Every second counts
No one is naturally good at time management; with so many things fighting for our attention all the time, it’s no wonder that most of us struggle with it. Time management is always spouted as one of the most important life skills to gain but, other than just feeling on top of things, it can be hard to see why it’s so integral. In leadership, however, your time management skills can be the linchpin in your high performing team.
The symptoms of poor time management
Not being in control of your time is so common that you might not even realise that you have plenty of the symptoms. If you find yourself procrastinating important tasks, putting out little fires rather than taking the time to prevent them and always running overtime with your tasks or meetings, you might have a time management problem.
Teams are healthier when a leader’s time is under control
Being late all the time — regardless of whether it’s to the next meeting or with your feedback on a project — inconveniences the rest of the team. Being late to one meeting might not seem to have a huge impact, but it can have a ripple effect for everyone else’s day. Lots of those ripples over time can leave your team feeling frustrated.
Not only that, but they could also see your approach to time management as an example to be replicated. This doesn’t put your team in a great position to be moving towards success.
It’s not as easy as it looks
Starting to get a hold on your time management is tricky, but it can be done. Here are a few things you can do to start to be in control of your own time:
ANALYSE your time and how you spend it. Take a week to log everything you do and how long it takes you. Find the weaknesses, the times you let your time get away from you and note them down.
FIND PURPOSE in the things you do. There will be tasks in your day that you won’t want to do! Instead of letting procrastination come into play, link each task back to your values, strategic plan and goals. Everything you do in a day should be moving you forward, even if it’s just in a small way.
SCHEDULE time for everything. From allocating time to walk to the office and talking to staff to giving yourself 15 minutes break to get in the right headspace before a meeting, give everything its own timeslot.
CREATE BOUNDARIES with your time. Say no when you need to and don’t let little things like grabbing that quick coffee, turn into a long walk away from the tasks you really need to get done. Be strict with yourself and with those that demand your time.
DELEGATE tasks. If there’s something that eats up your time but could be a great task for one of your team to take on and build their skills, hand it over. Free up your time so you can spend it doing the really important things that only you can do.
Knowing how to manage your time means that there’ll be less last-minute scrambling for you and less frustration for your team. You’ll be in a better headspace and you’ll be ready to support your team, whether that’s by scheduling the time for one-on-one meetings with them or simply by having a clearer mind and schedule to respond to any of their needs.
Want to get in control of your time? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.