Time Management Tips for Senior Leaders

Dec 4, 2023 | Sample Content

Time is a finite resource, and for senior leaders, it is one of their most valuable assets. It’s all very well seeing motivational quotes about us having “…the same 24 hours in our day as Steve Jobs and Rhianna”, but as the pillars of organisations, senior leaders face unique challenges that demand their utmost attention, often leaving them with limited time for their own strategic goals and personal well-being. Here are our pointers to help you on your way.
Prioritise Strategic Goals

The Problem: As a senior leader you must align your time and efforts with your organisation’s strategic goals. But how often do you set out with the best of intentions, only to find your day consumed with operational tasks and firefighting?

How to fix this:

  • Clearly define strategic objectives and break them down into manageable milestones.
  • Delegate routine tasks to capable team members, empowering them to take ownership.
  • Carve out dedicated time for strategic thinking and decision-making, protecting it as sacred.
Manage Meetings Effectively

The Problem: As a senior leader there’s a good chance that, most days, you find yourself trapped in a web of back-to-back meetings, leaving little time to actually get your job done.

How to fix this:

  • Prioritise meetings based on their significance and impact – you don’t have to be in every meeting and, for those meetings you do have to attend, you don’t necessarily need to be in there for the entire duration. Ask yourself where you will add the most value – work out your ROI for each meeting and prioritise those with the highest ROI for your time.
  • Set clear agendas and objectives for each meeting, ensuring they stay focused and efficient (see our further guidance here).
  • Consider alternative formats, such as shorter stand-up meetings or virtual collaborations, to streamline communication and save time.
Balance Multiple Priorities

The Problem: You are responsible for overseeing multiple projects, departments, and teams simultaneously, and this complexity can lead to conflicting priorities and time constraints.

How to fix this:

  • Adopt a disciplined approach by utilising project management techniques, such as prioritisation matrices and critical path analysis.
  • Regularly reassess priorities and reallocate resources as needed, focusing on high-impact areas.
  • Foster open communication channels to ensure alignment and enable effective delegation (you may find this feature useful).
Delegate to Your Team

The Problem: You have a team around you to help, so use them. If you struggle to delegate tasks and responsibilities due to a fear of losing control, take a look at our guide here. Effective delegation is crucial for time management, especially for senior leaders.

How to fix this:

  • Identify capable individuals within your team and empower them with the necessary authority and resources.
  • Clearly communicate expectations and goals, ensuring a shared understanding of desired outcomes (more here).
  • Provide feedback and support to facilitate the growth and development of your team members, enhancing their capabilities and confidence (more here).
Self-Care and Work-Life Integration

The Problem: Your work will often mean that the boundaries between work and home get blurred – this can easily lead to burnout and reduced productivity.

How to fix this:

  • Establish clear boundaries by setting aside dedicated time for personal activities and self-care (more here).
  • Encourage a culture of work-life balance within your organisation; lead by example – if you’re working late and sending emails at 11pm, then your team may think they need to do the same. This can lead to burnout right across the firm.
  • Use technology to optimise work efficiency, automate routine tasks, and create more space for personal time – even something as simple as setting up email rules can save significant amounts of time. If you’re not sure how, then check in with your IT team, or we have lots of tips in our Tech Tips for Tech Users programme, here.

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