Time Management Killer – The Open Door Policy

Time Management Killer – The Open Door Policy

There was a time when the management of a company was seen as aloof and unapproachable and this was a major cause of industrial problems in a lot of businesses. So in the latter half of the 20th century many businesses implemented the open door policy to encourage staff to feel that the management was approachable and that they are all working together as one team. A very worthy ideal and one that is very important, but unfortunately the solution they came up with drove a ten ton truck through effective time management for the vast majority of managers.

Effective time management is all about keeping yourself on purpose all the time. It is about ensuring that your are being effective in completing the tasks you have to do in the time you have to do them. I know in my own experience that before I learned effective time management strategies, I would often spend a lot of my time answering queries and phone calls from colleagues that were not actually important and urgent. I then found myself working into the evening to get things done when the interruptions had finished.

Obviously you want to be available to deal with issues that are both important and urgent, and your time management system must be able to deal with these issues, but having your door open to anyone and everyone is not effective time management.

Consider the way the leaders of major global companies operate there time. If you work for a major corporation,you would not simply walk into the office of the CEO or Managing Director and ask if he has a minute for a meeting. Firstly you would have been stopped by his gate keeper long before you got there, but more importantly senior executives in large corporates respect their time and expect you to respect their time as well. They understand that effective time management requires just that – effective time management – you have to arrange a meeting and plan the content. Even then you will only get the meeting if the content is relevant and important.

Highly effective business managers have highly effective time management systems that ensure they plan their interactions with colleagues and ensure that there are regular scheduled meetings to keep the lines of communication open at all time.

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