Business Coach and developer of Chironomics, a coaching program that provides business support, strategies, and systems for Chiropractors.
“I don’t have enough time in the day,” is something that everyone has likely said throughout their career a time a two. As a business leader, it’s important to be able to manage your time wisely to ensure you are able to complete tasks not only efficiently, but also effectively.
In order to manage your time, you must first be honest with yourself and know that time management, like any other skill, must be developed. That’s why I have three strategies that have helped me stay in control of my time that I believe could help other leaders, too. They are:
1. Rank your to-do list.
This isn’t a new concept, but it can definitely put some more minutes on the clock for you. Ranking your to-do list in the order of importance will ensure that you complete the tasks that have the greatest impact on your bottom line, as you always should do those high-priority tasks first.
To get started, look at your to-do list and rank each item from highest importance to lowest. I recommend categorizing your list into what’s important, what’s urgent and what can wait because these categories can help further inform your rankings.
Also, consider keeping the list limited to three to five of the most important things that you have to get done each day. In my experience, this makes your list manageable and can enable a sense of satisfaction. If you don’t complete all your tasks, simply move them to the next day.
2. Schedule your day.
You’ve likely heard that planning out your week can set you up for success (and I believe you should), but I’ve found scheduling my individual days to also be an effective strategy. This helps you really narrow down exactly what you’re doing that day and when.
As you’re doing this, consider the times of day you’re most productive. Reserve your most challenging tasks for when you’re at your best. For example, I happen to be a night owl. Personally, I am at my best from 7 p.m. until midnight, so I save the tasks that require most of my intellectual property for the end of the day. If you’re an early bird, you could do the exact opposite and complete difficult tasks first thing in the morning. Neither approach is better than the other if you are still getting everything done.
In addition to this, I always allow extra time in my schedule just in case I go a few minutes over when completing a task. This time is “cushioned” into my day. It’s planned.
To keep track of your schedule, there’s nothing wrong with using good, old-fashioned pen and paper; however, I use project management tools. There are many project management tools out there to try. Many companies give you a free trial to “test drive” their product. Just make sure that the tool works for you. You might want to consider a tool that has a calendar feature as well as the ability to share your schedule with others.
3. Execute and follow through.
You must execute and take action. Once you have your prioritized to-do list and a schedule to ensure you’re able to complete it, you have to make sure you’re tackling those tasks in their entirety. In order to do this, you might have to remove distractions and interruptions from your life. That’s easier said than done, of course. As busy entrepreneurs, we always have something that comes up.
Nevertheless, set yourself up for success by eliminating as many distractions as possible. For me, this means I can’t check social media or emails or take phone calls if I have tasks that must be completed. I also use a virtual assistant. I certainly recommend the use of an assistant (whether personal or virtual) because you can delegate a few of your tasks to them.
In conclusion, developing your time-management skills is crucial as a leader. By implementing these three steps — ranking, scheduling and following through — you can ensure everything on your to-do list is completed and ultimately create more winning moments throughout your career.