Did you know that as a leader, your time is one of your most valuable resources? Basically, everything you do, every decision you make, and the direction you set for your team depends on how you manage your time. When you can learn to be a good steward of your time you will notice not only more personal success but also the success of your team. Let's talk about some strategies for effective time management and why every leader should prioritize this.
1. Use Checklists There is too much that we are carrying around in our minds, and with the busyness of our lives, something is bound to be forgotten. Whether it's a paper and pen or an app that lets you write out a checklist for the day, I highly recommend you sit down and write out your priorities for the day that actually connect to the initiatives that produce the most impact. This checklist will help keep you on track, and it's quite satisfying checking things off the list as you go!
2. Set Deadlines A deadline can be motivating because it's when a project or assignment must be completed. I would encourage you to make sure you tell others about your deadline or write it on your calendar so you take it seriously and let it motivate you.
3. Eliminate Interruptions If you work from home, does a television distract you? What about your phone sitting nearby and you find yourself scrolling on Facebook watching cat videos again? Make a point to eliminate interruptions. This will help you manage your time a lot more effectively.
4. Focus on One Thing at a Time Multitasking may sound impressive but it really isn't the best idea. If you focus on one thing at a time until it is complete, you will find much more success with your goals. Sometimes, people find this hard to do because the one thing that they are focusing on takes quite a bit of time. And that is totally fine, block time off to do that one thing knowing full well that it may take several "blocked time frames" to totally complete it.
5. Take breaks Taking breaks is so important, but always make sure these breaks are effective. Maybe go for a walk and get some fresh air and exercise, or close your eyes for a few minutes. Sometimes, this break means shutting everything down and taking some time away from all your work. This allows you to renew and recharge without the distractions of work. There is truly a difference between being productive and busy. The steps that I have mentioned above allow you to move into the productivity zone. You want to work in your zone of strength and on the priorities that really contribute to the goals for that quarter.