Time Management and Leadership Development


A much overlooked element in leadership training is time management.  Sure, most leadership development programs touch on it, but the facts are that most managers are not good at it.  I can only surmise that time management training is not working.

I want to make time management simple for you.  Don’t concern yourself right now with complex programs that teach you how to juggle A priorities, B priorities, urgent vs. non-urgent, strategic vs. non-strategic, etc.  We can talk about those things later. 

The single most important thing you must do to better manage your time is to really KNOW HOW YOU SPEND IT!

Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?  It is, except so few managers understand it.  Recently I was working with a management team helping them find the time needed to do the most important things.  I asked each of them to tell me how they currently spend their time.  This was a very difficult question to answer for every one of them.

It is not because they were not smart.  All of them were very bright accomplished leaders.  But, we all get going so fast that we lose any sense of what we are actually doing.  You end your day and have no clear sense of what you actually did. 

Until you get a full understanding of how you spend your time you will never manage it well.  Slow down.  For the next week write down everything you do and how much time it takes.  Review what you have done with your time.  Are you doing the things you want to do?  I'll bet not. 

Armed with this new knowledge of how you actually spend your time start making the necessary changes that will allow you to spend more time on the most important things. 

This is hard to do at first, but keep at it.  It gets easier the more you do it.  

Real time management is about taking control of your time.  You cannot control it if you do not understand it. 

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