Management Tip: Eliminate This Huge Time Waster

Your time is valuable. Want to get the most from every hour? Become a master time manager.
Your time is valuable. Want to get the most from every hour? Become a master time manager.

Your time is valuable. Want to get the most from every hour? Become a master time manager.

“Time management is about setting priorities,” says Bob Milligan, senior consultant at Dairy Strategies and former Cornell University professor.

Your list of priorities will help you avoid a huge time waster: not knowing what to do next.

During planting or harvest, you have a sense of how to spend your time. But what happens when you finish a project?

“If you don’t have a plan, you waste a heck of a lot of time figuring out what you have to do next,” Milligan says. “The real time management opportunity is when things aren’t urgent.”

Keep task lists for both yourself and your team. This could be on the whiteboard in the shop, a list on your phone or in a software program.

“It is much easier to modify a plan than come up with a new one 17 times per day,” Milligan says.

At the end of each day, set a short list of priorities for tomorrow. Consider this your “Strategic Planning Appointment,” says Mike Scott, president of Mike Scott of Totally Accountable Systems™, a consulting and training firm specializing in team management.

“There are two purposes for a SPA are to plan tomorrow today and to be fully prepared to operate in a proactive manner,” Scott says.

Create a recurring appoint for you to set your strategic plan and priorities. Scott suggests dedicating around 10 minutes during the last half hour of the day.

During these valuable minutes, identify all of the important tasks that haven’t been completed and update your to-do list. Review any meetings or appointments on your calendar for the next day. Then, block out specific times to complete the tasks. 


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