Chief executive officers tend to work nearly 10 hours per weekday on average and close to eight hours on weekends, according to a study conducted by the Harvard Business School. In fact, CEOs tend to work on 70 percent of their vacation days. This shows that executive time management is a difficult aspect of running a business and many executives tend to spend the majority of their time working to advance their company.
If you are finding it complex to employ executive time management strategies and reduce the amount of time you spend working as a manager, you will first need to understand how CEOs should allocate their time more effectively in order to boost business efficiency.
How CEOs Should Manage their Time
There is a variety of different tips out there for busy professionals to implement in order to enhance their executive time management. For instance, setting short deadlines including ones that are almost too short to meet will help bring results if you meet the dates you decided on, according to the publication Inc.com.
Additionally, your schedule should be based on making sure you stay healthy and follow what your body tells you. Taking care of your physical and mental health is key in order make sure you succeed at your job. The study conducted by the Harvard Business School that 60 percent of chief executive officers exercise multiple times per week.
Along with these tips, focusing on one task at a time tends to be a more effective use of your time. Research shows that multitasking tends to be rather ineffective in the workplace. If you are looking to become more productive at work, be sure to focus on one project or task at a time.
You should also utilize a calendar. Be sure to schedule important items and major projects into your calendar whether it is a physical or a virtual calendar. Do not put important things off until you might have more time. There are always some free blocks in your calendar whether it is tomorrow or three weeks from now. If you do not, less important activities will fill up those time blocks and you will let key initiatives fall by the wayside.
In addition to scheduling the most important items into your calendar, be sure to have a weekly schedule where you block out chunks of your day based on vital aspects of running your organization. For instance, Monday can be an administrative day during which plenty of paperwork can be completed.
You should also leave some of the least profitable tasks until the end of the day. For example, returning emails or checking social media websites should be left to the very end of the workday. This means that most of the day will be left for more productive processes and tasks.
If you are still having trouble with your executive time management, consider hiring a coach or mentor who can help you become more accountable with your time. A coach can provide you with the support and advice you need to become more productive at work. In fact, 32 percent of chief executive officers have an executive coach while 32 percent also have a wellness coach, according to the Visual Capitalist survey.
While following these tips is vital for greater productivity at work, it is also important to consider the challenges faced when it comes to executive time management. Below are a number of time management challenges addressed.
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What are the Main Challenges of Executive Time Management?
The Harvard Business School survey found that 36 percent of chief executive officers state that their company does not prioritize them getting enough sleep. The lack of sleep could be a major challenge for productive management among executives.
In addition, 47 percent of CEOs have said that their company expects them to be “too responsive to emails and phone calls.” This means that executives tend to have too little free time and are often expected to respond to business activities on weekends and vacation days.
Some of the typical complications that CEOs face in running a company include driving cultural change and developing the senior leadership team. As many as 50 percent of CEOs stated that driving cultural change is one of their biggest challenges while 47 percent said creating a senior leadership team is the most complex. In addition, 20 percent of executives have trouble handling their stress levels while 25 percent find engaging with external stakeholders the most difficult.
The Harvard Business Review also outlines the challenges associated with sending emails such as interrupting work and extending the workday or even taking up personal time spent with the family. Often, CEOs tend to be copied on various emails sent at work and many feel pressured to reply due to their position. However, CEOs do not need to be in the weeds of every part of the operation at one’s organization.
It is vital for a company executive to set the standards and expectations of what type of emails should be sent and received. These type of norms can be applied across the entire company in order to ensure no one at the business wastes any time on answering needless emails. This means both executives and employees can focus on the more important messages.
In addition, it is useful for chief executive officers to implement video conferencing as a way to cut down on emails and include face-to-face meetings to answer pertinent questions and manage projects among their staff.
Some other typical challenges that executives face include personal factors. For example, 35 percent of CEOs have trouble managing the impact of their career on their family and personal life while 31 percent have difficulty maintaining their physical health. In order to better manage these areas, 50 percent of executives have personal trainers, 32 percent have a wellness coach, and 22 percent have a therapist.
The various processes and supports that executives use to better manage their time and stress levels can inspire the staff at a company to become more productive.
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How Executives Could Motivate Time Management at Work
There is a variety of ways that executives could motivate and inspire their team members to manage their time more effectively. It is vital to be a good role model when it comes to time management. As such, implementing superior delegation tactics can help a team manage their time more efficiently.
First, you will need to determine the things you do well yourself, what things need to be delegated and supervised, and what can be done by delegating without supervision, according to Forbes. You should also define if there are any tasks you can do later or if any tasks are unnecessary to complete.
When it comes to delegating tasks, it is important to decide whether you need to take part in decision-making while giving up the responsibility of completing certain steps in a project. You can either continue decision-making or give up that ability to other team members. You can also mix the two options in which you can help make some decisions about a project but not all.
In order to inspire your employees, you will want to work with others to help better manage your time. For example, you will want to ask for input and receive guidance as well as inform your employees about areas that do not require your input but you may still need to know about. Additionally, employees will need to be aware of the type of details you will not need to know about. All of these aspects are major parts of delegating effectively and inspiring your team to manage their time better.
It is also important for executives to keep track of how much time they spend on every project and activity because this knowledge will help them better plan out their schedule in the future. This means you will be able to better plan out chunks of time spent on similar projects and activities for weeks or months into the future.
For example, according to the survey, the average CEO spends 25 percent of their time on building relationships, 21 percent on strategy, and 25 percent on functional tasks and business unit reviews.
How the Right Technology Could Help Improve Executive Time Management
Executives seeking to improve their time management would greatly benefit from implementing the right type of technology with time tracking tools. For instance, Runrun.it includes relevant time tracking tools and dashboards to keep you on task meeting important deadlines.
This type of technology will help provide you with information such as what projects are delayed, the amount of time assigned for certain tasks, and the hours spent working on an item across the entire team.
This system is user-friendly, requires no training, and will keep your employees engaged. The dashboards include automated templates that are easy to track for both employees and clients. The platform will include all decision-making, communication, and files in one place.
To boost time management, this software solution could be a necessity for your company’s success. Best of all, you can sign up for a free trial to check out this system.