7 Time Management Tips Leaders can use to Maximize Productivity
Are you the first person to arrive at work and also the last person to leave? Do you frequently bring work home with you? Business owners and leaders often have one thing in common, a ton of tasks to accomplish and not enough time to handle them.
But with effective time management, leaders can get more done without adding more working hours to their day. That’s why in this post, we are sharing simple time management tips leaders can use to maximize productivity.
What is Time Management?
Time management is the process of discovering and planning the amount of time it takes to complete tasks and activities on your to-do list so that you can take control of your day. Once you know where your time is spent, you will be able to use your time even more wisely.
What are the Benefits of Time Management?
We all know that improved time management skills mean the ability to get more done during the day, but there are more benefits than just efficiency. Other benefits of time management include:
- Decreased stress as your productivity increases
- Limited distractions and less wasted time throughout the day
- Leaving the office feeling productive instead of dreading the following day
- Getting out of the office on time so that you can spend time doing the things you love
How Can Leaders Improve Time Management?
Time is a nonrenewable resource that we all wish we had more of, but since we can’t just tack on more hours to our day, we have to start finding ways to make the most of the time we have. Here are some simple ways that leaders can create more time in their day:
Set Boundaries with Yourself
From email notifications to social media, our phones and computers constantly pop up with something new to distract us. But, according to a study from the University of California Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task or project you were working on before you were distracted. So imagine how much time we are wasting every day due to distractions.
You can stop distractions dead in their tracks by setting firm boundaries with yourself. Spend some time being really mindful throughout your workday to determine what your biggest distractions are and create a plan to combat them.
For example, if you know you’ll grab your phone as soon as someone hits like on your new Instagram photo, put it on silent, stick it in a drawer and don’t look at it until your next break.
Cut Your To-Do List in Half
When your to-do list is as long (or longer) than a CVS receipt, it becomes a source of stress instead of a productivity tool. Cut your to-do list in half by creating these three lists instead:
- Do: This list should include the tasks you need to complete as soon as possible.
- Delegate: This list should include mundane tasks you don’t have time for and tasks that are not in your skillset or that someone else could do better.
- Defer: This list should include tasks that have later deadlines or don’t need to be completed immediately. Don’t forget to add the deadlines to this list as an added reminder.
Learning what tasks you can and can’t delegate will take practice and grace with those you delegate too. Get started today by delegating administrative tasks like inbox management, research, office organization, and more to your Executive Assistant. Once you feel comfortable with letting to, delegate more tasks to your EA and other members of your team.
Break-Up Larger Projects into Smaller Tasks
Once you’ve created your new and improved to-do list, you may still have several large projects on your plate that may add some time strain to your day. The key thing to remember here is that even though you are the one completing these projects, you don’t have to do them all alone. Break down large time-consuming projects into smaller tasks that are easy to delegate to others.
Meet Regularly with Your Team
You often hear people complain that this meeting could have been an email. And while there are a lot of meetings that seem like time wasters, not all meetings fit into that mold. When leaders start to delegate tasks that they have been handling for a long time, there can be some anxiety that follows.
To prevent stress and anxiety from delegating tasks, leaders should meet with their team members regularly. During these brief meetings, ask the employees working on the projects to provide you with updates and struggles they are having with completing the tasks. Also, use this time to ask and answer any important questions that come up.
Follow the 2-Minute Rule
A simple technique to ensure that your small tasks don’t become constant distractions is to follow David Allen’s famous 2-Minute Rule.
According to Allen in his book Getting Things Done, “If the next action can be done in two minutes or less, do it when you first pick the item up.”
Allen rationalizes this rule by saying that small tasks take more time and energy to track than the time to complete them. When you have a lot of these 2-minute tasks weighing on your mind, you are less efficient throughout your day. Why? Because these small tasks will fill up your to-do list and it will eventually feel more overwhelming than simple to complete.
Set Reminders for Yourself
Unless you have the memory of an elephant, it is extremely difficult to remember everything you need to do throughout the day. Even worse, making sure you are staying on time. Kin to writing things down, setting reminders has become a common way to control your days. Some reminders to consider setting include:
- Important project deadlines
- Blocks of time meant to be distraction-free
- Meeting alerts that allow plenty of time to wrap up your current task
- Lunchtime because we all need a break
Hire an Executive Assistant
We couldn’t complete this productivity-boosting tip list for business owners and leaders without discussing the importance of hiring an Executive Assistant. Once leaders hire executive assistants with the right skills, they often thrive.
Hiring an Executive Assistant can reduce the amount of tasks, communications, and busywork that often distracts and takes over their executive’s day. EAs give busy leaders the time they need to focus on business growth, idea creation, complete important projects, and more.
Maximize Your Assistant
Get an even bigger productivity boost when you maximize your assistant. Not sure how? In our free eBook, Maximizing Your Relationship with Your New Assistant, we share the five steps to get the most out of your assistant. Click here to download now.