Time Management Tools | 5 mins read

5 Simple Time Management Tools and Techniques

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

5 Time Management Tools and Techniques

Why does it seem like there's never enough time in the work day? From the moment an employee clocks-in to the last minute of any given shift, restaurant staffers are busy.

Because restaurant employees have so many responsibilities, they must be organized and employ effective time management skills to get things done. Disorganized and flummoxed team members hurt the quality of customer service, which leads to unhappy customers. It's also difficult for individuals to collaborate and optimize task management when they can't manage time properly.

Furthermore, poor time managers are more anxious and are employed for less time than those who practice good time management skills. This increases turnover and hurts morale, which impacts the bottom line.

While some people naturally know how to manage time better than others, everyone can learn how to stay focused and become productive. With the right skill set and set of time management tools, restaurant staffers can boost productivity and improve time scheduling. Read ahead for the top 5 management tools and time tracking techniques.

1. Time Management Tools Utilize a Time Tracker

Employees should look for a time tracker or planner that helps organize the work day and prioritize important tasks. There are many different management apps available in which users can input events, plan projects, and create checklists. If team members prefer traditional methods, they can use pen and paper or loose-leaf binders to plan each day, week, and month.

A good time management tool has a master list in which an employee can write down each required task or goal as it arises. This high-priority list becomes the primary focus of a task management system. Employees should place specific tasks and goals on certain days, weeks, and months. As long as team members review their mobile apps or binders each day, they will know exactly how to spend time and what needs to get done.

  • Nearly 90% of restaurant employees admit to wasting time on the clock
  • Organizations spend 16 days annually searching for paperwork
  • Employees are most effective from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. This can impact the quality of work for those who work afternoon and night shifts.
  • 46% of job-related stress is due to a heavy workload

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

2. Time Management Tools Use a To-Do List

The best time managers make sure to create a daily to-do list or a master list. Case studies show that daily lists optimize project management and increase productivity more than any other technique.
All goals and tasks should align with the restaurant's SMART goals, or objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Employees can also include any personal to-do items on this list to ensure their work tasks align with home-related responsibilities.

Employees should write down each requirement they need to finish by the end of the day. If they stick with their to-do master list, their productivity will increase by more than 25%. This means that a worker will have an extra 2 hours each day just because they created and committed to the to-do list.

3. Time Management Tools Prioritize and Organize Tasks

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Once employees have a master list with all tasks in one place, they need to prioritize key tasks and organize time accordingly. They should put a star next to the most important tasks, or list the key daily tasks first if there is a number system.

This time management system is a guide that outlines the entire day from morning to night. Employees will grow accustomed to using this list as a blueprint for each work day.

The Pareto Principle states that 80% of success is derived from 20% of one's labor. Consequently, employees need to prioritize the important tasks that contribute to success to use time well and boost efficiency.

  • 52% of employees are disturbed by others when they try to focus
  • 42% of employees use makeshift solutions to block out noise so they can prioritize tasks
  • Only 9% of restaurant managers are very satisfied with their time allocation
  • 52% of managers say the way they manage time matched the restaurant's priorities

4. Time Management Tools Apps and Software

There are management apps and tracking software available to keep track of time and complete tasks/projects. Restaurant management software can help supervisors track absenteeism, productivity, and performance.

Employees can also download easy use productivity apps to track time and create checklists. This can help employees align their home life with their work responsibilities. Managers can use time tracking software to decrease turnover, manage labor costs, and save resources.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

5. Time Management Tools Organize Time Properly

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Many people don't recognize how critical it is to organize time. Employees who know how to spend time wisely and plan their day gain more promotions, earn more money and collaborate better with coworkers. A good time organization trick is to create a 45-file system. This requires one to create time brackets for up to 2 years in advance. Team members can purchase a box with 45 files and then acquire 14 hanging files. Here is how they should divide the box -

  • 31 files that are numbered 1-31 for each day of the month
  • 12 files for each month of the year
  • 2 files for the following 2 years
Employees can put this file management tool system in their house in a desk drawer. Or, restaurant managers can place their file system inside a work desk. This is a great way to plan projects ahead of time and ensure all task management data is in one secure place. This system also serves as a roadmap for the following 2 years, which is enormously helpful for growth-oriented restaurants.

The Pomodoro Technique is another way to optimize scheduling and improve time management. Employees and managers can use a time management app or timer to separate work into 25-minute intervals. Between each interval, the employee takes a short break to relax and recharge. Team members can increase the interval time, depending on business needs. For example, a server may set a timer for 15 minutes to fold silverware, and then take a quick break to stretch.

Key Takeaways of Time Management Tools

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In conclusion, here are the best time management techniques and tools -

  • A time tracker or planner can help employees plan out their day, week, or month. Some individuals use loose-leaf binders, while others invest in time tracking software.
  • A to-do master list boosts productivity by 25%. Employees should create daily lists and prioritize key tasks to complete more requirements. Prioritizing and organizing time is key to ensure all SMART goals are met.
  • There are task management software and time management apps available to employees. These can help users plan their day, schedule events, and manage projects.
  • Managers and employees can benefit from a 45-file system, which they can keep at home or in a work desk drawer. The Pomodoro Technique is another highly flexible option that boosts productivity and efficiency.

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