Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are You An Organized Manager?

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Here is a quick test to see if you are an organized manager.

1.Is your door always open? Can anybody just walk in to see you when they have a problem? Now that may sound like you are being a good 'caring and sharing' manager but it's not good at all. As a manager, you need a time for acting and a time for reacting. When you are reacting, an open door is a good thing. You want to know how you can help people with their problems. However, when you want to be active - to get on with your own creative work - you have to free yourself up and not allow any interruptions, except for real emergencies.

2.Are you always busy or do you get things done? It's easy enough for a manager to appear busy. There are always people to talk to, decisions to be made, visits to be made. But do you really need to be involved in deciding what brand of toilet paper you buy? You need to concentrate your energies where they are most needed. And you need to finish things off completely - you need to see a result.

3.Do you try to do everything? Not all aspects of your job are equally important. You need to prioritize. If something is important or urgent, you need to deal with it. The unimportant and non-urgent tasks can be left for another day.

4.Do you let other people get on with their own jobs? Just as you need to have an uninterrupted spell for your active time, so do your subordinates. You cannot expect them to produce good creative work unless you give them the personal space in which to do it.

5.Do you plan your work? You need to spend a few quiet minutes every day thinking about what you have to do and deciding on the priorities. There is no point in rushing around like a headless chicken, constantly reacting to each new crisis. Plan some active time and some reactive time and try your best to stick to it. Decide what jobs are important and make sure you deal with them before they become urgent. It's the important and urgent jobs that will really stress you out.

We all go through periods of disorganization when we feel we cannot cope. When there is so much to do it can seem like we will never cope. But put a few minutes aside to think calmly about what you have to do and how you can best organize it. Those few minutes could save you hours of stress.

Pearson Brown offers advice to small businesses at The Small Business Consultant every week.

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