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Time Management … Balancing all the plates

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Being a leader encompasses many responsibilities.  You are attending to the daily needs of your associates, putting out fires, running from meeting to meeting, trying to develop and performance manage (as appropriate), and ensure you and your team are meeting the organization goals.  And don’t forget, answering / sending lots of emails.  

It’s not uncommon to struggle to get all the things done.

Below are some proven tips to help you get your time back and focus on what matters most.

  1. Know your priorities & expectations
  • In all roles, there are certain tasks you have to complete, and typically within a set timeframe.  There are also those non-negotiables that you can’t afford to not do.
  • As a leader, you need to know what your manager expects of you (what is needed and by when, organizational goals, retaining staff and clients), as well as what your team expects.

     2. Structure when you do the work

  • Bucket out your expectations by the time of the month (i.e. Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, and Annually).  And then, block time on your calendar to get it done, plus time for just open space, so when those interruptions come, and they always do, you have space in your day to catch-up.
  • Note:  Creating a standard structure for your team can also help them be more efficient with their time.

      3.  Stay on top of emails

  • If there is one activity that can bury you fast, create stress, and impact your performance is not answering emails timely.  
  • Keep an eye out for emails from your leader, associates, and clients.  These are the emails I do my best to answer and action the same day.  And if I can’t get to them that day, I flag them, or set a reminder on my calendar, so they are the first thing I look at the next morning.   

    4.  Delegate

  • As leaders, we feel like we have to be the one to do all the things, but we don’t.  You have capable people on your team who can look into that escalation for you, call a client, or partner with an internal team to complete a task.  Associates want to contribute!
  • As you’re looking at your to do’s, think of who on your team could help you. You’re not alone.  Think about how often you tell your team it’s ok to ask for help.  Model the way for them.

Everyone feels the stress from having lots of work and not enough hours to get it all done, but with the above 4 approaches, you can feel in control of the work, not the work controlling you!