Are you an effective manager? Do you recognise the good habits that belong to the areas of personal effectiveness and priority management?

We all have good and bad habits that can make us ineffective and sometimes it is hard to recognise these, so here are five steps to help you towards becoming an effective manager.

1. Use a diary or your email calendar to plan your schedule

It may sound simple but by using this method it can have a massive impact on how you utilise your time if done effectively. A dairy is not just for appointments but can be used to plan your daily tasks and also to prioritise tasks.

2. Maintain a clear environment

An effective manager maintains a clear desk policy.  Have an ‘in’ and ‘out’ tray ensuring that your ‘out’ tray is clear each day. Remove all papers at the end of the day and sort them out as this will save time the next day as you will not have to sort out yesterday’s work. This saves time. Efficient administration and filing systems are invaluable.

3. Delegation

When done effectively can be a key tool for an effective manager. Do you think delegation means ‘ordering someone else to do it’?  Well delegation in the true sense of the word is about entrusting responsibility and authority to others, who then become responsible to you for their results. Delegating  gives you more time to spend on important priorities, it increases your effectiveness and more importantly develops others. Enabling others to develop through delegation promotes staff involvement and empowerment is motivational. Management is about getting things done through others, it is not about doing everything yourself!

4. Remove all interruptions

What do you think the two biggest distractions are preventing people getting immersed in their work? Well believe it or not it’s emails and the telephone. One tip is to remove the ‘ding’ sound when you receive an email so you are not tempted to look at it straight away. Set time aside at intervals during the day to check emails. The same applies to the  telephone as well, schedule in your calls to be made together at one point during the day to stop a break in your concentration. You could turn your telephone to answerphone (if appropriate) and once again collect voicemails at dedicated times during the day.

5. Do not accept responsibility for the problems of your staff

For a kind and caring manager this can be a tricky one, but you do yourself and your staff no favours by taking over responsibility of their problems. I am not saying do not help your staff, you must do this by all means, but the moment you let their problem become your problem, you will have one more problem than you had before. Say for example if you did this for ten staff every week, you will have gained over 100 problems in three months! Instead meet with them on a 1:1 basis and coach them to help them to resolve the problem themselves, this ultimately will give them a sense of achievement.

Keep these tips in mind and you will be well on your way to becoming an effective manager with a good work/life balance who achieves great results and motivates their staff. Our Personal Effectiveness and Priority Management in house course will help delegates to make the most of their time and become more effective managers.