Even with the best five-year plan in place, your chances of success are slim-to-none if you are not fully equipped to manage your time.
Business Insider shared findings from a research study conducted by Columbia University Economics Professor Andrea Prat, which showed the ability to understand, prioritize and delegate is what sets CEOs apart. This is especially true because people who aspire to take on leadership roles, start their own business or generally advance in their careers must manage their time a bit differently than those who are simply trying to get the day’s work done. Consider these five strategies to more effectively manage your time:
Manage your time in a way that has the greatest impact on your success.
- Eliminate distractions
We all know that workplaces are rife with distractions. In fact, a study from CareerBuilder found cell phones and texting, gossip, the Internet and social media to be among the top ten workplace distractions. It is true that in order to succeed, you need to eliminate these distractions in order to enhance productivity while you’re at work. However, people who are in the process of improving their lives or advancing their careers have greater distractions to tackle, such as personal obligations, social activities and demands for meetings from peers and employees. Aspirational leaders must work to eliminate distractions as much as possible, and time management will become much easier.
Delegation will allow you to manage your time and lead well. By delegating responsibilities to subordinates, leaders gain the respect of their employees and colleagues and are more effective at doing their jobs. Additionally, delegating tasks that can be completed by eager team members will allow you to focus on activities that will have the greatest impact on your career advancement
- Honor yourself
Leaders must know when to say “no” in order to effectively manage their time. And knowing when to say “no” means honoring yourself, your goals and your priorities. Taking on too many projects and responsibilities will have a negative impact on your quality of work. It is also important to consider that many aspiring leaders struggle to balance personal and professional time. Knowing when to say “no” will help you strike a healthy balance to create the life you envision for yourself.
“Leaders must know when to say ‘no’ in order to effectively manage their time.”
- Use the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rules is an important guardrail to employ when deciding how to manage your time and where to spend it. The rule states that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. As it relates to time management strategies, 80 percent of what you achieve toward your larger aspiration each day should come from 20 percent of the effort you put in toward reaching those goals. When planning your day, week and even your month, consider the 80/20 rule and find ways to spend the majority of your personal and professional time on activities and tasks that will have the most positive impact on your life goals. With this mindset, it will be much easier to decide what to eliminate from your calendar altogether.
- Be Flexible
Anyone who hopes to accomplish major life goals must be flexible. As far as time management is concerned, aspiring leaders need to be willing to adjust their schedules and move priorities around as each week evolves. For example, if you receive the opportunity to attend a networking event with a respected industry leader in your field or valuable leadership training, it is important to be agile enough to move other obligations around in order to attend the event. Delegation, effective prioritization and anticipation can all help you be flexible enough to succeed at managing your time well.