5 techniques to improve time management skills for leaders


Do your time management skills need improving? As a leader, demonstrating good time management has three positive effects in the workplace. These skills can:

  • Help you personally to be more effective and productive
  • Help your department or company run more smoothly
  • Provide an excellent example for your team members to follow

No-one likes working in an environment that is always chaotic and rushed. By employing time management processes, you can help your employees to be more focused and create a better workplace for everyone. When you use these five tips, you’ll notice, as I did, that everyone is more relaxed. Projects get done on time, and fewer mistakes are made. Overall, the entire feel of the workplace is more calm and serene, and your employees will be more motivated and efficient.

Here are the five things that made a difference to my team when I started paying attention to how I managed my time.

Managing team members’ priorities

It took some time, but when I got my own priorities in order, I was able to help my team members do the same. The same method won’t work for everyone, but with trial and error you can get everyone on the same page, and prioritising their tasks list each morning. A simple method is to make a list of everything you need to do and put it in a spreadsheet. Then drag and drop the list items into an order that assigns tasks in order of importance. Everyone on the team checks in with everyone else, and adjusts to make sure no-one gets held up on an important item on their list while waiting for someone else.

Setting goals

Are you used to having final goals for each project, but find setting intermediate goals challenging? This could leave you or team members feeling overwhelmed. Break every project into a series of tasks, and group tasks to create smaller goals that can be achieved as a sequence over time. This motivates people to finish each small task quickly so the team can achieve the next goal.

Leveraging your strengths

Lean in to what you do well, and assign yourself tasks that draw on capabilities you have that others on your team might lack. This isn’t showboating, it’s being practical. If you have time, train a capable second in command to share some of the load or pick up slack if you can’t be around. Teaching is the best way to empower your team and get them to take ownership of their tasks and their time.

Delegating your weaknesses

A good leader is down in the trenches with the followers, but there comes a time when you can’t be expected to lay hands or even eyes on every single task. You must learn how to surround yourself with people you trust to handle different aspects of the business, and let go of the reins a little when it comes to the things you don’t necessarily excel at.

Tracking results

Instead of tracking employees’ time obsessively, instead try tracking results. You can identify where projects tend to bottleneck or stall, and figure out if it’s a person or a process causing the holdup. This can help you with planning on future projects to bring them in on time.

Interested in learning more? Contact ICML for information our tailored in-house time management courses today.

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