bake - May 2018 - 8
The 80/20 rule applies to many circumstances, including time
management. Training consultant Renee Crews, chief executive officer and founder of Metamorphosis in Chicago, advises
managers to evaluate whether 20% of your time is spent on
the most important tasks of running your business, and if 80%
occupies the least important. If so, you probably need to make
Speaking at the Retail Bakers of America Roadshow April 15 in
Chicago, Crews shared a notable quote from President Dwight
Eisenhower: "What is important is seldom urgent and what is
urgent is seldom important."
This quote refers to a now popular time management scheme
called the Eisenhower Matrix. Every task is evaluated based
You begin to identify some ways that you see employees are
on two axes: important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent.
wasting time and where you are wasting time, as well. Creating
There are different rules for each type of task. For example, if
a task checklist chart can help alleviate any problems by giving
a task is urgent but unimportant then it could be delegated to
yourself and/or your employees a more realistic picture of
effective time management.
Crises and deadlines certainly fall into the important/urgent cate-
In one column, list each task one by one, followed by the
gory, while meetings and interruptions often are not important
estimated time it should take to complete each task and the
but urgent. The real culprit to managing your time most effec-
person responsible for it. Allow spaces to the side of each task
tively are time wasters, which are neither important nor urgent.
to list four additional columns: target start, actual start, target
ﬁnish, and actual ﬁnish.
So, ask yourself: What are your time wasters? How do you
either get these time wasters off your plate or eliminate them
"This holds the responsible person accountable," Crews says.
staff on what they consider to be the timeframe for each of
worksheet. List all your daily activities and rank them by
the following words: soon, now and ASAP. To one person, soon
priority. Daily activities may include such tasks as budgeting,
may mean tomorrow, while to another person it may mean this
payroll and scheduling.
week. Now could mean in the next 5 minutes or by the end of
today. ASAP is even tougher to pinpoint. Some people might
Now assign a number (1 = most important) to each daily
consider ASAP whenever they get around to it.
activity and then determine whether it's urgent for today, can
be completed within a week, or has a ﬂexible deadline.
The important part of this exercise, Crews says, is to have a
healthy dialogue with your management team and employees
By using this exercise and assigning a priority value to each of
so that everyone has a clear idea of what is expected of them,
your daily activities, Crews says, you can begin to shed valuable
so they are not missing deadlines or failing to respond effec-
light on whether you are handling your tasks in the most effec-
tively to instructions. Effective time management can mean the
tive and efficient manners.
difference between proﬁts and losses.
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Another useful exercise involves communicating with your
The ﬁrst step, Crews suggests, is to create your own priority
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