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Executive Time Management Training
Executive Time Management Training: 9 Ways to Make Productivity Skyrocket
For executives to be effective, time management has to become second nature. They have to do it actively, yet seamlessly, without allowing things like scheduling and prioritizing to consume their time. With practice, time management will come naturally. A time management training for executives should teach strategies like these 9 tips to help leaders get there.
- List your priorities each day.
Make a list of tasks that need to be completed each day, and then rank them by their priority. Then you can make sure to handle the most important tasks, or those that require the most focus, at your peak times. Working on the most important task first is a good strategy, ensuring that whatever may happen that day, you’ll have completed your first priority.
- Keep a flexible schedule.
Schedule out time blocks in each day, each with a specific focus, like a particular project you’re working on. Don’t schedule everything so tightly that the schedule is bound to fall apart, though. At the end of each day, prepare your schedule for the next day after defining your priorities for that day. That way, you’ll come in to work with a clear focus.
- Stop multi-tasking; start single-tasking.
Multi-tasking doesn’t actually pay off; it just creates a constant lack of focus. When people multi-task, they have to continually figure out where they left off in each task. This wastes valuable time and creates a pervasive sense of distraction, which leads to stress. Complete one task at a time, handling them more quickly by devoting your full attention to each one.
- Get organized.
Spend a few minutes organizing your desk and the things you need each day. This will give you a greater sense of clarity throughout the day, and will keep you from getting sidetracked by searching for the things you need. An organized executive is an inspiration to all those around him, modeling how to stay focused and productive. (A good time management training will remind executives that they’re setting an example for the whole workplace.)
- Tune out distractions.
Set ground rules for yourself, and follow them. Set time limits for catching up on email and making phone calls, and for lunches. Resist the urge to check email throughout the day—have a specific time in your schedule for that, and then set it aside. Have clear times when employees can check in with you, and times when your door is firmly shut.
- Focus on the big picture.
Learn to say no to requests that don’t fit into the big picture of what you want to accomplish. Have measurable goals, and assess whether tasks fit into them before saying yes. This, by the way, means periodically scheduling time to think about the big picture—your goals and vision, and the stepping stones to getting there.
- Implement clear processes.
Have clear processes for how your team gets things done. Then you’ll spend less time “cleaning up” bad communication and mismanaged tasks, and work will flow in a more streamlined manner, leaving the whole team with more time.
- Empower your people.
When you trust your star employees to excel at their jobs, they’ll prove you right. Ask yourself how much time you spend micromanaging or missing opportunities to delegate. Then work to make your people feel empowered to take charge of their own success. You’ll find yourself with much less to juggle, and a much more productive workplace.
- Leave work at work.
You’ll be more focused at work if you actually take time to recharge when you leave the office. Leaving work at work is part of maintaining the discipline of strong time management. Achieving work/life balance will leave you with more clarity in everything you do.
After a good time management training, all executives will experience increased effectiveness. The training will feel liberating, like a breath of fresh air, helping frazzled executives release stress and discover ways of accomplishing more each day. Consider providing reminders of time management tips, giving a different one each week or each day, to help them keep strengthening the skills they learned in the training.
Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"
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