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Time Management

Here are the questions filed under this category. To read Ken's advice on any item, click on the link "Read Ken's Answer."


I am rather new to management, and I am spending so much time in meetings and on committees that I hardly have enough time to actually do my job, especially when you add in the time I spend with my staff. What's a manager to do?
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I have an employee who does a good job on the parts of his job that he enjoys, but he puts off the work that is less enjoyable and then does not handle it particularly well. We have gone over this, but he hasn't changed. Do you have any suggestions?
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My manager kept rushing me on my project, and when it was done, it was not very good. Now he is upset with me, but I don't think it's my fault. He pushed me too hard to meet his deadline, and I think it's his fault that the project fell short. What do you think?
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I work in a very disorganized shop in the entertainment industry. Everything is a last minute emergency. On every project, the owner assigns the wrong person to the wrong task, and he says to just get used to it. He ignores the shop manager, but listens to people with less knowledge. The owner means well, but does not see the light. I have been here for two-and-a-half years, and the only reason I hang on is that the work is fun. What is your opinion?
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I need regular information from the business office, but it is always a battle to get anything from them. I call them, e-mail them, and visit them, and I am able to gradually get what I need, but this is a big waste of time. How do I get them to do their job?
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My manager gives me grief about the most trivial and time-consuming chores that I am supposed to complete. I admit that I am behind on them, but I do well on every important part of my job, and my manager says nothing. He only focuses on the incomplete minor tasks. What do you suggest?
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My manager told me that as part of my managerial responsibilities, I need to spend more time with my employees. I admit that I tend to stay in my office most of the day, and the reason is that I have so much work to do. My door is open if my employees need to see me, and that's about all I can do now. Do you have any suggestions?
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My manager is a documentation freak. Any time we discuss anything, he sends me an email to summarize it. I'm not a child and I don't need all this follow-up. I think he has too much time on his hands. What can I say to him?
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It is most annoying to be expected to attend regular meetings when some of the people who really need to be there are rarely present. This makes the meetings a total waste of time. I have voiced this concern to management, and they agree with me, but then do nothing about it. Can anything be done?
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Our company has several branches between fifty and one hundred miles from the corporate office. As branch managers, we waste many hours going to and from the office to attend meetings, sometimes three times a week. I told the corporate staff they need to schedule more of these meetings on one day, but they never do this. How do I get through to them?
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I have worked here for about a year in a senior management position, but my manager keeps giving me trivial projects that are better suited for a lower level position. I am reluctant to tell him for fear of looking lazy. What do you suggest I do?
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My manager often gives me additional projects and assignments, and I manage to fit them in and get them done. In my last review, he said I did not complete several of the main responsibilities of my job. I told him he is right, and the reason is the extra work he gave me. He said he expects more of me, so he gave me a poor review. What should I do now?
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I am a department manager, and my manager has told me that I need to get out of my office more often and meet informally with my employees. I would like to do this, but I don't have the time. If I cannot get my job done, what is the point of walking around? Besides, I see most of them when I arrive and when I leave.
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One of the managers who report to me makes long lists of whatever I assign to him. The problem is that when I follow-up, he scrambles through his list, finds the missing assignment, and says he'll take care of it. Too many projects are falling through the cracks, and I am wondering how to correct this.
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After one of my fellow employees quit, my manager dumped practically his entire job on me. He said I should be glad to get these extra responsibilities, and he used the term ďjob enrichment.Ē Now I have more routine work than ever, and my pay was not changed. Iím already falling behind. What do you suggest?
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I am five to ten minutes late to work just about every day. My manager gives me infinite grief over this and says I am not following company policy, but she overlooks the fact that I am a good worker. I try to get to work on time, but itís difficult. How can I get her to stop obsessing on this and look at the big picture?
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I gave a project to one of my employees two weeks ago, and I wanted him to complete it within a week. As the deadline approached, he said he was too busy and needed extra time. I gave him an extension, and then another one earlier this week, and now he wants even more time. I donít want to be a tough guy, but what can I do to put an end to this?
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My job responsibilities include dealing with employees from several departments. Most employees either call ahead or set an appointment online, but certain employees just show up. I tell them I am busy, but they still sit down and take a lot of my time on minor issues. How can I deal with them without sounding mean?
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