Business & Finance Careers & Employment

Time Management Skills for Busy Team Leaders and Managers

For leaders and managers, good time management skills are not just helpful, but essential. Good time management helps an organization or business run smoothly and efficiently, showing that its leader is a truly competent professional. If you're having issues with time management or just need a refresher, follow these tips:

1. Prioritize
Time management is all about priorities. What's most important needs to get done first, in a timely manner. If you're a business leader or manager, remember this when making to-do lists or delegating tasks. Even if some mundane task is simpler and can be done quickly, leave it until more important things are taken care of.

2. Get organized
Disorganization can suck a lot of productivity out of anyone's day, so make it a point to get organized. Time management will be ten times more effective when you can get a task finished without hunting for the right report, sifting through piles of mail, or looking for a lost contact number. Keep your workstation neat and clean. Organize into whatever system works for you; just make sure you can find what you need when you need it and get to work quickly.

3. Be flexible
Rigidity can be just as unproductive as disorganization. Things happen, so make room for them in your schedule when you can. If something comes up, deal with it and adjust your workload as necessary. Fighting changes does more harm than good.

4. Avoid perfectionism
Always do your best work, of course, but know human limits and when to let it go. Perfectionism takes time and drains your confidence and your energy, often resulting in lower quality work, anyway. No one is perfect, so don't attempt to be so or you'll just waste your creative energy.

5. Don't develop bad habits
Bad habits that sabotage effective time management include procrastination, giving in to distractions, ignoring difficult or boring tasks and overworking yourself. All of us have given in to these bad habits at some point in our working lives, but do your absolute best to avoid making a ritual of it. Work in a distraction-free area as often as possible, and don't avoid work just because it's hard or boring. It's all part of the game. Most of all, don't overwork yourself. Like perfectionism, this will overload your brain and your body, leading to less productivity and even burn-out. If you're tired, take a break. Avoid excess caffeine and give your mind and body time to rest and recharge.

These time management skills can help any leader manage his/her projects more effectively. It takes trial and error, even for seasoned pros, but sticking to the basics will keep your on the right track.

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