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Every position in your facility can benefit from great time management skills. When each person on staff is using their time wisely and working together, not only does your facility flourish, but your members notice too. And who better to set the best example of time management skills than the director of your facility?

“As a Y director, it is important to have great time management skills because many programs and events are happening simultaneously,” said Lisa Behounek, the executive director at the C.W Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield, Illinois. “Without careful planning, work may not be completed in a timely or efficient manner.”

With the many programs and events offered at Ys, it can often feel like learning to juggle. This can be overwhelming for many Y professionals and not only affect their work life, but their overall well-being if proper time management skills are not in place.

“Effectively managing time allows a Y director to enhance performance and have a healthy work life balance,” elaborated Behounek. “When time is not managed properly, deadlines are not met, work quality suffers, stress is increased and profitability may suffer.”

So how do you evaluate what tools you should implement to ensure great time management skills? Behounek suggested starting with organizing and assessing your workload. “Plan, prioritize, use to-do lists, set deadlines in calendars, work on large projects during timeframes that provide the least distraction, and say no to additional responsibilities when your workload will not allow you to focus completely on your commitments,” she said. “Also, use ‘waiting’ time wisely — check emails, return phone calls, etc.”

Because many Y professionals have similar responsibilities, these tools can be useful in any position. If you are a professional hoping to improve your position within a facility or just looking to improve your time management skills, there are several small habits you can form.

“Work smarter, not harder,” advised Behounek. “Don’t sweat the small stuff. Often times people are paralyzed by small details that don’t truly affect the success of a project, and don’t accomplish as much as they could or should. When planning your day, allow time for the unexpected as it’s bound to happen. This will prevent you from running out of time to complete the tasks that must be done during the day. Be organized. Eliminate tasks that are not essential or do not allow the organization to progress, and limit the number of meetings you attend.”

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Brittany Howard

Brittany is a staff writer at Peake Media. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com

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