You know the challenge. You question yourself every day whether or not you’re managing your time the best you can.
You’ve heard the gurus shout to eliminate anything that doesn’t make you more productive. You’ve tried cutting out the things that they say weigh you down or waste your time. But you still feel like you’re struggling to manage your time.
My time management strategies won’t work for everyone. There’s no one size fits all solution. Yet, I feel they’re a good starting point for anyone looking to manage their time better.
7 Time Management Strategies For Busy Leaders
Good leaders know they have to manage their time. They have to be able to balance and shift priorities around as the day changes and demands increase or decrease.
The following seven time management strategies will give you the start you need to create your own methods. Test these out and see how they work for you. Tweak as needed.
1. Break your tasks down into manageable chunks:
One of the reasons so many leaders lose control of their time is that they chunk out large portions of their day for a single task. They believe that if they can get a big task out of the way, it’ll be good for them.
Getting a big, single task out of the way is good. But you don’t get it out of the way by looking at it as one big task. Instead, look at the big tasks in your life as little tasks that create something big.
You can see how you can break apart the big task into smaller, more manageable chunks so that you can tackle PART A and then move on to B, C, and D.
Use the chunking method to give yourself breathing room and allow you to complete the larger task slowly but more effectively.
2. Block off your calendar:
We get distracted easily. We feel like we have to respond immediately to a new, incoming request.
Learn to block off your calendar for the critical priorities in your day. You can even block off things others may feel are unimportant, like a brisk walk or reading ten pages of a good book, so that you can accomplish them.
If people are looking at your online calendar, those times are blocked off. They’re off-limits.
You have control of your calendar. Learn to take control of it.
3. Record your daily activities:
We all waste portions of our days. Sometimes it’s hopping onto Facebook for a quick check of what others are doing that turns into an hour-long time suck. Or it might be checking your emails. You get lost in the clutter and don’t come out for a breather until it’s been 30 or 40 minutes.
By recording your daily activities, you can see where you’re actually spending your time. You may be shocked to know where much of your time is going.
Review your records once a week. See what can go and what needs to be added.
4. Use new technologies:
Technology is constantly transforming. From faster laptops to higher-speed internet to AI programs, there’s always something new around the corner.
We don’t harness the power of new technologies well enough. We hear about it, check it out, and then forget about it.
Recently, I’ve been testing out a new AI tool called Magai. It’s a great tool to create new content (not blog posts), get content ideas, and complete tasks a virtual assistant may have previously done. Magai saves me time, energy, and money.
With new technologies come significant time savings. Don’t be afraid to test out new technologies and use what works for you!
5. Kick perfection to the curb:
I know, I know… No one wants to put out a subpar product. But… What if you’re holding yourself back because you’re looking for perfection?
I’ve seen it happen.
There are perfectionists that have to have the perfect color combination when a slightly different shade would have worked well. Or there’s the perfectionist who goes back to the drawing board 24 times to tweak an idea when iterations three or four were good enough.
Stop striving for perfection. Go for good enough. Then work on it once you’ve finished.
You’ll find yourself with more time to focus on the things that matter.
6. Get rid of distractions:
I’m surprised how many executives are still pushing for a return to office since COVID-19. The office is full of distractions. People are constantly walking into and out of offices, the open office is abuzz with chatter, and the smell of food from the office microwave makes everyone’s stomach growl with hunger.
Those are just a few distractions you may face throughout the day, but those are time killers. Every time you lose focus because Bob walks through the open office is time wasted as you try to regain focus.
Block out distractions as best as you can.
7. Stop procrastinating:
Ahhhh… I can get to this one tomorrow. Wait, no, I can’t. Otherwise, you won’t be able to finish reading this article.
While I love the idea of procrastinating, I know it’s not a helpful or healthy trait of a leader.
When we procrastinate, we lose the advantage of time. Time ticks by and projects don’t get done.
Get rid of the procrastination. You’ll soon find yourself better managing your time and accomplishing more.
Make The Most Of Your Day
With these time management tips and tricks, you’ll soon find yourself more productive and happy throughout your day. You won’t be frustrated because you don’t know how you’re going to cram everything into the hours of the day.
Make sure you’re managing your time well. The better you manage your time, the more time it will feel like you have.