Time management is one of the best skills a restaurant manager could possess. Yet, many still fall short in this area and struggle to utilize it effectively.
You need to get one thing straight - You need to become the master of time and not its slave. That’s precisely why every restaurant manager needs effective skills for time management.
If you Google “time management,” over 93 million results will populate. What does that tell us?
What this is telling us is that many people struggle with managing their time, whether it be in their personal life or work life.
To help improve time management skills for restaurateurs, here are the top 6 hacks that will help you get your work done.
I’m busy. You are busy. Everyone is busy.
With that being said, that shouldn’t stop you from completing your most important tasks in a timely manner.
We have a tendency to fall back on this phrase and use it as a crutch. Often times, this is due to the fast-paced nature of life, but in the restaurant industry, that is the norm.
So, the first step is to accept the challenges of reality and allow yourself to adopt new time management strategies.
This excuse is almost the same as the previous one. You need to understand that you can never own time, but you can learn to use it effectively.
People who make such excuses share a major commonality - they don’t know how to prioritize their time.
Leading CEOs and successful entrepreneurs, like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos also share the same 24 hours in a given day, yet they manage to accomplish so much more than those who have not mastered time management.
Well, they certainly don’t fall back on the “I don’t have time” excuse. Instead, they take action and develop a game plan that involves prioritizing tasks based on importance, as it relates to the brand.
You may think you can get by just by using traditional to-do lists, but this technique should never be the pillar of your time management practices because it’s not sustainable. In the end, your list becomes nothing more than a wish list of good intentions.
But, you can utilize these lists effectively if you group your tasks into categories.
You can use names or locations on the basis of your interactions. Your categories may include the dining area, bar, office, kitchen, managers, culinary team, service team, and vendors.
This is helpful because it helps prioritize your responsibilities. For example, if your morning opening responsibilities consist of setting up flatware for each table and putting in an inventory order that is due the following day, you would categorize setting tables under “dining area” and placing your inventory order under “vendors.”
After, determine what takes precedence. Because customers will soon be piling in for the morning shift, setting tables would take priority over inventory, as the order is due the following day.
This method of organization will help you better navigate your priorities.
When you look at your lists, you’ll probably see some tasks that require your immediate attention and are more critical than other tasks on the list.
As humans, we have a tendency to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day, conversely underestimating the time it takes to complete just one task.
You’d think you can do a dozen things in a day but when you set out to actually do a task, you’ll see that the time is just getting away from you. So, you need to prioritize.
Although all are undoubtedly important, you need to single out three of the tasks to begin with. Just three.
Starting with a lower number of important tasks to take on in a day are more achievable - and if you manage to complete those tasks ahead of schedule, you can establish another set of three to tackle during the rest of the workday.
To think about something is referred to as a dream.
When you begin talking about that something, that dream evolves into a possibility.
Take that possibility one step further and place it on a calendar, and then it becomes a commitment.
If you are serious about your time management skills, you need to start listing your tasks on your calendar. You can get everything done if you schedule your day effectively and use your calendar as your compass.
People who manage their time effectively take full advantage of focus blocks, which are short time windows - or “blocks” - that you designate on your calendar for a specified activity/task.
These blocks are more effective in 20-30 minute increments and should be focused on solely, which means no distractions whatsoever - no texts, Facebook, Instagram - no distractions, period.
Focus is truly the key to productivity and as you already know that productivity converts into profits.
If you want to master the skills of time management, you need to start planning ahead. The best time to plan for tomorrow is the night before.
After your restaurant closes, you’ll have the required calm to plan for the day ahead. This will be the perfect time to focus on tomorrow’s events and tasks that you wish to complete.
When doing so, apply Strategy 4, and choose only 3 things to tackle.
Look at your categories. Pick out the 3 most important. And commit to them by putting them on your calendar, as instructed in Strategy 5.
Always remember that your focus is the key to everything. You can never control time. What you can control is your energy and focus. Tap into them and you’ll unlock the levels of productivity that you never thought were possible.