Boss Time Management: How to Protect Your Time as a Leader

Every leader knows what it’s like — you finally sit down at your desk to tackle some paperwork or get organized for the coming week, and almost immediately you hear a knock on your door or see a head peep inside of your office. When serving as the team leader, office manager, or anyone who supervises others, it is common to feel starved for time to finish your own tasks. Having to constantly juggle many different projects and people at once, effective leaders must put their time management skills into play in order to accomplish their goals. Below, you’ll find four simple steps that can really help you in mastering your organization and save time in your overflowing schedule.  

Get Your Inbox Organized. 

It may seem like a low-level priority but organizing your email can save you time and energy. Gaining the ability to quickly send a message to multiple contacts, search for important emails or attachments, and file messages by sender or content will cut back a lot of time spent in your inbox. If you’re constantly checking your email to try to communicate with your team, you’re taking attention away from other necessary office tasks. Instead, organize your inbox, and reprioritize checking your email 2-3 times a day. You’ll thank yourself! 

Schedule Most Things…But Not Everything. 

It is often encouraged to plan each part of your day. This can be tempting, as it feels logical to know how and where to spend your time. Before doing this, think about how much of your day is reactive. More specifically, how much of your day is absorbed by issues and events that arise on the day and need immediate attention? Typically, it’s more than you may think. By engaging in the discipline of only planning highly prioritized parts of your day and leaving approximately 50% of it unplanned for necessary reaction, you are building a more sustainable schedule. 

Add More Time to Remain Realistic. 

Sometimes, when asked, “When can you have this to me by?” we respond habitually instead of realistically. It can be instinctive to give the soonest possible deadline for projects and reports, wanting to please clients and peers. However, days spent as a leader require a large chunk of time to be dedicated to unanticipated situations. Try to find extra space to build in reactive time by pushing deadlines out a day or two, or even a week depending on the size of the project. Doing this is often met with the response, “That’s fine, thanks.”  

Delegate, Delegate, Delegate. 

You can do anything, but you can’t do everything, and it is important to trust your team and their abilities. In other words, know when to be hands-off, and know when to delegate tasks. To save yourself time and empower your employees, it is crucial to know when to pass tasks to those who have the skills and knowledge necessary to complete projects that you may not need to be an integral part of. Focus on a few of the things that you do best, and delegate the rest. 

Ask For Help.

Even the best of leaders may feel overwhelmed and need to ask for assistance. When you can’t do it all by yourself, CSG is here to help. Reach out to our team to learn about how we can offer talented consultants and customized functional services for all of your biopharma needs, or download our Customized Functional Services Information Sheet.

For more tips on how to improve productivity and time management throughout the day, review our article Goal Setting: How to Have a More Productive Workday.

Goal Setting: How to Have a More Productive Workday

Whether you’re a corporate leader or a remote worker who makes their own schedule, it can be difficult to remain productive and finish a day’s work by a reasonable hour. No matter how much you enjoy your job, it is a common problem to feel burnt out or have moments of distraction during the workday. However, these problems could potentially be fixed with just a few adjustments to behaviors and habits: 

  1. Start Your Day with a Complex Task
    Although it has been said that the hardest part of any project is getting started, it is also known that your attention span and motivation levels are the highest at the beginning of a workday. With that in mind, block out some time at the start of the day to make progress on a difficult task while your mental energy is more powerful. 
  2. Take Several Short Breaks
    It is easy to get caught up in your work and forget to take a break, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed with projects and deadlines. However, working long hours without stopping can lead to poor performance. Instead, take a walk for a few minutes every hour or have a short conversation with a colleague to reset your attention span, sharpen your focus, and improve your mood. 
  3. Don’t Use the Internet Unless You Need It
    With the strong presence of social media in society, opening your browser or using your phone at work can become a huge distraction and slow down productivity. Rather than getting online, tuck your phone away and use the programs that are on your computer to avoid logging into social networks and becoming less productive. 
  4. Don’t Eat Lunch at Your Desk
    Eating lunch at your desk can seem like a good choice when trying to multitask and meet deadlines. Unfortunately, this is not the case and can be counterproductive. Eating lunch away from your desk will result in a better outlook on the rest of the day, and it gives you the opportunity to relax and hang out with coworkers or take a moment of alone time.  
  5. Pace Yourself
    If your day is not well-planned, a significant amount of your time may end up being wasted. Use the first part of your day to get organized and review your goals and schedule. Try to work ahead and anticipate set-backs. Consider how much time projects and tasks have taken you in the past and determine how you can break them into smaller parts. Figuring out what you must do, when you can do it, and how long it will take is a huge step towards productivity. 

Plan your workdays purposefully to remain productive, and reach out to your CSG Recruiter in times of stress or need. We go to great lengths to understand each of your short and long-term goals and want to work with you to improve your strengths and tackle any challenges that arise.