As a CEO – or really, any member of upper management – time management is of supreme importance. There are only 168 hours in a week, and time is the one commodity of which you can’t buy more. If you want to maximize those 168 hours (and spend a few of them away from the office), you need to understand how to better manage your hectic schedule and long list of responsibilities.
Four Time Management Tips
If you look at the 15 highest paid CEOs, you’ll see a common trend. They all know how to manage their time well. Do you? Everyone has their own style and preference, but you may find a few of the following tips helpful in your quest for better time management:
· Schedule shorter meetings. If you’re like most CEO’s, your day is filled with meetings, meetings, and more meetings. While you may not be able to eliminate these meetings, you can shorten them. By reducing meetings from 60 or 30 minute blocks to 15 minute segments, you can free up a lot of time. And, if you think about it, this not only makes sense, but it’s also practical. When everyone knows a meeting is only 15 minutes, the focus is drawn in, and people are committed to making valuable use of the limited time.
· Establish ‘thinking’ time. According to Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, “Part of the key to time management is carving out time to think, as opposed to constantly reacting.” Do you have time for peace and quiet? If all you’re doing is reacting, you’re not really leading. Make time each morning and afternoon for brainstorming and innovating. This quiet time can do wonders for the organization.
· Learn to love delegating. By now you understand that you can’t do everything yourself; however, you may still find that truth difficult to confront. The answer is simple, though. If you want to free up time, learn to love delegating tasks to others. The best way to do this is by creating a list in your office that outlines tasks that only you can handle. Then, whenever a new task comes through that you don’t have time for, you can cross-reference it against the list, and put it on someone else’s plate if it doesn’t match up.
· Stop checking your inbox. If you still check your email on a daily basis, you’re likely wasting hours of time every day.Delegating your email inbox to an assistant is an ideal solution. It works like this: you have your assistant manage your email, and delete, save, or forward every message. If it’s spam or irrelevant, it gets deleted. If it’s important but not timely, it gets saved in a special folder. If it’s pertinent, your assistant forwards the email to a personal work account that no one else has access to but you.
Which of these tips seems most practical to you? Even implementing just one or two may help you to increase throughput and make better use of your time on the job. Whatever you do, find a way to maximize your time, and spend more time relaxing and recharging away from the office. Your career longevity – not to mention short-term productivity – depends on it.