Posts Tagged ‘Bob Dittmer’

Time Management: Bluetoothin’

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Good time management: To BlueTooth or Not to BlueTooth

time managementBlueTooth is that great wireless protocol that allows electronic equipment to communicate with each other. You see it every day with those people walking around with earpieces in one ear and who seem to be talking to themselves. Yeah, pretty strange if you are not used to it.

Of course they are using a BlueTooth enabled earpiece to link to their cell phone and can make or answer calls without their phone (it’s on their belt or in their pocket) and hands free. Yes, it’s efficient, but is it good time management? Depends.

BlueTooth enabled cell phones are wonderful, and allow you to communicate clearly and efficiently with both hands free to drive, use your computer, take notes, etc. If you do a lot of this kind of work, then a BlueTooth enabled phone is for you. It can save you time by allowing you more freedom to do other things while talking on the phone.

The down side is that it can suddenly control your life and all your interactions, interrupting you when you least want it. So, it’s a trade-off.

What You Should Do:

If you do a lot of cell phone work, look into a Bluetooth enabled phone. They may well save you time by allowing more freedom in your calls. And, many new cars are now BlueTooth enabled as well so you can run the phone through your car’s audio system hands free. Safer. And it could be

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a good time management technique for you.

Just remember that while these devices are time saving and handy, you need to be conscious of others around you in your conversations.

By Robert E. Dittmer, APR

Author of 151 Quick Ideas to Manage Your Time

Time Management: Computer Training

Monday, November 21st, 2011

 Get Computer Training to Get More Efficient at Time Management

time managementIf you really want to get the most out of that computer application, you have to learn more about it. While many of us a self-taught, when we do so we really learn only the basics. One computer trainer I talked with told me that most people know how to use less than 25 percent of the capabilities of any software they use!

Many applications have many time-saving and work saving functions. But most of us don’t know they exist, much less how to use them. We can save time by gaining knowledge. The question is: learn it ourselves or attend some training.

My vote is get some training. Armed with some knowledge about a software, we can be functional. But not expert. Yet if this software is important to us, we should know everything about it. Becoming expert will lead us to greater capabilities and more efficiencies and, yes, better time management and time savings.

What you can do:

Identify the one or two programs you use the most in your work. Assess your level ability with those programs and then attend some training programs designed to enhance your abilities with them.

You will save time in the long run. You’ll be more efficient and more capable. You may learn enough to do something no one else in the office can do. It might lead to that next promotion. Now that’s a great result from good time management!

By Robert E. Dittmer, APR

Author of 151 Quick Ideas to Manage Your Time

Delegation: Improves Employee Satisfaction

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Want to increase employee satisfaction? Then consider delegation as an important tool!

delegationDelegation is a clear act of trust, if handled effectively. That show of trust is also a show of support. And sometimes showing an employee you support him can turn poor relationship into a better one, and a good relationship into a great one.

Often it is mistrust that separates us from one another. But entire communities can be transformed when we let down our defenses and show a little faith in one another. The same can be true in leading employees – and delegation can provide an excellent opportunity.

But how do you get started, particularly with someone in which you have limited confidence? As author and self-help guru Stephen Covey says, start from a point of agreement. With an employee, this can be one strength you both agree the employee demonstrates.

Select a limited task or decision that calls for that strength and delegate it to that employee. Then build from there, recognizing and rewarding the employee each time a new task is completed to your expectations.

What you can do:  Practice delegation and over time you’ll find that it can be the catalyst for reversing poor employee relationships and increasing team morale overall.

Delegation is an excellent way to develop better employee relationships.

By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR,

151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making

Time Management: Who Knows your cell phone number?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Do you give your cell phone number to everyone? Really?! Why? time managementIf so, you are giving them license to steal time from you. They’ll call you at all hours, at the most inconvenient times, when you can least afford the time to take their calls. That’s not good time management! A very good business practice is to limit the people to whom you give your cell phone number to those who are most important. Don’t let just anybody call you. Control who has access to you via your cell phone. That way, when the phone rings, you know it’s someone important to you, not your local hardware store telling you an order has arrived. Don’t put your cell

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phone number on business cards or other materials that everyone has access to. Make having your cell phone number a privilege, not a right. Keep that number for people you want to hear from. Good time management. Of course, this only works if you reserve your cell phone for business calls and communication. If you use your cell phone for everything, including land line replacement as many young people do, then

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you’ll be mixing business and personal. Also not a good recipe for good time management. And, potentially confusing! What you should do: Good time management is good communication management. Review your contacts who have your cell phone number. Start limiting who you give that number to so you control who calls you, not the other way around. You can waste a lot of time on phone calls from people you really did not need to hear from at times when you needed to concentrate on other tasks. You take control of that phone, don’t give up control to others. And if your cell phone is also your personal phone…well…consider at least using clearly identifying ringtones so you can easily separate the business from the pleasure. By Robert E. Dittmer, APR Author of 151 Quick Ideas to Manage Your Time

Time Management: Set your phasers to stun

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Better time management means better communications management. Your Cell Phone: Set to Stun

time managementStar Trek brought us “Beam me up, Scotty” and “Set your phasers to stun.”

A fun TV show with some interesting lessons. Of course, we all experience times when we just wish Scotty could beam us up and away from a difficult situation. But one of the best ways to practice good time management is to control when you answer your cell phone.

We can’t do without these ubiquitous and smart communication tools today. Phone calls, text messages, email, web surfing, etc.

But, If you have your phone set to a loud ring tone or music, it goes off and interrupts what you are doing, and maybe others as well. The easy answer is to set it to “stun” or vibrate. Phones that vibrate only bother the recipient, and they are much easier to ignore that a ring tone. This way, you can choose to answer or not answer depending on your current situation.

If you are in the middle of a meeting, you can ignore it. If you are concentrating on an important task, ignore it. If you are in the waiting room for a physicians appointment, answer it. When you ignore it, it goes to your voice and you can check that later – at a time much more convenience to you. That’s better time management.

What You Should Do. Set your cell phone to vibrate or “stun.” As a general rule, keep it there unless you are in a situation were a ring tone is needed. If you are busy, let inbound calls go to your voice mail and ignore the vibration. Stay concentrated on the task at hand.

Cell phones are wonderful and I’m a big fan. But, I want to be in charge of when I answer, not leaving that to my callers. You can disrupt your day easily by answering every call that comes in as it comes it. And disruption costs time, and that’s not good time managment.

By Robert E. Dittmer, APR

Author of 151 Quick Ideas to Manage Your Time

Time Management: That Cell Phone!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Oh, that cell phone! Good for time management, but…

time managementOK, you gotta have one. Yes, you do. But, does it really have to rule your life? Cell phones are cheap (now) and extremely handy.

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They allow you to do things out of the office and make it easy for people to contact you.

So watch what you do with them. Use them, certainly. They make great time management tools. Make calls while out of the office or on the way to another location. Receive and send email. Text to your heart’s content (but not while driving!). Even surf the web.

Confirm orders, coordinate actions, review documents, set appointments, and so on. Cell phones allow you to maximize your time away from the office in ways we could not do before.

But also

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don’t let the darn thing rule your life, either! Don’t take a call just because the phone rings. All phone services come with voice mail today, so let that call go to a voice mail rather that allow it to interrupt a meeting, conversation or ruin you concentration.

Don’t check email every two minutes! I’ve seen people interrupt personal conversations just the check email or to read a text. Remember, the beauty of these communication tools is that they do NOT have to be handled in real time.

What You Can Do: If you don’t have one, get one. A cell phone can be a great time management tool. If it’s for business purposes, it can be used as a business expense with your taxes. Make use of it to allow greater productivity during times out of the office. Get more from the time you have available using a cell phone.

While it will save you time and make you more efficient and reachable, it can also take over your life. Don’t let it. Make it help you improve at time management without controlling you.

By Robert E. Dittmer, APR

Author of 151 Quick Ideas to Manage Your Time

Delegation: A Management Style

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

A closer look at management and delegation

delegationBecause management sets the example and sculpts the work environment, it is important to take a look around you – to your management peers to the right and left of you, and to those above and below you.

Do those to the left and the right model delegation? Are they open to delegating to one another, and to one another’s staff members? This is known as sideways delegation, and its completely acceptable where management works as teams, rather than in department silos.

Also consider if managers below you are encouraged to delegate as well, and if upper management rewards good delegation practices? If the answer is yes to either of these, it is very

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likely you can be confident that your management will support you in your effort to delegate work.

But don’t stop there. Take a look around at the men and women in your management ranks. Does your company send different signals about delegation to men versus women, and vice versa? In some organizations male managers are expected to delegate, but female managers are the recipients of delegated work from their male counterparts. But the reverse can also be true, in which male managers can be criticized by female superiors for delegating work.

What you can do: If your company’s management culture supports delegation through encouragement, recognition and equality, then read on and get to delegating. But if you see some gaps or imbalances in how your management views delegation, read on and consider carefully how to proceed.

Your company’s management sets the tone for delegation. Do your homework and find the right formula for

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delegating, one that will work in your unique company culture.

By Stephanie McFarland, APR, and Robert Dittmer, APR,

151 Quick Ideas for Delegating and Decision Making