Six Secrets to Better Time Management

By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

time-managementNo matter where you are in your career, taking control of your time is a given.  Being a strong leader in your organization takes a variety of skills. LEADERs consistently manage each of these skills consistently.

True leadership begins through valuing others.  In working with many organizations, I have found that everyone plays a leadership role, whether the title is receptionist or top dog.

Keep this LEADER acronym in mind as you lead your team, your personal life and more importantly, your self!

1. L – Listen

You cannot hear anyone’s message if you are talking to yourself.  Stop the mental terrorism and self-chatter and say to yourself, “My mind will not wander, I will give this person the respect they deserve.” Do you want respect when speaking to others?  You get what you give.

2. E – Educator

Share your skills by asking others what one skill they would like to polish, then help them, guide them and share your expertise. This will save you time in the long run. See ‘D’ – learn to delegate. Learn the right way to prioritize, keeping lists and determining what you currently do that is not the best use of your time.

3. A – Adaptability

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.  Adapting to change is critical.  The old theory of managing by fear is long gone. No matter the generation, leaders must adapt to each person. This will save time in resolving behavioral issues and conflict.

4. D – Delegate

Excellence in leadership is created by releasing your authority and responsibility through delegation.  Fear? Sure! Give them the objective, and hear the confirmation in their words. Eliminate “Do you understand?” and replace with “I want to make sure I explained it well, could you please play it back in your own terms?” Most importantly, let them try it their way.

5. E – Empathetic

Communicate with the perception of your message to the other.  Leaders can become ego centered and power hungry.  Remember it’s about them not you.  Record yourself.  Listen to the intent of the conversation and ask yourself.(Then erase the tape!)

6. R – Role model

The people around you watch every move you make, every sentence you speak and how you manage your time.  Want to motivate your group? Work at creating a positive environment.  Too touchy, feely for you?  It is what works.  Have fun, speak positively, stay focused and your team will follow.

Secret Sauce:

Post both of these where they are visible in your work area:

  • What is the best use of my time right now?
  • If I had time to do just one, which one would I do?

What part of this acronym do you need to polish?  The real secret to better time management is understanding what you can do better.  You are not going to change others – just yourself.


Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

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