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Time Management Organization

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.

Although listing projects is typically part of time management, this activity is an ironic waste if nothing is done with the items on the list.

The first step in dealing with this employee's untimely behavior is to express your concern over lost projects and missed deadlines. You should ask this employee if he has a plan to correct the problem.

If he does not have such a plan, or if his approach sounds like it is behind the times, there is one piece of advice that might help. Instead of making one long and growing list that has all of his projects bunched together, advise your employee to have separate prioritized to-do lists for the next 30 days, starting with today. When you give him an assignment, he should include today as the starting date, and then go to his other calendared lists and fill in benchmark dates and the projected completion date. Whether stored online or on paper, he should have a list of what he needs to complete each day, and this list should be reviewed and revised when he arrives at work.

If your employee continues to struggle in this area, you should set aside some time for him to obtain some time management training.

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