The Greek philosopher Theophrastus wisely stated that “Time is the most valuable thing a person can spend.” How many of us can relate to looking up at your clock at the end of the day, and asking yourself, “where did the hours go today”? It is easy for frustration levels to rise as we compare the plans that we had at the beginning of the day to the results we achieved at the end of the day. As leaders, we should expect reduced productivity as employee frustration levels rise. It is only the select and organized few that end each day satisfied with their results. For the rest of us, poor time management can quickly increase a person’s frustration levels and it is like a double punch to productivity. Poor time management causes frustration and reduced productivity. As frustration grows and productivity drops, job satisfaction also drops which in-turn reduces your productivity even more which creates more frustration, and it goes on and on. As an aviation enthusiast, we call this a death spiral when flying. The situation keeps feeding itself, making itself worse.
As leaders, we need to ask ourselves, what can we do to help our employees reduce frustration and increase productivity? There are many books on the topic, and many great minds have pondered this issue. But I would like to offer a couple of simple suggestions. Famed author Stephen R Covey states, “The key is not in spending time, but in investing it.” Like finances, if you spend your money, you will not have any more of it. If you invest it, eventually you will end up with more. So, help yourself and your employees by changing your perception of time to something you invest in versus something you spend. Rather than spending 10 minutes doing a task, invest 20 minutes learning how to do it better. And, of course, software can help with that.
Investing in learning how to use the tools you have correctly will ultimately save time, make people more productive, reduce stress, increase satisfaction, and make everyone more money while even improving the quality of work-life balance. At SmartSearch, we are doing our part to help you invest time versus spending it with our new learning management system, designed to help your team invest their time wisely and making the most out of SmartSearch. V22, which we are happy to announce will be released on Aug 23rd, leans heavily toward improved time management, helping you and your team invest time wisely. From pivot-style list lookups, which make finding data faster and easier, to drip campaigns to reduce the time required to stay in contact with your candidates and clients. Even our dashboards have been enhanced to change the date ranges of all panels at once quickly, so you can efficiently see the data you need.
The idea of investing your time goes beyond any one software solution, and I would encourage you to consider placing a priority on helping your team to better invest their own time. How do you do this? Give your team members a dedicated number of hours per week or month to properly learn the tools they have at their disposal. Maybe start a lunch-and-learn program. It is also valuable, and perhaps critical to select key employees to become Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) of each tool you use and empower them with the available time and resources to become a cheerleader and evangelist of proper use of your technology stack.
The rise of services like Audible.com which allows you to listen to books, makes every drive a learning opportunity. Providing employees with the time-management books via audible or other sites allows them to learn while they commute so they might become savvy time investors.
Gamification is another great way to encourage learning while it’s been shown to reduce stress, increase productivity, and create a little healthy, fun competition. Look out soon for new Gamification tools from SmartSearch as well, as we further prioritize helping you and your team become more productive each day.
Whatever approach you take, I am confident if you start investing your time rather than just spending it, you can become the Warren Buffet of time management.
Thanks for investing a few moments of your time with me. I hope you found it time well invested!
All the best,
President & CTO