Do you have time to lead?

Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 16:14

By Alison Vidotto

Leadership is a large responsibility; it comes with many aspects, including strategic planning, strong communication, sharing of the vision and purpose, to name just a few. For many small business owners, it also includes a hands on management role. We juggle both positions and the tasks involved are often numerous.

Our to-do list can be ever increasing with so many tasks and distractions demanding our attention. How do we keep on top of it all? 

The key is our time management capabilities.

As both a leader and a manager you need to be able to manage your time efficiently. It will make a huge difference to how smoothly your business is run and how effectively you can lead. 

When your time is managed well, you will be free to wear your leadership hat and keep focused on your vision and purpose. You will also have the ability to be well prepared and organised in your role as manager. 

Most leaders and managers face a mounting pile of tasks and distractions, whether they are in a small business or a large organisation. The lists grow! How they prioritise their time is what will make the difference to effectively dealing with those lists. It comes down to time management. 

As managers, we are often expected to manage the time of our team members too. How well this is done will have a significant impact on the running of the business and ultimately, productivity and profits. With everyone working productively you will also have more time to take a step back and lead.  

Do you need help with time management? Try the following tips:

1.    Make a to-do list
One of the most important tools in managing your time is making a list. Usually at the beginning of each day.  Don’t get too caught up in small details, list each major item on your list and the bigger tasks associated in achieving your objective.

2.    Break the to-do list down into manageable portions
Long lists of tasks can often seem insurmountable or overwhelming. Chunk the list down to manageable portions. Categorise items into time chunks, project types or any other similarities that will help you to group them. Tackle one chunk at a time.   

3.    Plan and prioritise
One of the most beneficial aspects of a to-do list is the help they give you to prioritise. You can see the overall task list in front of you, which makes it easier to identify more important items and plan your time accordingly. 

4.    Deal with emails and social media at set times
The constant interruption and distraction of emails and social media can take up sizeable chunks of time throughout the day. It is much more time efficient to set allocated times you will spend reading and responding to emails and social media posts. It is worth observing just how much time you spend throughout the day; it can be surprising!  

5.    Delegate!

If someone can do a task 80% as well as you can then you need to pass it on to them. Set a goal to delegate day to day tasks to your team members. 

Two years ago I found that I was swamped with many admin tasks that were taking time away from my ability to work on my writing and the strategic leadership of our company. I set a goal to delegate much of my work until I was leading 80% of the time and managing only 20% of the time. This has worked very well as it has also developed the skill sets of my team. 

Leaders grow other leaders, that’s an important part of what we do. Effective time management can help us to achieve that and many other goals associated with running a business or leading a team.

Equip yourself with essential time management skills, click here to make a booking today!  

Alison Vidotto is an accomplished speaker, author and leadership coach as well as the founder of ACCV.