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14 Things Leaders Should Do Every Day To Better Manage Their Time


As a business leader, it’s easy to get sidetracked. When you wear a variety of hats within a company, it means you’re constantly being pulled in different directions. However, it’s important to manage your time properly so things don’t fall by the wayside.

Throughout their careers, the members of Forbes Business Council have learned some effective tips and tricks to help them deal with time management. Below, 14 of them shared one thing they believe leaders should do daily to properly manage their time.

1. Make Time To Disconnect From Devices

The one thing I do every day to help manage my time efficiently is to disconnect from all devices for a specified time block, usually from 7:30 to 9:00 am. This is not negotiable and I do my best to honor it as a sacred space. I take 15 minutes to meditate or do yoga and clear my mind. After this reset, I review my to-do list and prioritize depending on deadlines that must be met. – Meighan Newhouse, Inspirant Group

2. Know Yourself

Only you know what productivity-improving tips will work for you. It could be planning around your mental prime time, tearing yourself away from the screen, eliminating distractions, stretching your legs, stroking the dog or blocking out your own time to focus. Know yourself. – Joanna Swash , Moneypenny


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3. Stay Accountable With A Calendar

As a leader, I maintain a calendar with my daily routine and make sure I keep myself accountable by following this routine. I plan my day in advance and make sure to stick to my schedule as much as possible, starting in the morning. At the end of the day, I sit down with my EA and give my VFP (Valuable Final Product) as a result of following my daily routine. – Sardor Umrdinov, Home Alliance

4. Plan Your Day The Night Before

Take 10 to 15 minutes every night before you unplug to look at the following day, and ask yourself what you priorities are going into tomorrow. What meetings do you have? What absolutely needs to get done. This will maximize your efficiency and focus the following day. – Michael Leonard, The Market Vibe

5. Delegate Calendar Items To Focus Your Time

Remove or delegate something from your calendar that doesn’t have an expected outcome or direct need for you. Block that time for something that you need to accomplish today that will make an impact on the business. Request a succinct summary of the meeting you didn’t attend and any action items needed from you afterwards. If you do that daily, your business will feel the impact. – Zachariah Booker, ADHD Online, LLC

6. Create An Action Plan With Goals And Timelines

A leader should establish specific goals and timelines for each task, and then create a plan of action to ensure that these goals are met. Make sure you are setting realistic expectations for yourself and others. Be clear about what you can realistically accomplish in a given timeframe, and be transparent with your team members about expected timelines, incorporating possible setbacks and delays. – Onikepe Adegbola, Casa de Sante

7. Gamify Your Workday

Set little rewards throughout the day to stay motivated. This can be a quick walk, time with your pet or family, getting a snack, playing an instrument or anything else that raises your vibe. It keeps you focused on important tasks and ensures you’re sustaining a healthy work-life balance. – Tabitha Scott, Epic Pivot

8. Organize Your Day

Depending on the size of your company, you’ll have a balance of things to execute and delegate. You can organize your day between four lists, prioritized in this order by urgency. Start with things in your court that need to be responded to (you are the blocker). Delegations, or things you assign others to do. Projects, or things you make progress on every day. Busy work, which are low-value items. – Jack Chen, SWIDIA

9. Review Your Calendar To Prepare For The Day

To manage time effectively, carve out time at the beginning of each day to review your calendar and commitments for the day ahead. At the end of the day, have time to review the emails you didn’t yet read or respond to. I also keep a running list of priority to-dos in a notebook with me at all times to make sure not to miss critical takeaways or asks from back-to-back meetings. – Rebecca Love, IntelyCare

10. Find The Right Opportunities To Use Your Strengths

“Highest and Best Use” is a concept most leaders understand, but it does have meaning in several situations. Let’s look at it related to managing your time efficiently. If you know your strengths, look for opportunities to use them. But, ask every day if you are the one both “required and best suited” for an open task. If not, look to the strengths of those on your team and delegate for efficiency. – Dennis Reid, H2scan Corporation

11. Have A Keep, Stop, Start List

A leader’s time should be laser focused on strategic vision. Create and monitor a keep, stop and start list. Create and monitor a list with sections labeled keep, stop and start list.Delegate everything on your stop list to avoid being the bottleneck. Creating a culture that empowers employees to take initiative will build trust and create the freedom leaders need to focus on vision and strategy. – Linda Hamilton, Linda A Hamilton

12. Follow A Morning Routine

Have a simple morning routine that incorporates hygiene (including tongue scraping), movement (such as yoga), meditation and journaling. Morning routines help set the structure for your day, especially for those of us who lead busy lives. They also give you and your body time to wake up and prepare for the day ahead. – Rahi Sarbaziha, Dr. Rahi

13. Time Block For Crucial Tasks

Leaders should name their No. 1 thing and time block (on their calendar) for it. Then, take five to 10 minutes to write out the steps to get that thing done. It’s surprising how easy things are when you’re simply following your own instructions. Get your No. 1 thing done every work day and you’ll be one of the most productive people you know. – Michael White, MashTank

14. Keep An Updated To-Do List

Don’t underestimate the power of a to-do list. Having a clear sense of daily actions, in priority order, is the only way to accomplish tasks and more importantly, stay focused. To get those priorities accomplished, particularly as a leader of a startup, it’s important to hire capable team members that can help manage entrance requirements to streamline their priorities. – Michael Amori, Virtualitics



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