This is a guest post for Skills You Need.
Want to contribute? Find out how.
How to Manage Your Time Effectively
as a Workplace Leader
Often, managing your time as a workplace leader means getting organized. A typical day as a workplace leader may start with 30 minute or one-hour blocks of meetings and conference calls. At other times, you will just have to learn to say ‘no’ if employees want four hours of your time to dive into the plans for an office Christmas party or to reorganize teams for a creative project.
At the end of the day, any of these strategies make it possible for you to manage your most precious commodity: time. Leaders must make tough decisions when it comes to protecting, investing, saving, spending, and planning their time. However, this can be difficult at times and the key to success as a workplace leader is to communicate early with your co-workers.
Photo by Marc Mueller from Pexels.
Tips to Manage Your Time Effectively as a Workplace Leader
1. Do a calendar cleanse
As an organizational leader, it is often hard to decline an invitation to meetings. If you say ‘no’ or ‘not now’ to such an invite, it might sound like you are violating a cultural norm. However, if you were to evaluate all the meetings you attended the previous week, you may realize that many meetings you attend are pointless. As such, it will make better use of your time if you get into the habit of asking about the agenda of a meeting when invited. This way, you can politely decline a meeting that is not a top priority.
2. Set Clear Goals
Most of the problems of time management stem back to setting goals that fall short in clarity in the first place. Setting clear goals is critical to motivating your employees if you are in organizational leadership. The ideal for workplace leaders is to set specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant goals. Moreover, each goal needs to be a time-bound objective to achieve and provide room for planning and execution.
3. Set boundaries
As a leader, the majority of your time will be spent at work. However, if you are not careful, that work might find a way to blend into your life at home. As such, it is critical for a manager to set boundaries around the workplace. These boundaries also show that you have a backbone and a clear understanding of your values and principles. Hence, it is as important to set out your limits clearly to your clients, boss, and employees. Moreover, it is also essential that you learn to navigate violations. Avoid getting upset by reinforcing and exercising your boundary to maintain its power.
4. Get organized
Success in the workplace stems from an organized calendar. Starting each work week is usually overwhelming and can be intimidating. As a leader, your main goal is often to prove yourself and broadcast your ability to produce high-quality work while staying on top of all the chaos. If you want to effectively manage your time in the workplace, then you need to stay on top of things right from the beginning. You will want to explore implementing management tools that automate the bulk of your work. The attendance management system, for example, helps you keep up with all your employee’s activities.
5. Learn to delegate tasks
Instead of trying to attempt tasks that require a skill you lack, it can be worthwhile delegating tasks. Delegating tasks allows you to focus your skills and energy on the tasks you are good at while delegating those that might be challenging for you, like logo design for example. That said, you need to determine the tasks that are worth delegating and learn to let go of them. Take some time to understand your strengths and identify where you will need assistance. After that, identify the best people in your workplace to manage the task.
6. Schedule everything
At the start of every business week, it is important to schedule everything and stick with the plan. As a result, you are able to use your time effectively with more structure and discipline. Scheduling is essential because it reduces the time wasted every week. Besides, scheduling everything allows you to create a benchmark that will give you a baseline on the time it takes to complete a task. More importantly, if you realize that you are spending too much time on tasks of low importance, then you can delegate the work.
One of the most common struggles of workplace leaders is learning to prioritize. When you have more things to do and less time to do it, identifying the tasks that deserve your attention can be a struggle. However, mastering prioritization can change your life as a workplace leader. First, capture all the tasks you need to perform on a master list. Next, you can break down the list into monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Remember to always remain realistic about the number of tasks you can take on in a day to effectively manage your time.
8. Create ‘if-then’ rules
As a leader, it is common for your day to involve frequent interruptions. You may encounter unforeseen problems arising or have urgent last-minute tasks pop-up in your schedule. Given the kind of role your play in your workplace, it is possible to see how you can be pulled away from high-priority goals or tasks. As such, it is important to set ‘if-then’ rules that automate the actions you should take in such scenarios. These rules will help you save time and allows your employees to work independently from you in such cases. Hence, instead of reprioritizing your entire schedule, you can ask your team to work on a solution.
9. Take a break
Just as you need to learn to use your time at work effectively, taking a break away from your work can prove to be a smart decision. The best way to manage your time effectively as you manage others is to identify time for breaks and communicate this to your employees. Taking a break at work also involves identifying what to do with your time away from your desk.
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Learn more about the skills you need to be an effective leader.
Our eBooks are ideal for new and experienced leaders and are full of easy-to-follow practical information to help you to develop your leadership skills.
Not only will these tips guarantee effective management of your time but also boost your productivity as a workplace leader. Your work as a leader means that you are connected to your work 24/7. If you fail to manage your time effectively, the results can be detrimental and can even affect your productivity and efficiency.