Very few managers or leaders use their time as effectively as they could. They are convinced they are attending to pressing matters, when in reality, they are just spinning the wheels. Falling into bad habits can set a bad example for the team, which impacts not only them but also the organization. As a manager or leader, several things can keep you from concentrating on your main role – pushing the company forward. There’s nothing more important than guarding your time and managing it well. It’s your most precious commodity. Keep on reading to discover the time-management strategies that support effective leadership. With a limited number of hours in the day, you’ve got to make the most of what you have.
Give Yourself Deadlines and Stick to Them
Having deadlines can help you meet your professional goals. It takes discipline and determination to meet a deadline. Decide what is more critical for you to do and make better use of your time. Give yourself deadlines that are shorter so that you can stick to them. Forget about trivial matters. Eliminate distractions by turning off your electronic devices. Also, shut your office door. This separation can mean a world of a difference between silence and noise, peace and frustration, work and procrastination.
Let yourself have an afternoon of uninterrupted work to finish small matters. Once you get started, don’t stop until the task is complete or the time frame is done. Find a place without people in your peripheral vision and invest in noise-cancelling headphones. Attention and focus are precious commodities that you should use rationally. Accept the idea that interruptions will happen and manage frustration, anger, and stress. Mitigate the likelihood for these negative emotions to take place. Interruptions have been and will continue to be a reality of work.
Turn Your Phone Off
If you want to get more done, turn your phone off. While smartphones are valuable tools in today’s on-the-go world, they can also be problematic. If you have a report to write, it would be best to turn off your phone. This way, you can concentrate on the task at hand. The brain can’t multitask. Even if you’ve turned off all your notifications, it’s still a distraction that can hurt your productivity. After a while, you’ll get accustomed to not needing technology. Unless you’re an emergency responder, calls and messages can wait.
You’re busy. You work long hours, and procrastination is something you can’t afford. If your phone is clouding your brain, ditch it. Taking a phone call or answering a text message will interrupt the process and make you prone to making mistakes. People who use smartphones are likely to forget things, make blunders, and be less aware of their surroundings. It’s true that after years of gazing at pixels, putting the phone away seems like the hardest thing to do, but you’ve got to make an effort.
Don’t Be Overly Obsessed with Checking Emails
If you’re like others, you have a compulsive email habit. Put simply, you can’t resist the temptation of checking your work emails. Despite countless attempts to create boundaries between personal and professional life, the habit creeps back in. Stop checking your email all the time. It’s easier to be distracted than to concentrate. Designate a specific time for this time-sucking activity, preferably at the end of the day. Most importantly, try not to email after work hours. It creates expectations that emails should be responded to during non-working hours.
Responding quickly to emails doesn’t necessarily translate into productivity. The time used to check up on your message could be used working on your latest project. Consider turning off notifications and removing the email icon from your start menu or taskbar. If you use an email service like Gmail, it’s a good idea to use it in a different window than the one you use for browsing. Equally, you can install a management app. Apps such as Microsoft Outlook make sure your time is productive and efficient. Among the most powerful features is the option to clean up the inbox with just one swipe.
Delegate Tasks Effectively
You should delegate everything that’s outside your area of expertise to accomplish the mission and goals of the organization. The responsibilities can be transferred to a virtual assistant, who completes the tasks from a remote location. A virtual assistant can do more than answer the phone and schedule appointments. You can find virtual assistants with experience in marketing data analysis, and customer support. When choosing a virtual assistant service, take into account the skills offered, the ease of use, the price, and more.
The best thing you can do is to focus your time and energy on profitable activities. By outsourcing some tasks to your virtual assistant, you don’t have to worry about managing them in-house. You can hire talent on an as-needed basis if you can’t cope with the increasing work demands. You’re not supposed to do all the work yourself. By delegating, you become more efficient, the stress will be less, not to say that your vision will be wider. Even if you’re nervous about letting go, you should give it a try. Give up being the go-to expert.
Hire A Coach/Mentor to Keep You Accountable
Finally, yet importantly, if you need help working toward your targets, hire a coach or a mentor to keep you accountable. They will provide support when you need it and make sure that you don’t sabotage yourself. Someone with years of experience can quickly identify mistakes, has experienced the pitfalls, and can set you on the right path. Just think about it. The question now is: How do you find the perfect fit? The coach or mentor should be available to help and have experience as an advisor. That’s what you should be looking for.
A specialist will help you with the work you need. Coaches and mentors can be found through a range of online sources. If you do a little bit of research, you’ll come across many options. However, you should ask your network for references.