The Art of Time Management

As a manager your time is valuable, one of the essential skills of a great leader is excellent time management. You are often required to stretch yourself across various areas of the business to make sure your team or department runs smoothly. While your to-do list seems never ending, unfortunately the amount of time you have each day to complete it is limited. If your plate is constantly overfilled, your time spent at work and worrying about work will eat into your work-life balance. According to a Gallup study, more than half of full-time employees work over 40 hours a week. So how do effective leaders manage their time successfully by working smarter?

 

Read further to find out how you can up your time management game:

1: Delegate.

As a leader your to-do list is extensive. Avoid holding onto too much by properly delegating tasks to employees who have the specialized skills and traits to complete each item well and on time. Don’t spread your time and attention too thin. You have a reliable team that you have built with in your company so – delegate, delegate, delegate! Put your attention towards high-priority tasks and assign others to your trusted employees. You don’t have to do everything yourself and letting go of control can be tough. Trust your team with the assignments you give them; hovering over them and trying to micromanage workflow is more likely to create double the workload for you and your employees.

 

2: Maximize Your Brain Time.

You should know yourself well enough to have a good idea of when your brain is functioning best and when your thinking is sharpest each day. This could be in the morning or right after a coffee break. This can also include specific days of the week. We are all human so after an extremely busy or taxing schedule, we can experience  burn out. Schedule your most difficult or high priority tasks during your best brain time to use your time most effectively.

 

3: Schedule Everything – Realistically.

While it may seem tedious at first – schedule everything that happens in your day and set aside a start and end time and actually keep track of how long each thing takes. Be realistic with final deadlines and your scheduled timeline. Keep in mind that in reality each project may have multiple rounds of edits and require completed parts from several of your team members before it is completed. You should allow a buffer zone of one to two days for all timelines. When you take note of what tasks take longer and where you get side tracked you can make better use of your time. Either adjust your day to match your scheduled timeline or adjust your timeline to match your day so you can maximize efficiency and work smarter.

 

Great leaders can manage their time effectively and successfully teach their staff how to do so as well. Plan accordingly by knowing the “who, what, when, where, and why” of your day. Its best practice to schedule your high priority tasks when you know you are most productive and delegate work to team members according to their strengths. Following these tips can help you manage your time more effectively and increase the success of your team.