Time Management for Your Grad Team – From the Top Down

Sam Wheeler

Top Down Time Management (2)

Time. It’s a concept which we humans created, and now accept as a part of our day-to-day life; time, and how to make the most of it. Spending it, wasting it; simply not having enough of it. As a business leader, specifically one managing one or a number of entry-level staff who may be experiencing their first step on the career ladder, time management is absolutely key to achieving goals and hitting targets – for yourself AND the team you’re responsible for.

How do you prioritise your tasks?

As a manager, it’s likely that you go into each day with at least some semblance of an idea as to what the overarching goal is; what it is that you and/or your team are aiming to achieve today. But planning exactly how to get there, with so many distractions and
miscellaneous tasks popping up around you no less, can be challenging. How do you know where to begin? How do you know what needs to be done first, second, last?

Enter the “Urgent Important Matrix”.

Sometimes referred to as the Eisenhower Matrix, this easy tool has been known to change the game when it comes to time management – at every level of your business. With that being said, it’s been known to be particularly helpful for those who are still getting used to working efficiently in an office environment, i.e. your new graduate hires. If there’s a seemingly endless to-do list to be dealt with, the Urgent Important Matrix can help understand the how, what and when needs to be done. Using this simple system, it’s possible to properly understand each step you need to take to have a successful day. What should you be completing urgently? What should you be delaying, delegating or ignoring completely?

So, how does it work?


It’s simple – just follow these 4 instructions:

1.If a task is URGENT and IMPORTANT, it needs to be done now – make this a priority, top of the list.
2.If a task is IMPORTANT but NOT URGENT, make a plan for when you’re going to complete it (and try to do so before it makes its way into the urgent quadrant!)
3.If a task is URGENT but NOT IMPORTANT, delegate it – it needs to be done, but not necessarily by you.
4.And, finally, if a task is NOT URGENT and NOT IMPORTANT… Why is it even on your list?

There are many benefits to implementing the Urgent Important Matrix across your graduate-level team members as a time management exercise; for one, it takes next to no time to pick up and learn. Technically, it can truly be used by any staff member regardless of level, profession or longevity in the role, to help increase productivity and learn where priorities should lie.

So, when trying to tackle the productivity of your new trainees, think of this as time management from the top down; if your schedule is properly prioritised, ready to be tackled, your team’s will follow.

When it comes to recruiting at an early careers level, it can be difficult to know where to start – but, if ever there was a task which belongs in the important quadrant (in fact, quite often important-urgent even, too), it’s this one. The truth is, a successful company starts with its people, so your hiring strategy should be an obvious priority.

Instead of saddling yourself with the tens of tasks associated with a successful graduate recruitment campaign, give yourself time to properly go about managing your business and simply add one big, bold task in the top left box right there – call Certus Graduate today.