An important ability for any manager is being able to effectively manage time. We can get pulled in so many different directions, with a myriad of priorities that it’s easy to lose track of things. When I was younger I could rely upon my memory, but nowadays that bird has flown – if I don’t write myself a note odds are I’ll forget.
Some people like to use a planner, others take advantage of technology and keep their task lists on their computer, tablet, phone, or all of them. Being able to store your schedule in the cloud leaves little excuse for losing track of appointments or to-do’s. When you combine what’s going on at the office with what you have happening at home and in your personal life, keeping track can still be a real challenge.
Think of life like it was an airplane. You’re the pilot, so you need a checklist to get things started. Start with the basics; for example, build some time in at the beginning of the work day to get settled, to check your email for any developments that might have happened since you signed off the previous evening. Take a moment to look over your day and prioritize your schedule. Often you will have overlapping meetings or appointments and you’ll need to determine which ones take precedence.
Since you’re a manager, you probably have staff; don’t be afraid to delegate meetings. If you look at a meeting and see that multiple members of your team are included in the meeting invite, it may be beneficial to just delegate that appointment to someone on your team.
Most importantly, if you tend to have a very full schedule, always try to book some time for yourself. It’s easy to get so tied up in attending meetings that you forget that there’s real work that needs to get done. So be sure to schedule some quiet time where you can focus on managing your team or projects.
The best pilots never skip their checklist!