I work with a lot of leaders and increasingly one major lack that seems to be increasingly scarce is “Time”. It seems the pile of work is rising in the wake of demands of the world we now know as VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) and while we try to grasp how to respond to this VUCA world with attuned Vision, more Understanding, Better Clarity and off course resilient Adaptability, surely time has remained inelastic.
While the demands keep rising, and time “insufficient”, effective leaders cannot afford to compromise the efficient use of time. Leadership is reflective, active and progressive therefore, in a time that seems that there is no time the best of leaders still need to make time for what really matters: operations, strategy, innovation and improvement.
Operational time – is the time to review the past, to understand what is working and what is not working. Pretty much about correcting yesterday’s errors.
Strategic time – is the time needed to plan for the future;
Innovative time – the time needed to become more competitive tomorrow;
Kaizen time– the time needed for the continuous improvements that ensure that we will have a tomorrow.
As a business leader, so many things can keep you from focusing on your main roles – driving sales and pushing your company forward, therefore you need to understand how to guard and manage your time more effectively.
Here’s a list of time management tips that will give you refreshing new ways (or reminders) to keep your responsibilities in balance and help you make time in the time where there seems to be no time.
1. Have a short to-do list of your top priorities
What do you want to get done today? What do you want to get done this week? Write down (with a pen and paper or in your e-note) the most important three or five tasks that come to your mind and remember to chunk down and prioritise.
2. Use your calendar, and use it wisely:
You may have a calendar on paper, on your computer and on your phone. Make one of these – the one that works best for you – the place where you record all of your appointments, your master calendar. Better yet, use a calendar that is accessible on all your devices and desktop to keep you in sync. Calendarise every appointment.
3. Block out strategy time:
As you calendarise every appointment, also make out time for reflection and strategic thinking. You may be tempted to not include this in your calendar under the guise of I will not forget. As Marie Forleo says: “If it isn’t scheduled it is not real”. Schedule time every day for reflection and strategic thinking.
4. Watch out for the stealers:
If it’s not measured, it’s not managed – Peter Drucker. Have a time audit, know what activities expend your time. Emails, calls, social media, chats, side talks, endless meetings, unproductive engagement. Identified these stealers and knock them off. Turn your recreation time to re-creation time
5. Don’t robo-check your email
Have regular times when you read and reply to messages, and resist the temptation to respond to the email pings and pop-ups that will inevitably alert you day and night.
Most importantly, don’t adopt a timesaving process that works for someone else but not for you. If any of these strategies feel forced or unnatural, don’t hesitate to try something else. Through it all make sure that you are making time for what really matters. The goal should be to be an effective and an effective leader.
At Rellies Works, we believe that leaders have to possess the right competence to guarantee organisational sustainability and growth. As a result, we are committed to providing continuous support to leaders across various sectors to keep honing their transformative capabilities towards achieving personal and organisational goals.