Executive Time Management: What Is It and Tips for Using This Skill

Updated June 24, 2022

Executives often have busy schedules full of meetings, events, projects, reviews and tasks. In order to maintain their schedules and to complete all of their responsibilities in a timely manner, they might use time management skills. If you're in an executive position and you want to improve your ability to manage tasks, then it might benefit you to learn about time management and how to use this skill. In this article, we discuss what executive time management is by explaining why it's important and listing several tips for implementing this ability.

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What is executive time management?

Executive time management is when CEOs or other leaders in positions of power use organization, delegation and prioritization skills to complete their job duties. Time management is a beneficial skill for any employee to possess, but it's especially important for executives to utilize time management. These professionals manage entire businesses, so they often work more hours and have more responsibilities than a regular employee or even a supervisor. Executives can use time management to organize their tasks and reduce stress. They also use this skill to improve their work-life balance, so they don't overwhelm themselves.

Read more: What Is Time Management? (Plus Useful Time Management Tips and Advice)

Why is executive time management important?

Executive time management is a beneficial tool, and it's important for several reasons, such as:

  • Improves prioritization: Prioritization is the ability to choose which tasks or projects to complete first based on importance. When executives use time management, they typically improve their prioritization skills since they choose what's the most important task to do first.

  • Reduces stress: Executives have several responsibilities, which can lead to them feeling overwhelmed and stressed. With time management, they can reduce this stress since this skill helps them manage and complete all of their tasks.

  • Increases organization: Time management can help executives increase their organization by knowing when to complete their duties. This skill lets professionals organize their goals into smaller tasks, making them easier to achieve.

Related: A Guide to Executive Core Qualifications

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Tips for using time management as an executive

Here are some tips for implementing time management as an executive:

Create a schedule

Creating a schedule can help you organize your responsibilities, such as daily tasks, events and projects. Listing these duties allows you to track them. For example, having a schedule makes you more aware of your duties, which helps you remember them. To create a schedule, get a calendar and list your duties and priorities based on their importance or deadlines. Keep the schedule in a place where you can view it easily, such as on your computer or desk.

Read more: 9 Tips To Effectively Manage an Executive Calendar

Develop goals

As an executive, you likely have goals for the company, your team or for your personal growth. Even projects or tasks could become goals. You can use time management skills to organize and prioritize these objectives. For example, you might organize your ambitions into short- and long-term goals. Having goals gives you a sense of purpose while at work. Each day you can complete or work on a goal, which provides structure to your days. Try to create specific and measurable goals to make them more manageable.

Focus on one task at a time

Many executives multitask in order to manage their busy schedules. While multitasking may seem like an efficient way to complete all your tasks, it can reduce your focus and cause stress. It may be beneficial to focus on one task at a time instead. This allows you to put all your energy into one goal at a time, allowing you to achieve them quickly and efficiently.

Reduce distractions

When you're at work, try to reduce your distractions. There are so many factors that can distract you at your office, which can decrease productivity. Even some work-related tasks can be disturbing, such as emails, phone calls and employees asking questions. To reduce these distractions, put your phone away and set a specific time to answer emails or return calls. Consider making appointments for meetings with employees so they only visit you during designated times.

Delegate your tasks

While there are some duties that only you can complete as an executive, there are several tasks that you can delegate to other employees. Delegation allows you to give less important or low-impact tasks to other people, leaving you with fewer projects. This gives you more time to focus on larger tasks, which can lead to higher quality work. Consider building a leadership team that can handle the company's daily operations for you.

Decrease email usage

You may find as an executive, you receive several emails throughout the day. This can cause you to spend a lot of valuable time checking and answering these emails. While it's important to reply to these messages, it might be helpful to reduce the time you spend responding to emails. Of course, it's essential that you answer external emails of high importance. You can reduce unimportant email usage by designating an employee to answer messages for you. You can also visit various teams and departments each day to answer questions or give updates to decrease the emails they send you.

Find an assistant

A useful way to manage your time is to find an assistant. Assistants are valuable employees who can help you in several ways. For example, they can have some of your duties, such as taking phone calls, answering questions and scheduling meetings. You can try to find an assistant from someone who already works for the company, or you can make a job posting and find an external candidate.

Read more: Executive Assistant Skills: Definitions and Examples

Relax after work

Many executives work overtime. While putting in extra hours may seem like a useful way to complete more projects, it can cause more stress and burnout. Try to reduce the amount of time you spend working outside of office hours. Additionally, when you're not working, try to relax and spend time on self-care. For example, try to get enough rest or meditate occasionally. This can make you feel refreshed, which can prepare you to be more productive during work hours.

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