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Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, they are not adequate in helping achieve high levels of sustainable, long-term performance.
The challenge is to have a fast-paced occupation while avoiding burnout, slippage, and sub-optimal performance.
Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.
Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.
Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.
Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.
The mental domain consists of being able to think strategically, prioritizing between short-term and long-term goals, urgent and important activity, easy or difficult work, and the level of comfort in the tasks.
Our focus has to be on the long-term important tasks that seem difficult and are hence avoided.
We usually overlook the emotional aspect of working with people while handling tight deadlines.
Leaders have to take simple actions like trusting and respecting their colleagues and team members, being true to themselves and have a clear understanding of the value of any work assignment, meeting or request. Making reliable commitments ensures that others keep their agreements as well.
Time management practices require a change in behavior:
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Give them a seemingly impossible list of tasks and they will have them done and dusted faster than a speeding bullet. But in their haste, they can miss things and prioritize...
Very sociable and upbeat but with a tendency to procrastinate, they often boast about their nonexistent achievements giving the impression they are more productive than they really are.
Strategy: breaking tasks into tiny steps, scheduling their resolution and setting reminders works well. Email management according to urgency is also crucial considering how much time it usually consumes.
Thoughtful, cautious, methodical and quite independent in terms in carrying out tasks. They plan and prioritize well, but may be seen as overcautious, while others can be frustrated by their inertia. Their dedication to the job can also lead to an unwillingness to share the burden of work.
Strategy: Choose the most important things you need to focus on and those that only you can do, while delegating the rest according to staff skills.
Managing time gets challenging as our career progresses and we take up more responsibilities. Five ways we can manage our time like a successful leader:
About 40% to 60% of our day is taken up by important stuff that needs our attention but is not on our daily calendar.
Planning our day accordingly, keeping about half of it free for these 'out-of-calendar' activities, is realistic and sustainable.
Instead of committing to getting the requested assignment done as soon as possible, factor in some buffer time and ask for a couple of days or a week.
This will help you get the work done along with any 'reactive realities' that come up, and it's a win-win if you get it done before the deadline.
Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you.
For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool to help tame your inbox.
Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don't let the system dictate your entire life.
In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.