5 Time Management Tips to Help You Become a Better Leader

by Chinét Bernier, Project Coordinator at MHI

We have all been there: multiple meetings, taking care of our families, and to-do lists that are a mile long. At night you find yourself unable sleep because of the task you failed to complete. There are never enough hours in the day; so how is it that some people are able to achieve more than others? The answer is good time management.

Good time management forces you not to just be busy, but to be effective. Whether you are prepping for a presentation or completing a daily task, time management impacts how and when your task gets done. Here are five tips to help you successfully manage your time.

1. Delegate Tasks

To prevent stress and burnout, it is important as a leader to delegate tasks to your team. Delegation does not mean that you are avoiding the task, but instead learning how to better manage your team’s ability to get work done. The Art of Delegation, written by Charles C. Malone, best describes delegation as an underutilized way to best maximize your time and efficiency as well as empower those you work with. Delegating tasks builds team trust and pushes you forward as a leader.

2. Prioritize Work

“The Key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Steven R. Covey

Before your day begins, map out your tasks for the day and determine which items need immediate attention and which can wait. Most of the time we end up burning out early in the day, completing tasks that consume most of our time, but add no value to the organization. Create a time management matrix to help you identify what is critical to your productivity. Once your system is in place, tasks will seem easier and you will have more time in your day.,

3. Set up Deadlines

Set realistic deadlines and stick to them. Create a visual cue whether it be a sticky note or a calendar reminder to keep you on task. Set the deadline a few days before the task is due to allow time for review and edits.

4. Reset

When you feel stuck or unable to complete a task, give yourself a ten to fifteen-minute break. Take this time to read, go for a short walk or listen to music. This will help your productivity when you get back to work with the energy you have gained.

5. Avoid Multitasking

We all feel like we are getting more accomplished when we “multitask”, but the truth is multitasking doesn’t work. According to Dr. Cynthia Kubu and Andre Machado, multitasking is impossible. Neuroscience studies have shown that less than 2.5 percent of people are actually able to multitask and what we are most often doing, is individual actions in rapid succession. We get more done when we concentrate on one task. Multitasking impedes productivity and should be avoided to improve time management skills. As leaders, push your team to focus on one item at time to get more tasks on their list complete.

Final Thoughts

Time management is not easy, but it can be done. Prioritize and organize the tasks that you need to complete in order to save time and achieve more. Use the strategies above to get started!

What is your best practice or tip to successful time management? Let others know by starting a discussion in the Forums section on the My MHI app!

Want to learn more and advance your leadership skills? Check out MHI’s new Industry Leadership Program.

MHI’s Industry Leadership Program helps emerging and new leaders connect with industry peers and leaders, gain a broader perspective of the supply chain and material handling industry, and grow their leadership skills and expertise. Learn more and contact us about this 14 week-long cohort program including assessments, live virtual cohort learning, online courses, one-on-one coaching, peer mentoring, and access to senior industry leader connections and more.