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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?

Although you feel that the meetings, committees, and time with your employees prevent you from doing your job, those responsibilities are a central part of your job. As a manager, you may still have any number of technical duties and projects, but you were selected for management in great part because of your potential to handle a broader range of responsibilities.

Since time management appears to be important for you right now, some of the basic steps include handling any piece of paperwork only once, starting your day earlier, establishing the priorities, delegating what you can, and even trying to designate a block of time each day in which you are not to be interrupted unless there is an emergency. You should also be looking into some of the excellent time management systems that are available now.

On a broader basis, it will be important to build your managerial skills in such areas as leadership, delegation, goal-setting, and planning. Hopefully your own manager can provide you with some guidance in these areas, but you should also consider taking courses, attending seminars, and doing more reading in the management area. Today's best managers have well-balanced skills, but that is not surprising since so much of management is a balancing act.

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