A New Approach to Time Management For Leaders

leadership mindset Jan 09, 2024
Professional Woman Holding a Clock

The number one issue plaguing today's leaders is time management. It's the scarcest resource leaders have, and leaders' ability to manage time has never been more crucial in this ever-evolving landscape of the professional world. 

Even though 82% of leaders don't have a time management system, most leaders find it challenging to devote the time needed to rebuild their relationship with time. It's important to know that poor time management isn't just about inefficiency. It has a more significant impact that can cost lost revenue, productivity, and overall business operations.

What's missing? A new approach to time management. You can't overlay tactics and strategies on an already flawed system, so it's time to start by building a new, firm foundation to ensure success.

In my monthly AM Northwest Morning Show segment, I shared the critical aspects of effective time management that are often overlooked. 

Rethink Your Relationship with Time

The key here is to understand that time management is less about the clock and more about your perception of your control over time and your ability to make decisions about your time. Viewing time as a scarce resource creates a scarcity mindset, leading to stress and inefficiency.

By changing how you think about your relationship with time, for instance, viewing it as a tool within your control, allowing you to accomplish what matters most, you can create a more positive and productive approach. This involves eliminating negative thoughts that consume time, like excessive worry or indecision, and focusing on thoughts that enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Audit Your Time to Uncover the Truth

A time audit is a reality check on how you spend your days. It's like a budget for your time. You'll gain insight into where your time goes by tracking your activities, perhaps for two days or even a week. The key is to be honest about how you spend your time. No cheating. We often go about our days from one thing to the other without intention. Awareness can change that.

This process can uncover surprising patterns – maybe you're losing hours to unplanned meetings or social media. With this awareness, you can make more informed decisions about eliminating time-wasters and reallocating those hours to more productive tasks.

Commit to Your Well-Planned Calendar

You must learn how to effectively time block and prioritize your activities. However, creating a schedule is one thing, but adhering to it is where many struggle. This step is about developing discipline and strategies to follow through with your plan.

Techniques like setting alarms or reminders or having a colleague or coach hold you accountable can be effective. The goal is to respect your scheduled commitments, understanding that each item on your calendar is a step towards your larger goals.

Prepare for the Unexpected

No matter how well you plan, unexpected challenges will arise. However, it's essential to prepare for the unexpected and have contingency plans for each potential event. For example, if your boss unexpectedly stops by your office every day around 9:30 am, you can create a plan to handle it. You can either add it to your schedule or create boundaries and schedule time to meet with your boss. 

This might involve setting aside buffer times in your schedule for emergencies, or it could be about developing a mindset that can quickly shift gears without getting stressed. The idea is not to try to predict every possible scenario and create a plan to handle disruptions smoothly, minimizing their impact on productivity.

Most people think they have no control or choice if their boss comes to their office, but that's not true. That's why the first step that we covered is so critical. You must change your perceptions around control of your time to manage yourself and your time effectively. 

Next Steps

Mastering time management is not just about scheduling every minute of your day; it's about rethinking your relationship with time, gaining real insights through time audits, committing to your plans, and being prepared for life's inevitable surprises. Adopting these strategies can transform how you navigate your daily tasks and lead more effectively. 

To take these concepts further and truly revolutionize how you manage your time, I invite you to download our complimentary Ultimate Time Management Guide for Busy Leaders.

🌟 Download Our Complimentary Ultimate Time Management Guide for Busy Leaders

This guide is packed with practical advice, advanced strategies, and personalized tips to help you maximize your time, energy, and leadership potential.

Don't let another day pass feeling overwhelmed or underproductive. Click HERE, download your free guide, and start your journey towards becoming a master of time management today!


Watch the entire AMNW Segment here:

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Time is the scarcest resource leaders have, and how it's allocated matters significantly. As a leader, mastering time management is crucial - it's essential for being present for your team, prioritizing work effectively, and driving your organization forward.

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