Client Question: “I want to be a really good leader for my team. There is so much to do and so little time that I am struggling to get it all done. Are there things that I can do to manage my time better?”
Time is the ultimate constraint that we have in our lives. There is only so much of it and it really requires us to focus on the right things. The to do list will always have a lot on it, but how you get those things done is what you may want to consider. Here are some areas to look at to use your time more efficiently:
- Eliminate all meetings where you are not able to add any value
- Delegate meetings to people on your team that can go in your place and help develop them
- Find different ways to communicate instead of a meeting (quick status report, email, text, lunch)
- Review meetings on a quarterly basis and ensure that they are valuable and serve a purpose
- Block your calendar first thing in the morning to plan your day and review your week
- Put some your projects on your calendar to work on them at a specific time vs when you can find time
- Ensure you are meeting with your team regularly and that those meetings don’t move unless you absolutely have no other choice
- Ensure you are setting up time for networking with other key influencers and your management
- Block time on the calendar to do something for yourself to recharge your batteries ( lunch with a friend, go to the gym)
- Reflect on all the things that you are doing.
- What can be delegated, stopped or delayed? Are they the right things to work on?
- Look at your team.
- Do you have the right team members for the work? Are they doing the right things? Is the work organized appropriately? Are you giving them new opportunities?
- Look at your next focus area.
- What is coming in the next 3-6 months and how will you plan for it? How will you be communicating, influencing and setting the vision/strategy for the next big thing?
- Spend time thinking about how you are doing as a leader.
- How are you being perceived? Are there other things that you should focus on for your development or your team? What strategies do you want to take to ensure different outcomes.
This is not an all inclusive list of suggestions. However, it is a good start for you to reflect on where your time is spent and to ensure you are spending it on the things that will add the most value. Add a reminder to your calendar to review this list of things on a quarterly basis so you can weed out the things that don’t help you and focus on the things that do. You may also want to do this exercise in your personal life. We all have commitments that we agreed to in the past that may not match with our values or priorities anymore. If they don’t serve you well, then you should eliminate them. Look for help from friends and family if you need it. Do you have the right plans in place for your future? If not, then spend time getting them done now before you need them. There is only so much time in your life, so you need to look for the best ways to spend it wisely.
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