The Key to Better Time Management: A Look at Who’s Got the Monkey

Time Management Improvements

Being the boss is hard work. You never seem to have enough hours in the day, which can be frustrating. You’re always looking for ways to get a better handle on your time, and that starts with how you manage your employees.

As a busy staffing agency in Las Vegas, the experts at PrideStaff Las Vegas know exactly how you feel. At many companies, the balance of work is seriously off-kilter. Managers constantly have too much on their plates, while subordinates often don’t have enough to occupy their day.

This issue was highlighted by William Oncken, Jr., in the November-December 1974 issue of the Harvard Business Review. He explained this is often due to employees passing a problem — i.e., the monkey — onto their manager, instead of solving it themselves. If the problem of too many monkeys and not enough time sounds familiar, find out how to nip it in the bud.

Three Tips to Keep the Monkey Off Your Back

Don’t Drop Everything

You don’t have to be constantly available to your team. If any employee comes to you with a problem when you’re in the middle of something, politely ask them to put a meeting on your calendar to discuss it, unless the issue is extremely urgent. Refusing to be interrupted will help you stay on pace with your goals for the day, while saving you time in the long run, because you won’t have to track the person down later when you have some free time to assist.

Avoid Taking Over

Sometimes it might seem quicker and easier to solve a problem for an employee, instead of allowing them to work through it themselves. Ultimately, this approach isn’t effective, because you end up with even more on your plate and employees eventually realize they can get you to do their work for them.

When you meet with the person, offer helpful guidance, but don’t take the reins. Give them actionable steps to take, without volunteering to do the work for them.

Schedule a Time to Follow Up

Before the employee leaves your office, schedule a time for them to return with an update. If they have a designated time to meet with you again, they’ll save their questions until then. This will keep them from constantly dropping by or emailing you for assistance. It will also create a sense of urgency on their part, so you shouldn’t have to waste time constantly checking on them.

Hire the Right Person for the Job

Filling an open position on your team is a very big deal, so allow the experts at PrideStaff Las Vegas to assist. We won’t stop searching until we find the right fit, so contact us today to get started!

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