The term “leader” has become very popular these days, but what does it mean to be a leader? What are some key traits of a great leader? More than ever before, people look up to those that call themselves leaders and learn from their behaviors.
There is no one definition of what it means to be a leader, but there are several characteristics most experts agree upon. Here are some things you should consider if you want to improve your leadership skills- or even if you already do!
Effective time management is an important part of being a leader. People who lead are good at organizing and prioritizing tasks, as well as managing their time.
They know how to manage their own time efficiently so they have enough time for other activities. At the same time, they keep track of all the responsibilities that come with their jobs so nothing gets overlooked.
This article will talk about some ways you can develop your leadership skills by practicing effective time management.
Make plans and keep them
As mentioned before, you will not be successful with time management if you do not make planned times for yourself. It is very important to know what your priorities are and how much energy you have left after that.
It is also important to recognize when you need a break or some extra rest. You can use systems to help you achieve this. For example, you could put in an hour of work every morning and afternoon of each day to stay consistently productive throughout the day.
You can also start having shorter breaks during the workday. This way, you will still get needed relaxation at the end of the day.
There are several ways to organize your time so that it is most efficient.
Multitasking is the devil
We seem to have a perception that being a leader means we must be constantly doing many things at once. That’s just not true, nor effective leadership.
Effective leaders focus on one thing at a time and they stick with it until completed. They don’t sit and wait for the next project to come along before moving onto the next one – they make sure each task gets done properly and on schedule first.
This doesn’t mean they work only on tasks that can’t be interrupted, however. If something more important comes up, they put aside what you asked them to do and deal with it later.
When they get back to it, everything else has already been set aside and forgotten! As a leader, your job includes managing your own time so that you are able to give your full attention to the most important projects in your life.
Do not burn the candle at both ends
We have all heard these stories before, of leaders who spent every minute of their day working and managing their career and life. They are said to left no time for sleep, family, or other important things like taking vacations.
This is never a good idea unless you are already rich or have retired. If you want to be successful then you must put in some effort into developing yourself outside of work.
You will need to find time to do this but it can be done. You should not feel that you have to spend hours upon hours in front of your computer or phone checking email and surfing the net.
Take an hour off after work to do something you enjoy such as reading, going out with friends, or practicing yoga. These things will strengthen you as a person and help improve your quality of life.
If you want to lead, you must invest in yourself and in others. Don’t expect people to follow you if you don’t show them any signs of leadership qualities.
A few years ago, I read an interesting article about how most people are not effective time managers. The author discussed what he called “time wasters” including things like talking too much, keeping busy activities going even when you have nothing to do, and spending lots of time trying to achieve perfection.
He also mentioned something that many people (including me at times) tend to fall into – avoiding break periods because we feel we don’t deserve them.
We believe that we should be able to pull an all-nighter every now and then, but we don’t think we can take a well-deserved rest day.
A good way to start establishing effective time management is by defining your daily priorities. What tasks are you going to spend your time on each day?
Your first task should be to identify what matters most to you, personally and professionally. Then, organize these things into major categories or projects that require more of your time.
Projects can include work on your career, family, hobbies, etc. Major category examples could be “work”, “personal life”, or “family”.
You will have to make judgments as to which project is the most important to you at any given moment. This will change from person to person, so don’t worry about having the same priority for everyone else.
What matters most to you today may not matter much tomorrow, so use your judgement to determine which ones remain the top priorities. Keep an eye on both short-term and long-term goals – we all have limited amounts of time, so it makes sense to focus our efforts where we know we can get the best return.
A few simple changes you can make to improve your time management skills are dictating what tasks must get done and when, creating real-time tracking tools or apps that help you monitor and keep up with all of your activities, and using timers to motivate yourself into action.
By setting deadlines for each task, you create internal pressures to complete them and move onto the next one. In addition, you’ll be more aware of how much time is left on a task because it will take longer to reach its deadline. This gives you more time to prepare for next steps, which helps you stay focused on important projects.
Trackers such as Google Calendar, Microsoft OneNote and Simple Bookmark are great resources for establishing effective time frames. You can use these applications to identify and track your daily, weekly and monthly goals and organize them by project area or department.
Make it clear what is expected
As a leader, your time will be consumed by many different things. You will have meetings to attend, assignments to process, reports to review and send, events you need to prepare for, and more.
It can feel like there’s never enough time to do everything, but that doesn’t make anything else any easier. By having proper management of your time, you’ll find yourself spending less time chasing after everything and more time investing in the tasks that really matter.
Here are some tips to help you manage your time as a leader effectively.
Hold people accountable
As a leader, your time is valuable. People depend on you for guidance and help with their career and personal lives. If they do not feel that you are looking out for them, then they will not trust you when you ask them to be responsible or take action on something.
Holding someone else accountable is one of the hardest things you can do as a leader. You have to develop strong leadership skills that motivate others to follow through on what needs to get done.
You need to make sure that those under you know that you are there to back them up and that you expect them to work smartly without depending on you for help.
When someone does not live up to their responsibilities, it can hurt their reputation and confidence in themselves and the organization. This can affect how well they perform their job down the line. It also puts additional pressure on them to keep proving themselves while receiving little encouragement from those around them.
There is an easy way to avoid this, though. By creating clear expectations and supporting individuals consistently, they will learn how to manage their own time effectively and stay motivated.