According to Allan C Stam, the Dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, leadership is the art of getting things done. And while many leaders are adept at resource management (people, money, etc.), they struggle to find time to get things done.
Experts suggest that a time audit, time management measures, focus on sustainable productivity, along with a reduction of phantom workload can help people get things done efficiently and eliminate workplace stress.
While there’s no universal formula, here’s a list of five strategies to help leaders manage their time well and increase their impact.
How Leaders Manage Their Time Efficiently
Senior executives will agree that leadership is a mix of clarity, purpose, knowledge, and fortitude.
Here are some ways you can maximize your impact.
You can’t plan every second of every day. Things are bound to go wrong, and plans will change. This is normal. This is life.
And while we can’t control everything, we can create efficient schedules to increase our productivity, set deadlines to remain focused, and deal with procrastination-triggering stress wisely. Other strategies to consider include goal setting and downtime—starting early and frequent breaks—which can help increase productivity levels.
Do you feel like you don’t have enough hours in the day to complete everything on your list? Then maybe it’s time to revisit how you prioritize.
Ask yourself these questions so you can be more purposeful when prioritizing:
- Is it important or urgent?
- How long will it take?
- How much effort will it take?
- Can you delegate it to someone else?
- Is this expected of you, or do you want to do this?
- Would someone in your team perform a task more effectively than you?
If you can assign tasks that do not require your active attention to someone else, you can focus your time and energy on being more productive.
A “can do” attitude is a valuable attribute, but a “can do it alone” attitude is not. Leaders have teams for a reason—each team member has a strength or skill that makes them valuable, and leveraging these strengths helps leaders better manage their time. Should executive-level help be required, hiring an executive assistant is prudent.
Assistants can be gatekeepers, email organizers, calendar setters, stand-ins for meetings, researchers and more. Simply getting the right kind of help and delegating tasks that don’t require your expertise and time can bringa degree of efficiency to your day.
Find Your Rhythm
By “find your rhythm,” we mean pay attention to how your individual productivity works:
- What motivates you?
- What hours of the day are you most energized?
- What environment helps you focus better?
Once you understand the optimum conditions that boost your productivity, you can maintain these conditions. This way, you can remain consistent in your work.
This also expands to discipline. Motivation comes and goes, but a disciplined schedule will keep you on track for success.
Boundaries Are Important
Even the best planners can feel overwhelmed if boundaries aren’t established and maintained. Overpromising or taking on too much can lead to delivery shortfalls and unintended consequences such as client dissatisfaction. Leaders can exemplify sustainable productivity by being realistic about how much can be achieved, saying “no” when appropriate, and reinforcing boundaries.
Better time management is key to personal growth, goal achievement, and creating a productive work environment.
Being a leader entails shouldering many responsibilities, and we at understand that it isn’t easy. We can help you find an efficient assistant so you can delegate by design and get the maximum out of your time.
How can we help you?
Would you like to engage with the top 1% of executive support professionals?
We can establish an exclusive and confidential search to suit your organization’s unique needs. I'm Ready to Hire!