12 Time Management Tips Every Leader Should Implement

No one becomes a great leader without properly managing their time and appointments. Those who are true leaders know this because they understand that there will be many demands for their time, but they also know how to create a schedule that can keep them on track and on time for their various obligations. Different leaders use different leadership time management tactics to make it happen, but they all rely on some means of balancing their time and schedules to attain their desired results.


Why Is Leadership Important In Relation To Time Management?

You might wonder why time management has such a strong tie-in to leadership. Sure, you can see how leaders would rely on their time management abilities to get everything done in their day, but it goes beyond that as well.

  • Real Leaders Don’t Want To Let People Down – Not having enough time to meet with everyone that they would like to meet with is a staple issue that leaders and entrepreneurs run into all the time. However, real leaders don’t want to let people down or disappoint them, so they will do everything they can to squeeze in as many appointments and meetings with people who matter to them as they possibly can. This may mean that they have to organize their events in such a way that they can only see someone for a few moments, but those moments are still important to the people who get them.

people meeting each other and saying hello


  • They Don’t Want To Miss Anything Important – It is not ideal for a leader to be caught up in a relatively unimportant meeting or obligation and ultimately end up missing out on something that has a more direct impact on their abilities as a leader. This is why it is so critical that they have a time management system in place that will get them to the right places at the right times so that they are available to take care of anything and everything of importance that has been weighing them down for a long time.


  • They Are Respectful Of Other’s Time – Another sign of a great leader is showing respect for another’s time. It is rude to always run late to meetings and therefore make it clear that your time is more important to you than the time of the person you are meeting with. Real leaders care about this type of thing.


What Are Time Management Benefits For Leaders?

“The common man is not concerned about the passage of time, the man of talent is driven by it” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Leaders gain a lot by keeping themselves on a schedule. Some people look at scheduling as something that is restrictive and keeps them boxed in to a certain way of doing things, but that’s not how leaders view it. They think of it as a way to free up more of their time and loosen constraints on what they are trying to do. Additionally, leaders view time management as a way for them to gain the following benefits as well:

  • A more predictable schedule
  • The ability to be more prepared for the meetings that they need to take
  • More chances to spend time on the things they truly care about

It is worrying that so many people lack these things in their life, but the only way to make a change in relation to that is to literally focus on promoting time management and all of the upsides that it can provide. People deserve to have the chance to spend time on the tasks and hobbies that they want to spend it on, and that means organizing the rest of their day so they can reach a point where they are able to sit down and spend time with their family.


How Can A Leader Manage Their Time Better?

It is best for a leader to step back and think carefully about how they would like to manage their time and what efforts they can put towards that goal. It is nice to know that some of them are already thinking about it, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that others are falling behind. There is a thought in society that the most successful people are those who are always busy, but that is just not the case. In reality, leaders who schedule their time effectively are often the ones who come out ahead.

A leader can take the following steps to get a better grip on their time management skills today:

  • Delegate the tasks that they don’t need to handle themselves
  • Determine the order of importance of their various obligations and set out to tackle the most important things first
  • Review their list often and make changes as necessary over time

A few steps like this in the right direction can have major benefits for any leader who is eager to build a time management schedule that can work for them.


12 Time Management Tips That Every Leader Should Use

You need the tips and techniques that will actually boost you across the finish line and towards the goals and ambitions that you have for yourself and what you seek to accomplish in a given day. We have a few of the best tips for how any leader can improve their time management.


1. Learn To Say No

“It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important” -Steve Jobs

Leaders need to learn to say no to some of the opportunities that are presented to them. Many people have a fear that if they turn down too many opportunities, people simply won’t think to ask them for anything ever again. The reality is that the risk of missing out on all future opportunities for new work is very low.

person holding a word no

What you should probably be more concerned about is overscheduling yourself in a way that puts you at risk of not getting all of your tasks completed for the day. That is something that happens far more often, and it is a bad appearance for a leader.


2. Use The Pomodoro Method

The Pomodoro method is a strategy by which you set a Pomodoro timer to approximately 25-30 minutes. You wait until that timer goes off before giving yourself a short break of about 5 minutes or so. This allows just enough time for your brain to take a quick break before jumping into the next task. You should try this as a way to break up the various tasks that you need to accomplish throughout the day. It is about knowing the limitations of your mind and its ability to focus.


3. Consider A Kanban Board

There is nothing like seeing where the various tasks of your day are in the line of progress from “not yet started” to “fully completed”. A Kanban board is a fantastic way to see how all of these parts come together in a certain way that makes them useful to you and also makes it easier to see where you may have some blind spots. You can use your Kanban board to figure out which activities you have been putting off for too long, and perhaps which have received a little too much attention.


4. Think About The Net Value Of Each Activity

Just taking a step back and determining the added value that a certain activity provides to your day is a great way to determine if you are spending your time appropriately or not. People often realize that they could be doing a lot better if they would just focus on how they are spending their time and what that says about what they truly value out of their day. The reality is, some of us put too much stock into things that don’t truly add much to our bottom line.


5. Consider Time-Blocking

Perhaps you should take a little extra time and set up a time-blocking routine for you day so you are wasting precious resources that you don’t really have chasing after things that aren’t adding much value to the bottom line. Time-blocking is a way of focusing on one task at a time without straying into multi-tasking habits that so many of us have. You can get yourself back on track by blocking out units of time throughout the day to focus on specific tasks one at a time.


6. Time Management Matrix

Do you know which tasks are urgent and in need of attention right now and which ones can probably wait for a while? You will have a better idea of where you stand with all of these if you use something known as the time management matrix.

This nifty tool can help show you which tasks are urgent and time-sensitive in one quadrant, and which are not all that important and don’t have a specific time limit set on them in another corner. Moving agenda items into different quadrants like this is a fantastic way to see where you should utilize more of your energy.


7. SMART Goals

We all want to have smart goals right? Yes, but this tactic is named after a specific strategy that one can use to get more done. The SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Based

These are the things in life that you really need to get done. Not the “I want to go to Paris someday” goals, but the measurable steps that you can take towards becoming a better leader.


8. Hold Yourself To A High Standard

It might be easy to forgive yourself for being a few minutes late to a meeting or for missing something in the course of your day because you were busy handling another task.

blue paper ships following the leader red paper ship

While you might have forgiveness in your heart for yourself, you should try to hold yourself more accountable than that. If you start to come down hard on yourself for missing important things, then perhaps you won’t do it quite as much in the future.


9. Don’t Forget Your Sleep

Sleep is sacrificed at the alter of getting more done, but this is not an effective strategy. You think that you are saving time and getting more done, but you are actually making yourself less productive if you don’t sleep enough. Time will slip away from you, and you won’t get nearly as much done.

The human body and brain need sleep to function properly, and prolonged periods of sleep deprivation are linked to poor health outcomes, less concentration, more irritability, and other negative outcomes. You will feel better if you take care of your sleep cycles, and you just can’t afford not to take care of something like this. Make sure you still aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.


10. Set Your Hardest Tasks For The Beginning Of The Day

You will always have the most energy for the day when you first start out (no matter what time of day that is for you). Thus, it makes sense that you would want to set up your hardest tasks and chores to do when you have peak energy. It is the only way that you are ever going to get them done, and you won’t have to stress about them so much throughout the day if you knock them out early.


11. Always Keep A Notebook With You

Keep a notebook or something else to write down stray thoughts and plans as you are moving about your day. You don’t want those ideas or plans to slip away, but you don’t want to stop everything that you are doing to take care of them either. The best compromise to make in this situation is to keep your notebook handy and jot down the ideas that you want to pursue.


12. Log Your Progress

One way to keep yourself accountable is to log how you are doing at staying on task and getting things done. A little bit of data about how you are managing your day may be just the motivation you need to get more done and to try harder to practice good time management.

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