Time Management in Leadership
By Olukunle David, Director of Editorial Directorate,
Kingdom Leads Africa.
What is Time?
Time is simply a measured or measurable period during which an action , process or condition exists or continues.
Time has duration , a quantifiable period between events.
Time management is a skill that ought to be acquired by every individual who seeks to excel brilliantly in whatever field or discipline he /she is.
Most people complain about the shortage and the limited time they have at their disposal. While this might be true, it is only people who have learnt to manage their time well who would stand strong at the end of time.
A leader is most time faced with numerous demands on their limited time. No matter the position of a leader, time can not be stopped , slowed or sped up. Therefore there is a need to effectively manage time.
Tips to manage your time effectively as a leader
✓ Organization: As a leader, starting a new task can be overwhelming. If you want to effectively manage your time and get things done within the assigned period, you will need to put everything under your control and not the other way round. For example , if there is a planned outreach by an organization, structures should be put in place to ensure smooth running of the outreach. Organizing team members to their specific roles and duties will be of great help
✓ Delegation of tasks: No man thrives in isolation. A leader should be able to identify the strength and weakness of everyone working with him/her. Ability to do these helps tremendously in been able to delegate tasks to individuals who are capable of carrying out the roles without much stress . A leader who does all things alone without giving out duties would end up crashing and waste a lot of time doing something that could have been well handled by someone else even much better than he would do.
✓ Prioritize: Whatever you are doing with your time as a leader or even as an individual should be of great priority . One way to validate a task is to ask your self questions such as:
❖ Would this task matter to me or the organization in the coming years?
❖ What are the effects this assignment would have on individual and the organization at large?
❖ Is it going to add up to me or going to take away from me.
❖ Set clear goals: Most times the reason why we often waste time as leaders is because there are no templates and goals as regards to a particular task. Setting clear goal is critical to motivating your employees. Also while setting goals, some make mistakes of setting unrealistic goals for themselves , which at the end of the day, they end up frustrated and realize they wasted so much time beating the air. We have to ensure that our goals are time-bound to achieve and provide room for planning and execution
❖ Taking break: While it is important to work very hard, it is more important to work with direction. Just as we need to learn to use our time effectively, we must also ensure to take strategic breaks. When taking breaks, it is the best time to review your progress, understand your setbacks and create a new template if the previous one does not follow up. This significantly help in making smart decisions ,energizes you for the next phase of work and bring out the best result.
❖ Planning ahead: Failing to plan ahead of a major task ahead produces time-poor leadership who loose bulk of their time to not being productive. We are all familiar with this popular saying –”failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. As a matter of fact, every leader has a busy schedule on a daily basis. But what differentiates a successful leader from the others is how well they have planned their daily activities , what structures they have put in place to checkmate their goals on a daily basis. A leader who has plan will eradicate time wastage, confusion and distractions.
Quotes about time
“Work is hard. Distractions are plentiful . And time is short.”
“Time is the wisest counselor of all”
“Time is the coin of life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest other people spend it for you.”