The Point: This is 3rd installment in The Leadership Challenge series, and perhaps the most important. Time management is a grave leadership challenge… meaning that it can be very serious if not attended to, or cause you to crawl into one! So much has been written and spoken about Time Management that you need to spend a lot of time studying it! But since Time Management is crucial to leadership development, here are five (5) essential tips on making more of your 24-hour days… Enjoy!
Tip #5: Defining Terms
To use time to your advantage, you first have to clarify what time really is. If you read books and download apps on managing clock time, then you are not going to achieve anything. All time is relative. Time for a leader is any duration where they get work done. Everything else stems from this definition.
Tip #4: Analyze your Time
Take a sample duration of how you currently spend your time, let’s say a week. For seven (7) days, monitor your schedule and track all your conversations and activities. This will enable you to see how much time in a work-week you actually spend doing things that produce results and justify your position in the organization. Step-by-step, you have to maximize the instances where you are productive, and vice versa.
Tip #3: (Don’t) Test your Limits
Let’s face it; you are not Superman. There is only so much you can excel at with a human mind and body. So instead of pulling yourself in all directions (like handling marketing, HR, and customer relations on your own), focus on what you do best and leave the rest for others on your team according to their expertise. Leaders are not good at everything, they just work with the best people and delegate/hold accountable for results.
Tip #2: Plan your Time Off Work
It has often been seen that people in leadership roles take too much work on themselves and only take off when their bodies give up. That is no way to live. You should be proactive and manage your breaks. This doesn’t only mean your annual vacations. You should take brief (yet focused) breaks throughout the day to give your muscles and brain cells time to rejuvenate.
Tip #1: Plan for Interruptions
Even the best managers cannot control changes in government policies, adverse weather conditions, changing economic climate, and personal problems (Remember that Open Door Policy you enacted?) Just like you get yourself insured for emergency situations, leave some space in your schedule for these interruptions. Otherwise, you will be caught unaware/unable to fulfill commitments made.
To sum up, time is a luxury for a leader. In order to keep yourself productive without burning out, follow these five (5) tips to manage it efficiently. And keep following the Tip of the Spear blog to learn how to be a better leader!
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