How Manufacturing Leaders Can Make Effective Use of Their Time

Posted By: Dave Ewers, Director of Content Development, Tooling U-SME on July 08, 2021

Manufacturing leaders sit around a white board and discuss time management tactics

Over the past year, my team has noticed an increase in the demand for leadership training in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturers want and need actionable tips to help them lead more effectively. So, we found an expert in leadership training, Robin Storti, and partnered with her to launch a four-part webinar series dedicated to leadership in manufacturing.

Today, I’m sharing the highlights of our second webinar, “Time Management,” which investigates the relationship good leaders have with time — and discusses ways they can better manage their time.


1. Create Time-Saving Ideas

According to Storti, you need to have an action plan to deal with time “stealers” such as texts, emails, people, social media and phone notifications. “Anybody can do this, at any time, if you really want to stay focused to get things done,” she says. “For example, your action plan might be extremely simple, such as turning off notifications on your phone.”

Other time-saving ideas Storti mentions are:

  • Limiting your social media perusal to times when you’re finished with work or on a break — unless, of course, social media is part of your job.
  • Starting work a half hour early to get important things done before the inevitable distractions begin.
  • Getting focused early in the morning, leading to increased productivity during the day.
  • Making a priority to-do list — whether it’s for the day, week or month — and hanging it somewhere you’ll see it so you can check things off as they’re done. “You want to plan your work and work your plan,” says Storti.
  • Setting reminders for yourself on your smartphone and calendars. According to Storti, “Any time you plan ahead, it’s never wasted time.”

2. Write Things Down

“There’s a thing that happens in your brain when you write things down,” says Storti. “When you think of something and then you say, ‘I must write this down,’ it goes all the way down your arm, this thought process. Whether it’s on your calendar or in a priority note, you’re going to remember it more — because you took the time to think about it, and your body actually made a motion to write it down.”


3. Delegate

“Delegating will literally save you hours,” says Storti, adding that the act of delegation also provides you with an opportunity to train people and make them feel valued. “If you’re busy and you’re not a superhuman being, and there’s something you want to teach someone how to do, this is a perfect opportunity to do it.”


4. Consider Using the 80/20 Rule

Also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes. “The trick is to prioritize,” says Storti. “If you spend 20% of your time focusing on efforts that will achieve 80% of results, then you will be ahead of schedule and can get more things done.”

You can also get your team to get more things done in less time. “If your team gets 80% of all their work done with 20% of extreme efficiency, what more could they accomplish?” asks Storti, adding that incentives are a great way to motivate your team to get things done ahead of schedule.

According to Storti, a critical element of time management is making sure you have a good relationship with time. “If you have a mindset that says, ‘Oh, I never have enough time,’ then you probably won’t have enough time,” she says. “But if you say, ‘You know what, I’m going to start having enough time,’ then you might start having more time — because you’re going to stay focused on getting results.”

Watch the “Time Management” webinar on demand and sign up for our entire leadership webinar series today.


Leadership Training In Manufacturing

Tooling U-SME creates effective online manufacturing training courses, as well as instructor-led training, dedicated to improving workforce development. If you are interested in learning more about or leadership classes, or any of our over 500 manufacturing related classes, click here.

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