Time Management Skills for Leaders

Leaders always operate under certain constrains. Time constrain is one of the most fundamental constraints of a leader.

Of course, time is a constraint of all individuals. However, leaders are responsible not only for their own time, but also for time utilization of each member of on the team either directly or indirectly. 

How can a leader manage her personal time, as well as time utilization of the team?

There are many strategies and techniques. In this article, we will review only the most important ones.

The first step is prioritization of tasks. Nobody can successfully manage his tasks if those tasks are not prioritized.

I suggest two approaches to task prioritization:

  1. Time Management Quadrant, and
  2. Pareto Law

In order to leverage Time Management Quadrant, you need to assign each of your tasks to one of the following categories (based on their contribution to your leadership goals and mission):

Example of Time Management Quadrant

  • High importance/high urgency
  • High importance/low urgency
  • Low importance/high urgency
  • Low importance/low urgency

    Example of Pareto Law

According to Pareto Law, 20 percent of your tasks always responsible for 80 percent of your results, 80 percent of your tasks are responsible for 20 percent of your results.

You really want to identify 20% of your task that are responsible for 80% of your results and FOCUS on them. 

Time Management Quadrant and Pareto Law sound simple. However, just a few people really have a habit of using them.

The next step is identifying if there are any tasks that needs to be alleviated in terms of time constraint. When you determine which task needs to be alleviated, think how you can alleviate the task.

Delegation is one of the best techniques to alleviate a critical task. However, to use this technique, you need to master delegation skills first. 

Another technique you can use to alleviate a critical task is renegotiation time of delivery (if possible). This technique requires good negotiation skills and cannot be applied to all situations.

Finally, I would like to mention that good planning of your (and your team’s) tasks will make your time management process less stressful.


 Photo appears under license agreement with istockphoto.


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