Time Management For Leaders

Time Mangagement

Many people complain that they do not have enough time and can never get caught up. I want to share something with you that you might not expect.

 “You will never have enough time for everything no matter how hard you try.”

Being Busy is a Good Thing

People who are always caught up and not busy at work usually become redundant fairly quickly and you don’t want to be one of those.

As long as you are in the workforce, work will keep coming your way. If you are adding any value at all to your business, every time you walk through the door of your workplace a new challenge will be waiting.

The first step to time management is to accept that you will never get everything done and embrace it as symptom of success rather than a symbol of failure or poor performance.

Manage Your Time

In order to better manage your time for maximum efficiency, you must understand and admit to yourself that the problem is not a shortage of time…it is ineffective use of time!

The most successful people manage their time effectively, and then take action to accomplish more every day.  Good time managers have a laser-sharp focus on their work and an abundance of energy to get it done.

If you are constantly distracted from your work by outside, intervening forces, you will never manage your time effectively.

If you are lacking in energy and find your work to be drudgery or just too much to handle, you will never get ahead.

When you are often pulled away from the task at hand you will find yourself in a constant state of crisis management which can lead to misdirected action and burnout. If everything around you seems to be going wrong, you need to evaluate why you are being distracted from your real work.

It could be that you are being affected by old prejudices, bad influences from co-workers or a lack of clear direction. Anything that distracts you from your primary tasks must be eliminated if you want to enjoy good time management.

If you find yourself having constant interruptions from co-workers or family members that are not directly related to your immediate task, ask them to wait until a more appropriate time. I must repeat that time management requires focus and you cannot focus if you are paying more attention to other people than you are to your own job.

Keep Your Energy Up

If you find yourself being regularly short of energy, you must evaluate what is causing it, and then do something about it.

Low energy levels can be physiological or emotional. I would recommend that if you are tired all the time, you talk your doctor to rule out any sort of medical condition. If your health is good and you are still lacking in energy, you need to consider whether your lethargy is a result of family matters, personal problems, or a lack of engagement in your work.

When you have low energy levels and low focus, you will procrastinate and show up in body alone. You will hesitate to take initiative to get things done…often until it is too late.

It is possible that your procrastination is a result of having little or no belief in your own abilities, perhaps you have a fear of failure, or maybe you have had a negative experience in the past which is preventing you from taking action.

No matter what is causing your procrastination, you must push past it because it is one of the greatest killers of good time management there is.

Disengagement is a Killer

Disengagement can be identified by liberal displays of apathy, excuses and cynicism.

People who do not enjoy their jobs tend to fall into negative moods which prevent them from enjoying their work. When that happens they will do what my Mom would call “busy-work.”

In other words they will do all sorts of unnecessary, ineffective things in order to avoid the important, pressing issues before them.

Disengagement is one of greatest killers of time management.

If you are not engaged in your work, you must determine why.  Some causes of disengagement include, (but are not limited to) feeling unappreciated, believing you are overworked or not being paid enough to make ends meet. If any of those things apply to you, there is a good chance that your energy levels are low.

If that is the case, you need to make some changes in your workplace situation in order to recharge your batteries and bring your energy levels back to where they should be.

That might include speaking with your boss about your concerns and working out a plan for improvement.

Focus, Focus, Focus!

Without energy, you cannot have focus.

So, why do you need focus? When you have focus you:

  • Are not prone to radical emotional reactions.
  • You are less likely to become distracted by unimportant things.
  • You place full attention on truly meaningful things.
  • You are better able to manage your time.

Once your energy levels are up and you are able to focus on your work, your life will improve immeasurably.

Time management is not about the clock or too much work…Time management is all about you!

**********

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Wayne Kehl

Wayne Kehl is President and CCO at Dynamic Leadership Inc
He is author and behavioral analyst who lectures on leadership and motivation
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6 responses to “Time Management For Leaders

  1. Thank you for a great article. I am always amazed at how much time people spend being busy, but not really doing anything. I would guess that 90% of managers I work with can increase their task efficiency exponentially by applying a few of these principles you mentioned.

    I challenge people in my workshops to disable that ‘ping’ that says you have mail (very few people find it possible to ignore that sound) and to assign time to check mails and respond to them. When they report back, they are always amazed at the difference a little thing made

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    • Thanks so much. Yes, email is one of the greatest time wasters ever invented. It requires discipline to utilize it effectively.
      Cheers
      Wayne

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  2. I have read about how emails can be a time waster. However, I have different experience on emails though. Words are cheap and I have experienced how people do not honour their words and what have been agreed and with due respect people forget. Email is the only tool and evidence to proof otherwise. I do agree though, use wisely and effectively.

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  3. Love what Stephen Covey always said…successful people focus more on priority management than time management. The first focuses on doing the right things, the second is more concerned with doing things the right way. Both are important, but when push comes to shove, doing the right things should be championed over doing things the right way.

    BTW, I wrote a post called “Why Sometimes It’s Okay To Be Super Busy:
    http://www.liveitforward.com/5-reasons-why-its-okay-to-be-super-busy-thoughts-on-success/ Great minds think alike!

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  4. There’s a lot of great information here! I had never so clearly connected energy with time management, but it makes sense. On days in which I’m rundown or tired, I find it much harder to keep to my task list and work efficiently. Lack of sleep or energy really inhibits all other aspects of your day.

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  5. I couldn’t agree with you more. I especially like “Disengagement is a killer.” If you don’t love what you’re doing then more often than not you’re just going to work to do some unnecessary stuff just to get through the day (busy work). You’re not being effective, your work is going to suffer as well as the company.
    One secret to productivity is focusing on the things we love and we are good at. This way, we are inspired to do better and work harder.

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