13 Time Management Tips You Ought to Know

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

 This week’s blog comes from:

Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter

By Anita Zinsmeister, President — anita.zinsmeister@dalecarnegie.com
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey 

As a small business owner, managing your time and expectations are extremely important if you want to maintain the proper focus. I struggle with this issue and can be easily distracted by a phone call or a tendency to check my emails more often than is probably needed.

Time management is one of those skills no one teaches you in school but you have to learn. It doesn’t matter how smart you are if you can’t organize information well enough to take it in. And it doesn’t matter how skilled you are if procrastination keeps you from getting your work done..


I’m going to share some of my favorite time management skills in this post. I hope they will help you.

  1. My personal favorite – cut the clutter. Keep a clean desk and desktop, clutter can be very distracting.
  2. Use your peak productivity time well and make sure you get sufficient rest. Coffee will not assist you forever. It’s OK to take breaks throughout the day. Some of us are ‘morning people’ others are ‘night owls.’ You know what your strengths and weaknesses are better than me.
  3. It’s most important to know how you structure your day and manage your time that makes the difference. Know the best days and times to target your prospective clients or targeted companies – which may be different than you first think.
  4. Set daily goals for yourself and making sure you don’t work past your burn out time. This might include networking in person, making follow-up calls, writing a business proposal or putting a budget together – each day complete one specific goal – you’ll feel much better being able to check something off your ‘to do’ list.
  5. It’s absolutely OK to block out some non-planned activities. Life happens and there will also be some unexpected event or emergencies to deal with. Or maybe you’re under the weather.how to manage your time properly
  6. Plan for some specific time away from the computer and phone, 30 minutes a day. By that, I don’t mean a coffee break or to eat a meal. Talk a walk, run some errands, anything to take your mind off your business. Meet a friend for a cup of coffee.
  7. Start your day by prioritizing what you need to get done (To-do list!). Block time out on your calendar each day to ensure you get work done.
  8. When you are on a deadline and you need to finish something – Close your door (if you have one), put your phone on “send to voicemail”, close your email, and turn off the instant messenger. It is liberating! Not everything is urgent; yes, some things can wait until the next day.
  9. Minimizing distractions – distractions are a big time waster. A lot of us have this constant urge to check our email every 15 minutes. There are many other common distractions and it is important to limit them.
  10. Make sure social networks serve your purpose. Do you really need to be on all of them? Pick one or two that are really important and discard the rest. Be careful not to check your social sites while at work. It is a big time waster even if big brother is not watching.
  11. Decide the time or times when you will check mail and stick to those times. There will always be some distracting message in your in box. Keep your emails short. That is how they are meant to be. Use the phone in preference to email where feasible.
  12. Know your target company or companies whether it will be for job search or to find business partners. Starting out, that’s one of the most important things to consider. If you’re not sure what you want to do, it’ll be hard for you to communicate that to another client or company
  13. Yes weekends are a time to take a break, but not entirely. Use weekends to review the previous week’s successes (and failures) which will give you the opportunity to prepare your upcoming week. The goal is to hit the ground running on Monday morning.‘

Can you think of more time management tips? Please let me know in the comments!

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

Dale C. has 4 Tips For Delegating More Successfully

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

 This week’s blog comes from:

Dale Carnegie Training Newsletter

By Anita Zinsmeister, President — anita.zinsmeister@dalecarnegie.com
Dale Carnegie® Training of Central & Southern New Jersey 

  • Word count for this issue: 460
  • Approximate time to read: About 1.8 minutes
    @ 250 words per minute

It takes more than one person to run a successful business.   Even when we work on a team, attempting to carry our entire workload alone can lead to overload.  At some point, we must all engage in that time-honored practice among associates: delegation.

Striking a balance between an existing workload and new tasks can be tricky.  With that in mind, we have assembled four tips for delegating your work more effectively.

Here are four Tips For Delegating More Successfully

1.  Be Proactive In Following Up No matter how well a project seems to be going, you still need to consistently and proactively follow up on its progress.  Your efforts will keep the project on the forefront of everyone’s minds and help maintain unity during the project period.  Conversely, if you fail to follow up, your employees are far more likely to fall out of sync with you.

2.  Choose People You Trust Not all members of your team will be suited for the project you want to assign.  Be familiar with your team members’ strengths and weaknesses and assign projects to the people you are confident can handle them.  Also, choose people who can work without constant supervision.  That way you can focus on other tasks that require your attention.

 3.  Communicate As a project progresses, if one step does not transition smoothly to the next, it is usually the result of poor communication.   Whenever a project is delegated to multiple employees, make constant communication a priority.  Whoever is heading the project has the responsibility to not only keep the channels open, but also lead by example.  Furthermore, they must maintain this level of communication until the project is completed.

 4.  Develop A Plan Of Action – On average, most people do not work on just one project at a time.  That’s why it is important to have a plan of action ahead of time to ensure everyone knows the project’s priority and where it fits in their workload.  If you do not have a plan of action, you run the risk of your employees placing different priorities on their work, resulting in a breakdown in unity.  Consider all the steps and resources that the project requires, then draw up an outline to act as a road map. 

Executive Summary:  There is more to delegating work than simply dumping part of your workload on someone else’s desk.  At the end of the day, no matter how you share your work with other employees, responsibility for its completion still falls on your shoulders.  Because of this, it is critical that you handle delegation effectively.  By handling delegation in the manner we presented above, you can see your projects to completion with little to no complications.  

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

Pope Francis on Leadership

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

Visiting Philadelphia, New York and D.C. last month, Pope Francis  showed us a leadership style we can all learn from. (For more on leadership, check out The Public Relations Practioner’s Playbook for (all) Strategic Communicators via www.larrylitwin.com. It is loaded with excellent strategies and tactics for today’s “leaders.”)

By William Vanderbloemen

“Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change.” Those were the words shared—on Twitter—by Pope Francis, Time‘s “Person of The Year” in 2013, who assumed the pontificate that year and has since projected a transformational leadership style.

Those who aren’t spiritual leaders should also rethink what their most important responsibilities are—people over processes, names over numbers.

That approach has earned him titles like “Holy Reformer” and “The People’s Pope.” In New York City today on a visit to the United States, Pope Francis reflects not just the changing tenor of the Catholic Church but evolving ideas about leadership itself. That makes his trip this week a perfect time for entrepreneurs, CEOs, politicians, and other leaders of all stripes to reflect on their own leadership styles. Here are five lessons all of them can learn from the Pope’s.

  1. Be Accessible

Pope Francis is arguably best known for availability and openness to the public. On his first day as Pope, he reversed the tradition of blessing the people by inviting them to bless him instead. He’s since decided to ride in a bus with his team rather than in a bulletproof limousine. Pope Francis has also been seen getting around Rome in a Ford Focus and a Fiat during his U.S. visit.

Personal, handwritten thank-you notes and birthday lunch invitations to the homeless of Rome take priority in his schedule and exemplify his leadership vision.

Those who aren’t spiritual leaders should also rethink what their most important responsibilities are—people over processes, names over numbers. Accessibility sows trust and loyalty among colleagues and customers, making other transformations possible.

  1. Don’t Ignore Social Media

The Pope is a tweeting aficionado. His primary Twitter handle (@Pontifex) is the English-language equivalent of eight others—in Latin, Arabic, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Italian, French, and German. And the English account alone has 7.3 million followers. In other words, communication matters, especially digitally.

Social media has proved one of the most effective—and democratic—mediums for influencing current generations. Its 140-character interface is clear, concise, and relatable, whether you’re a Starbucks barista, a Fortune 500 CEO, or anyone in between. For any business leader who has an idea to offer or a message to convey, social media is the main avenue for doing so. But bear in mind that the social sphere is about sparking conversation, not dictating from on high. The Pope’s tweets are popular not just because he’s the Pope, but because they’re humble, inviting, and pluralistic.

  1. Flatten Your Organization

Pope Francis bypassed bureaucracy and reevaluated his organizational structure. He started with his own title, changing it from the “Supreme Pontiff” to the “Bishop of Rome.” Upon adjusting and delegating some of the papacy’s traditional responsibilities, he took a radical approach to age-old customs and rearranged his management team, reducing its sense of hierarchy.

As a result of Pope Francis’s innovative methods, the organization of the papacy got flatter. As a result, the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work referred to him as an “intrepreneur”—someone who generates genuine, sustainable change in an organization that’s resistant to it.

In the first few months of his papacy, Pope Francis took risks.

Flattening an organization can be one of the best ways business leaders can institute their vision without relying on the prevailing means. Restructure, revamp, and realign so that the top leadership drives the vision, and the subsequent layers can execute and sustain it.

  1. Take Risks

In the first few months of his papacy, Pope Francis took risks. He made unprecedented claims and unconventional decisions. “To listen and to follow your conscience means that you understand the difference,” he wrote, reaching out to atheists and agnostics. He also proclaimed a year of jubilee for women who’ve had abortions but have since chosen to reflect on the Church’s teachings on the issue. It’s worth nothing that in both cases, Pope Francis didn’t revise Catholic doctrine, but his leadership style offered a refreshing new perspective to many who might have previously felt shut out.

In the business world today, many leaders are blinded by the fear of failure. Big changes are hard to make—they take time, and often many people, to institute—but messages are easy to change. Still, risk is vital to your business’s growth and your own development as a leader. Risk can help you rise, even though it sometimes leads to failure. But it will always prove a worthy teacher.

  1. Value Input From Subordinates

Risk can help you rise, even though it sometimes leads to failure. But it will always prove a worthy teacher.

Pope Francis has shown he recognizes the intrinsic value of every person. First, he decided to transform the Synod of Bishops under his leadership into a decision-making body rather than a ceremonial group. And within his first 10 months at the Vatican, Pope Francis washed the feet of laity prisoners, women, and Muslims, rather than performing the ritual only on priests. He also refocused the role of bishops toward more pastoral activities, premised on the notion that human relationships should be esteemed above all else.

Leaders should approach the people in their organizations much the same. There’s real value in your lower subordinates—what they think and believe and the skills they offer—to achieve real progress. But it’s up to leaders to go out and seek that value, then develop it in everyone they lead.

In just two years, Pope Francis has taught us another lesson as well: It’s important to act. Start cultivating the right leadership style now, and you’ll begin writing your legacy today, rather than waiting for it to catch up with you later.

William Vanderbloemen is the coauthor of Next: Pastoral Succession That Works and president and CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group, a startup that leads in executive search for churches, ministries, and faith-based organizations.

 [To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

What, No job offer after the interview?

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]

(This summary comes from “CareerBuilder’s” Susan Ricker. Full story in Courier-Post on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.)

     Getting called in for an interview is a positive sign — it usually means that your resume’, cover letter and reputation made a good impression on the hiring manager and he/she would like to have a more in-depth conversation with you about your experience.

     However, if you are getting a lot of interviews, but no job offers, there are some red flags to watch for. Here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure your next interview is a success.

1. Do your application materials match your personality?

2. Did you prepare well enough for the interview? (Check out No. 23 on http://larrylitwin.com/handouts.html.)

3. Is your body language (facial coding — See Larry’s The ABCs of Strategic Communication) sending the wrong message?

[To comment: larry at larry litwin dot com]