missing the information, turn off all default notifications & email alerts and set them intentionally

Roles & Goals

Identify the MAJOR roles and opportunities in your life: family, work, taking on new projects, coordinating that softball tournament, planning your family/business travel yourself… you get the picture, these are the “big rocks.” Stay on top of your time management game by regularly identifying what role each plays in your fulfillment/development and what your goals are within each role.

Rank & Edit

Rank: importance of each role/goal (i.e. Dan’s fave: the “Hell Yeah” rule, as in, “hell yeah, I want to do xyz!” and if it doesn’t inspire that response from you, then don’t spend time doing it).

Edit: select what’s vital/delete what’s not. Be comfortable cutting losses. Give a gracious ‘no’ and don’t make commitments you’ll wish you hadn’t.

Abilities, Administration & Flow

Abilities: rank/edit/list your strengths, talents, skills in order to determine where you have weaknesses.

  • Foresight: look to predict outcomes (i.e. will this task benefit you long term?)
  • Attention: ensure you can focus, shields up, “find your library” or cone of silence
  • Interpersonal: engage others in a positive, mutually beneficial way (be direct. concise. cordial)
  • Reflect: be mindful of time spent/performance/value; edit process if necessary
  • Habits: build/sustain good time efficient habits (i.e. don’t read emails while working on a task: focus. finish. move on)

Administration: process/activity of implementing, adjusting, and improving your scalable time management system… to ensure it can evolve as your career and life responsibilities increase.

  • Time Commitment: dedicate approximately 5% of your time to administering time management systems/strategies
  • Agile Scheduling: Schedules change. Be prepared to adjust plans/procedures
  • Tools: find tools that work for you and implement them. For example, Dan loves digital calendars: combining family/work life into one spot ends the need for time-sucking texts/emails/vm’s about his sons’ baseball games or notifying his wife about his flight arrival time
  • Visualization: track task time. To see your time is to better understand and appreciate it, especially helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed/unmotivated
  • Be an Influencer: raise the bar by showing others your time efficient steps, strategies, skills

Flow: using your time management system in real time; keeping tabs on process and scalability.

  • Input: managing actionable information/situations using time management tools
  • Process: clarity of tasks and deciding action: make time to fulfill, pass on, or delegate
  • Do: performing action, while being productive
  • Follow-through: see task(s) successfully through to conclusion; reflect; self-correct

Successful time management is a continuous process. A give and take on what deserves your time and what doesn’t. Get daily tasks done first, then set goals, rank/edit importance, and be ready to implement, delete, or delegate. Streamlining your process as you go will ensure ongoing success.