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How to help your employees better manage their time

By Jack Campbell | |5 minute read
How to help your employees better manage their time

Donna McGeorge is a productivity coach and the author of the It’s About Time series. She shared her insights with The HR Leader on how managers can help employees stay productive.

Ms McGeorge says leading by example is the best way to garner good productivity and time management from your workers; being timely will encourage your staff to do the same.

“If you are rocking up at seven in the morning, then chances are your team's going to want to get there probably before you do. Or they'll think that, that's the right thing to do. And if you're staying well beyond finishing hours, they think that's how it is. That's how you create a culture of that,” she explained.


Communication is key to finding and solving issues. Asking your employees whether they have the time required to complete tasks can help to figure out a comfortable workload.

Ms McGeorge said: “If you've got people who are working pretty solidly and they may be over working or doing unpaid overtime, you might like to think about: what are one or two projects we [can] put off?”

She continued: “I do think too often, rather than say no to a project, we say yes. So, we're adding more into the system, whereas I [believe] stop and think for a minute, how might we take something away from the system which actually frees up capacity and improves productivity?”

While it is the responsibility of the manager to make sure work is being done, Ms McGeorge notes that individuals need to be the boss of their own calendar.

“You get to decide how you spend your time. I think when you're paid to get stuff done, it's important to be really clear: ‘What am I being paid to do?’ And make sure I prioritise that,” she said.

Identifying what work is of top priority and making sure it gets done is another way to remain as productive as possible.

“If everything's important then nothing's important. You've got to be able to prioritise the top three to five projects that you're working on. We need to say, you know what, it's not necessarily no, but not now,” said Ms McGeorge.

RescueTime posted five key methods for helping employees with their time management as follows:

1. Set clear expectations and timelines

2. Help employees discover where their time is going with a time audit

3. Teach your team to plan and estimate their time better

4. Ask if the systems you’ve put in place are helping or hurting productivity

5. Build policies that protect ‘maker’ time

The transcript of the podcast episode with Donna McGeorge, when quoted above, was slightly edited for publishing purposes. The full conversation with Donna McGeorge is below.





Coaching differs from training in that it frequently focuses on a narrower range of abilities or jobs. This might be done as a part of personnel upskilling or performance management. Both internal trainers and outside coaches may carry out this task. Coaching occasionally includes assessments and performance feedback.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.