5 Highly Practical Strategies for Leaders to Manage Time and Achieve Better Work-Life Balance

Are you a leader struggling to balance your work and personal life? Do you often feel overwhelmed by your workload and find it challenging to prioritize tasks? As I stated in my best-selling book The Leader Launchpad, “Your calendar reflects your priorities, and your priorities reflect your values.” Therefore, managing your time effectively is crucial for achieving a healthy work-life balance. This article will discuss five highly practical strategies for leaders to manage their time effectively and prioritize tasks to achieve a better work-life balance.

(1) Learn to Say “No” – It’s okay to decline requests that do not align with your priorities. Saying “no” is not a sign of weakness. It is a demonstration of your ability to prioritize your time effectively. Real-life example: Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, turned down a board seat at Disney, stating that it was not aligned with her priorities.

(2) Use Time-Blocking – Block out specific times on your calendar for tasks that require your undivided attention. This strategy helps you to avoid distractions and stay focused on the task at hand. Real-life example: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, blocks out five-minute intervals on his calendar to manage his time more efficiently.

(3) Delegate Tasks – As a leader, delegating tasks to team members is essential to ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal. Delegating tasks also frees up time for you to focus on higher-priority tasks. Real-life example: Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, delegates tasks to his executive team to focus on strategic initiatives.

(4) Use the Two-Minute Rule – Do it immediately if a task can be completed in two minutes or less. This rule helps you to avoid procrastination and ensures that small tasks don’t pile up, leading to more significant problems. Real-life example: Barack Obama, former President of the United States, used the two-minute rule to manage his time effectively.

(5) Take Time for Yourself – It’s crucial to take breaks and spend time on activities that rejuvenate you. Taking time for yourself helps you to avoid burnout and enhances your productivity. Real-life example: Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, takes regular “Think Weeks,” where he disconnects from technology and spends time reading and reflecting.

In conclusion, effective time management is essential for leaders to achieve a better work-life balance. By learning to say “no,” using time-blocking, delegating tasks, using the two-minute rule, and taking time for yourself, leaders can prioritize their time and achieve their goals while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Call to Action: As a leader, it’s important to prioritize your time to achieve a better work-life balance. Which of these five strategies will you implement first? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

About the author: Howard M. Shore is the founder and CEO of Activate Group, Inc. Howard has over 30 years of experience in the business world and has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies, helping them to achieve their goals through effective leadership and strategic planning. He is the author of “The Leader Launchpad” and “Your Business is a Leaky Bucket.”

Meeting Length vs Effectiveness: Effective Meetings Require Time

Meeting Length vs Effectiveness

Meeting length vs Effectiveness has a huge impact on how you should engage within your organization. Do you find that your organization faces the same problems and challenges year after year, with no resolution? Do you discuss the same issues concerns, people, and customers month after month? Do you find that right when you are getting to the heart of the matter in the middle of an important debate or topic, your meeting is over and you have to postpone for a later date? Do you create goals and plans that do not come to fruition?

These are typical results when you do not spend enough time meeting with your leadership team.

Cons of Not Setting Aside Time for Effective Meetings

Have you considered the amount of time, productivity, and growth you have lost by not setting aside enough time to properly make decisions, to debate and resolve issues, to align priorities and to hold leaders accountable? By avoiding meetings, critical decisions do not get made or are made poorly.

Failure to debate priorities and work through issues can bring organizations to a standstill while leaders wait until the next meeting or for a final decision, allowing your competition the opportunity to thrust forward. While it is counterintuitive to most leaders, spending more time in meetings could actually double or triple company productivity.

Optimal Meeting Lengths

The key to an effective meeting is a commitment to setting aside enough time. Assuming you know how to run an effective meeting (and experience says you probably need help), the executive team should be allocating the following time blocks to work on the business, to debate issues focused on strategy, accountability, setting priorities, new opportunities, evaluating your people, challenging the business model, etc.:

Daily Meeting Length:

10-Minutes a Day for a Huddle with Your Direct Team

Weekly Meeting Length 

1 Hour per Week

Monthly Meeting Length 

1 Full Day

Quarterly Meeting Length 

2 Full Days (1 Day is Strategic)

Failure to have these meetings and to focus on the right topics robs you of significant growth and profits. Contact Activate Group Inc. for a FREE consultation or give us a call at 305-722-7213 to see how a business coach can help you run a more effective organization.

Learn more about effective meetings:

  • Effective Meetings Start On-Time
  • Effective Meetings Focus on Decisions
  • Effective Meetings Require a Purpose
  • Effective Meetings Have Conflict

Time is More Valuable than Money

Time is the great equalizer. Everyone gets the same amount of time: 24 hours in each day. No matter how rich you are, you cannot buy more time. No matter how many people you know, they cannot give you more time.  So the most important question you can ask daily is, “How can I and everyone on the team use time more wisely?”

One of the essential keys to maximizing success as an individual or an organization is to effectively determine where your time should go now and into the future. Where you used time in the past only serves as a guide and learning mechanism for your decisions as to where time should go.  If one person in your group does not focus on congruent goals it can cause everyone’s time to be misused.  If many people are not using their time wisely it can be a huge barrier to your potential.

I find the most effective executives are very intentional and disciplined about the use of time and have a well-structured set of policies, systems and procedures for keeping their teams aligned and focused on the right sets of activities. You have most likely found that people can spend a whole  day’s worth of time trying to figure out why someone assigned a task that could be completed by the right person in 20 minutes has spent 3 weeks on it and is not yet finished.

The following are some opportunities so achieve better use of time:

  • Clarifying the specific expectations from each person’s role in terms of project, position, department, process, and organization
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of everyone in the organization and directing efforts toward utilizing each person’s strength
  • Identifying and narrowing focus around the fewest goals and priorities possible
  • Planning and preparing for obstacles
  • Understanding who is going to do what and when
  • Identifying, measuring and managing around the proper leading key performance indicators toward achieving short and longer goals
  • Knowing and making sure that progress is made on the most important priority daily
  • Developing and implementing an effective meeting and communication regimen throughout the organization.

We have found that the concepts from Mastering the Rockefeller Habits 2.0 – Scaling Up, by Verne Harnish, can provide a simple and effective means for capitalizing on the above opportunities.  The tools and process identified in this book along with the assistance of a certified Gazelles coach in helping you make the right decisions around strategy, people, process and cash can help you better execute your decisions through the disciplines of priorities, data/metrics, and meeting rhythms.

As a Certified Gazelles and executive leadership coach and founder of Activate Group Inc., based in Miami, Florida, Howard Shore can help you and your leadership team to become more effective. To learn more about the Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, please visit contact Howard at 305.722.7213 or email him at shoreh@activategroupinc.com.