As leaders we are tasked with juggling multi projects at once on our limited time. Leaders feel as if time keeps getting away and they have difficulty controlling it. Effective time management is therefore crucial to accomplishing organization goals as well as to avoiding wasting valuable organizational assets. “The challenge is not to manage TIME, but rather to manage ourselves”. – Steven Covey.
Here are a few tips on how YOU can manage your time effectively:
Analyze your time:
Start by being truthful to yourself by reflecting on how you are currently spending your time. Record and track your personal and professional activities for at least a week and determine which were proactive or reactive tasks. The idea of doing this activity is to hopefully make you realize that there is a lot of ‘time-wasting’ activities we can cut down from.
Continue by asking yourself the following questions:
- Did you make effective use of your time?
- Could a task be delegated?
- How many times did you say “yes” and wish you had said “no?”
- Were you involved in all the tasks?
- What is working well?
- What is not working well?
- What adjustments need to be made, and how can you improve your time-management?
Organize and plan ahead:
Planning and knowing exactly when you are scheduled for a meeting or completing a task makes you feel in control and boosts your self-confidence. Schedule a regular time to plan activities as this will help you to stay focused and be more effective.
Scheduling affects your day, week, month, other people, their projects, including their short and long-term projects and tasks. Schedules can also be a good way to avoid procrastination.
- Do the tasks that you put down on your calendar align with your goals?
- When scheduling your day do you leave a few open slots for back-up?
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four-hour days”. – Zig Ziglar.
Delegate and delegate more:
Being a leader does not mean that you have to do everything by yourself. It actually means knowing which responsibilities can be delegated to members of your team so that you can give your full attention to high priority tasks. Distributing Leadership does not mean changing the quality of the work. It is about organizing leadership expertise at all levels in the organization so that you can empower your employees to build their own leadership skills. For this to be a success a high level of trust, transparency and mutual respect is vital. However, some leaders resist delegating either because they want to maintain control or because they want to save money by not hiring assistants.
- Have you recently incorporated distributed leadership in your organization?
- What was the impact on your organization outcomes?
Some of the key skills that I applied when delegating were communication, listening and giving feed-back. I had to explain why an employee had been assigned a task, what the task was, and what the expectations were. This required very clear, effective oral and written communication skills. I had to listen to any questions or concerns of my employees and made sure that they understood my expectations. I also had to check in with my employees, especially at the end of the task to make sure that the goals were met. Feedback on what went well and areas for development was offered, and helped the employee perform the tasks even better the next time.
To learn more on how YOU can manage your time effectively – Sign up for a FREE Leadership Breakthrough Session.