I once had a nonprofit client who spent time at night cleaning the bathroom and mopping the lobby. Everyone likes a sparkling clean office, but an executive director’s time is too valuable and too limited. Was cleaning the bathroom the best use of her time?
Why do we feel the need to juggle everything?
What can we outsource or delegate?
What are our priorities? If everything is a priority, nothing is.
For many folks, a new year is a time when they commit to better managing their time and being more organized. But the challenge is not about time management and juggling everything at once.
Feeling like you need to be better at time management is a thinking problem. Are any of these thoughts familiar?
- I must do it
- I don’t have time to do it
- I must do it now
- I am the only one who can do this
- There is only one way to do this
- It will take me longer to train someone to do it than to do it myself
- I can’t afford to hire someone to do this
- I must oversee every aspect of how it’s done
- It must be perfect
- I don’t trust how she/he/they might do it.
That kind of thinking is the fast-track route to burnout.
An effective leader delegates tasks and projects. When you have confidence in the people around you, assign them work you know they can do and work that will stretch their abilities. There’s no better way to create a successful team than to trust employees with important tasks.
Thinking and Action
Effective executives find where they can make the most impact, where 80% of their output is created with 20% of their input. To find your 20%, think about:
- What tasks feel easy to manage because they rely on your natural skills & talents?
- Who is skilled in areas where you’re weaker? What small but vital tasks can you ask them to take on?
- Where are you most effective? Strategic planning, fiscal management, coaching and mentoring staff, fundraising, building relationships, evaluating programs, or something else?
- What one thing can you outsource this year to free up your time for handling tasks that have the greatest impact on your organization?
Think Through Your Thinking Problem
Time management for CEOs boils down to a thinking problem. Coaching can help you explore your thinking and figure out where you can make the most impact so you can better lead your team, achieve more, and find peace and satisfaction.
Contact me to learn more. I’d love to hear from you.