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.