26 April 2017

Top 10 Time Management Tips for Executives

We all know it’s busy at the top of the business. It kind of goes without saying. But we all have the same hours in the day whether you’re a policeman, administrator, CEO or Indian Chief. There’s still the same 24 hours in the day.

Our working hours may be slightly different, and the pressures on different scales but we all need to manage our time to get the job done.

And this is even more important to those at the helm of a business. It’s not uncommon to feel like you’re being pulled left, right and centre, and are either spending half your life stuck behind your desk answering emails, or you’re in never-ending meetings.

So it’s more important than ever to ensure you are managing your time effectively so you can complete all the tasks that you need to, without spending every waking hour in the office.

Here’s out top 10 tips for time management for executives:

1. Use the first 30 minutes of your day to plan what you will be doing. Schedule your time with clear objectives.

2. Set aside ‘office hours’. This is time you allow for interruptions. Use this time for admin tasks, sorting and responding to emails, and picking up voicemails – tasks you don’t mind stopping and starting if someone pops by your office for a chat.

3. Turn off the emails. If you have a deadline or need to be 100% focused on that report, turn off your email notifications and instant messaging. The urge to respond to them if you see them will interrupt your flow and cause you to lose productive time. Allocate yourself a time to complete the task whilst ‘off-grid’, then perhaps follow up with the aforementioned ‘office hour’ so anyone who needs to can reach you.

4. Block distractions such as social media if you don’t use it for business. If you do use social media as part of your business; schedule your updates in advance to free up your time.

5. Prioritise your to-do list. Not everything is super urgent so make your to-do list more manageable by putting it in order of urgency.

6. Learn to delegate more. YOU don’t have to do it all. And you should be passing tasks to your team, not only to alleviate your workload, but also to give them insight into the business and an element of training.

7. Track your time. Allot time to a certain task and ensure you stick to it, but be realistic with it. Time yourself with an egg-timer, or block out space in your calendar including reminders of next tasks to act as a countdown.

8. Take a break. It might sound counter-productive, but a short 15-30-minute break between tasks will reset and refresh your brain and make you more focused on your next task.

9. Audit your time. Work out where you are losing the most time without an equal return. Work out how to reduce the time spent, or increase the return. Remove unnecessary time wasting activities.

10. If you’re a high call-take, set aside five minutes before a scheduled call to work out the objectives of the call and what you want to achieve. This will help focus the call and save you time and keep the conversation of track. At the end of the call, check if you met the call objectives.

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