Operations: Manage Your Time, Versus Letting it Manage You

time management

With the New Year’s rush in full swing, there’s no better time than now to talk about time management. After all, I’m sure your schedule is hectic and somewhat overwhelming, making it difficult for you to do your job efficiently.

With this in mind, I spoke with Derek Deprey, the general manager and director of training and development for Wisconsin Athletic Club, about his time management solutions.

Deprey’s first piece of advice? Prioritize making time for yourself. He calls this time “YOUzones” — the time he takes in the morning to set goals, complete quick tasks and spend quality time with his family.  “Taking time for daily ‘YOUzones’ will allow you to be more present with your team members, members and guests,” he explained.

According to Deprey, he even encourages staff to take “YOUzones” at times that make the most sense for them. “I teach my leadership team members to schedule ‘YOUzones’ during the work day, even if they have to leave,” he said. “Giving them this focus time allows them to be their best when they are in the club. I’d rather have them be in the club less while being more present and energized, versus them being in the club all of the time while being burned out and stressed.”

In fact, time management is so important at Wisconsin Athletic Club, it’s emphasized and taught to staff. “In our WAC University programming, I facilitate a workshop called, ‘Setting Priorities at Work,’” explained Deprey. “However, I think it’s about ‘life management’ first. Manage your life before your time.”

Deprey’s bottom line for time management? “Give yourself and your staff all of the tools and space needed to manage their energy,” he said. “Our members need our energy.”

Here are some of Deprey’s other tips/thoughts on time management:

  • Kill the guilt! I teach my staff not to judge each other [on how their time is spent].
  • Don’t waste your time. Common time-suckers include being on your phone all day and long meetings.
  • Learn to say ‘No.’ Prioritize what you can give your attention to.

What are some of your best time management tips? How are you navigating this year’s New Year’s rush successfully?

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