Tips to spend less time immersed in paperwork and more time with your team

For anyone who is responsible for managing employees in the workplace, you already know that part of your job means spending a good amount of time coaching and correcting your employees.

Not only does this help them grow, but it can help cut unhelpful behaviors in the bud. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the heavy amount of paperwork that comes with being a manager. Here are some handy tips that can help you spend less time in your office, and more time with your employees.

Digitize paperwork whenever possible

Did you know that you can actually create W2 online forms instead of manually filling them out and filing them? Not only that, many employee forms can now be created online and stored digitally. Not only does this decrease the amount of time you have to spend filling out paperwork, but it’s also good for the environment!

Create templates for repetitive tasks

If you find yourself writing the same type of email over and over again, for example, have a template stored on your computer so you can just copy and paste. Make sure to remember to change anything that may need to be changed before you hit send! There’s no need to waste time rewriting the same thing over and over again.

Delegate more tasks

There’s nothing that will steal your time faster than trying to tackle every task by yourself. If you are concerned with your employees’ ability to handle a certain task, make sure that you train them first and let them know they can come to you with any questions. It may feel like a loss of control to let go of some of the workloads, but a smart manager knows how to delegate effectively in order to be more efficient. Not only that, but many employees actually want additional responsibilities and may feel special that you’ve asked them to help.

Work away from the office

This may not work if you hold an hourly position as a manager, but if you happen to be a salaried manager try scheduling some time to work from home and accomplish tasks. If there are things you need to work on in an undistracted state, sometimes doing them from work can hinder the process instead of help. Try planning your work-at-home times alongside the times you are the most productive. For example, if you work best in the morning, then make sure your team knows you won’t be in until the afternoon. That way, you can spend more time coaching them instead of behind your computer.

Minimize distractions at work

If you absolutely have to get something pressing done at work that cannot be put off, make sure to minimize distractions. Put your phone on silent and tuck it away. Make sure your employees know that for the next half hour you will not be available unless it’s for an emergency. Close all browsers except the ones that you need.

Make sure you give yourself enough time to get your work accomplished but be diligent about not getting distracted or sidetracked.

Don’t be a perfectionist

Perfectionism is a time-waster. Go ahead and re-read that email to make sure your tone sounds correct before sending it, but only do it once instead of three times. Make a habit of checking something over once, but refuse to do major modifications unless absolutely necessary. If you have to re-write the email completely every time you read it because you don’t like it, that’s not efficient. Learn the art of recognizing when something is good enough. A good rule of thumb is if the input is greater than the reward or objective, it’s time to stop.

There are many small things that can be done so that you can spend more time with your employees and less time caught up in paperwork. It may feel foreign to implement these things at first. Be consistent, however, and make sure to also schedule time with your employees that is non-negotiable so you can hold yourself accountable.

Lindsey Patterson is a freelance writer and entrepreneur based in the US who specialises in business technology, customer relationship management and lead management. She also writes about the latest social trends, specifically involving social media.

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