The 10 Principles Of Time Management For Strategic Leaders
1. Develop a Personal Sense of Time
You can not afford to waste your own time or allow others to waste it. Wittingly or unwittingly. That doesn’t mean, however, that you become a kind of time miser, grudging every minute. The object is to be able to spend time freely, generously and spontaneously. You have heard of “value for money” – get value for time.
2. Identify Long-Term Goals
Your work of identifying the ends of your strategic thinking and expressing them in simple terms of vision, four or five open-ended aims and a set of defining values all in a single unified concept of the kind of organization you are there to bring into being during your term of stewardship – is immensely important as a guiding principle for how you should be spending your own time.
3. Make Middle-Term Plans
Organizationally, this is the realm of strategic planning establishing the goals and objectives – specific, time-bounded, realistic, stretching and exciting – which are the concrete destinations, like towns and cities, the chief parts of the organization need to achieve on the road forwards that your long-term thinking has identified.
4. Plan the Day
Like any plan, flexibility is essential. If you have to make changes, remember that it is essential that you personally, or your PA, explain to those affected the reasons for doing so, and of course make the necessary arrangements.
5. Make the Best Use Of Your Best Time
Thinking time in strategic leadership involves others, either a small group or individuals. What matters, however, is that subjects which demand creativity, wisdom or imagination are not left as an after thought at the end of a gruelling ten-hour day, or just before you are leaving for an airport.
6. Organize Office Work
The skills of handling the inevitable paperwork and emails, filtered and placed in simple categories by your PA, are covered in effective time management. The key is to be able to spot the simple issues in the complexity of the written word. It is a matter of isolating the essentials.
7. Manage Meetings
Meetings should begin on time and end on time. Your skills as a leader of meetings need to be well honed, for you will find yourself chairing plenty of them. If you can be brisk and businesslike, yet gracious and courteous, the business gets done and people will look forward to your meetings. There is no rule that says meetings should be unenjoyable, but hilarious ones are usually unproductive.
8. Delegate Effectively
The golden rule of time management for strategic leaders! The main candidates for delegation are the managerial parts of the role. As there are plenty of people who both like doing this sort of work and are better at doing it then you are, why not let them do it? That frees you up for what you are being paid for – strategic leadership.
9. Make Use of Committed Time
Waiting time – for example, when someone is unavoidably late for a meeting in your room – gives you some minutes to check a letter or read a paper. During a busy day. Committed time does yield these pockets – five minutes here, tem minutes there – which can all be put to use. Look after the minutes and the hours will look after themselves.
10. Manage Your Health
Being a strategic leader in today’s changing world is a demanding role; you need to be mentally and physically fit.
Every strategic leader can apply my 10 principles of time management for strategic leadership.