Time management and thinking big
HOW a leader manages his or her time is one of the most important aspects of the job.
Time Management, however, is somewhat of a misnomer. Each and every one of us, whether the leader of a huge corporation, or the janitor at a fisheries, has 24 hours in the day to do what needs doing.
No amount of effort will ever increase this number, and so we therefore need to learn to manage ourselves more effectively within the time we are given.
Poor time management can manifest in many, many ways, and can have a profound effect on the performance of many different areas of the business.
Some of the ways in which poor time management manifests include ineffective meetings, failure to delegate, focusing on urgent tasks instead of important tasks, lack of effective procedures and policies, micro-managing and indecision.
Leaders who are constantly busy putting out fires, as it were, are unable to do any of the “big-picture” thinking that leads to real organisational growth.
With proper time management, however, the opposite is true, and leaders are afforded the time for long-term planning and strategic development, both of their employees as well as the organisation as a whole.
It’s no use you wake up every morning, drag yourself out of bed, pitch up to work unmotivated, and spend the day twiddling your toes. Wasting your time is such an unhealthy habit that some may call you a thief; a thief that’s stealing the company’s money by getting paid for being a lazy bum.
Each person in your department has the same amount of time to do a different number of things. No, Sarah isn’t superhuman (or any other superhero for that matter). She just has more energy and is more motivated than you.
The trick is to muster the energy to keep you on a high for longer. Working more hours means a big fat zero hollow egg if you don’t get things done anyway. Here’s a secret: The best managers don’t care how much time you spend at your desk, they just want quality results.
How to increase productivity
Find a balance between sleep, exercise and nutrition: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know it’ll get your energy up. Actually it took scientists to prove it. But it’s common knowledge now. So use your common knowledge and balance your life.
Combat procrastination: Because later becomes one-minute-before- deadline. Or worse - never. Procrastinator may sound awesome, like Terminator or Governator, but it’s not. Not even almost.
Productivity and being busy are not the same thing: It is possible to be busy doing nothing. Super Sarah already knows that working and getting things done are different. Get serious and ask yourself: Is what I’m doing right now adding value to my job and growth?
Plan your tasks: Make a to-do list, decide how much time each task needs and do it top to bottom without distractions.
Master the art of saying no: If the meeting doesn’t concern you don’t go. If a task can wait, add it to a future to-do list. You have to do your best to stick to the task at hand and follow your to-do list.
Have a break: Have a Kit Kat if you must. Since you’re not a robot, your mind needs to rest in order to refocus.
Practice, practice, practice: There are no shortcuts in life. Work hard. The more you do it, the easier it gets.
Add some pressure: Sometimes work is boring. Sometimes the tasks and deadlines are easy and you lose all oomph. And that sucks. But you can get your oomph back! All you have to do is power-up: Add more tasks to your list, set personal goals, do a lot more than the bare minimum, and reach the deadlines with time to spare. Working under pressure awakens a drive you never knew you had.
Don’t rely on your memory: Take notes, always. Humans suck at remembering stuff. Write down everything. Or if you want to be fancy and complicated, use your phone’s voice recorder.
Now get off Facebook: You already know this. Facebook wastes time that you could be using for better.
HOW a leader manages his or her time is important.