As the old saying goes ‘time is money’, but as a business leader your time is also likely to be in short supply.

After all, there’s a good chance you wear many hats; chief decision maker, financial controller, head of marketing…and the list goes on.

That’s why your time should be fiercely protected. In fact, effective time management skills in business are essential to ensure you maintain a work/life balance and your time in your business is spent efficiently.

With that in mind, here are five ways business leaders can protect their time with some classic time management tips.

Know your goals

There’s no point putting in the hard yards in business if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve.

To master the art of time management and use your time most effectively, get crystal clear on both your business and personal goals and create actionable strategies to achieve them.

This allows you to prioritise exactly where you should be spending your time, along with other tasks that could be outsourced or delegated to someone else.

Have a to-do list

If you’re looking to use your time more efficiently and more productively, create a daily to-do list and keep it on hand.

Better yet, enhance this time management tool by blocking periods of time during the day when you are going to achieve those items on your list.

When you create a to-do list, block time for each task, and stick to the list, you will find yourself accomplishing your goals more effectively.

This list might change each day, or it might comprise regular daily tasks that allow you to create real business momentum over time.  

Plan your day the night before

On that note, plan your day the night before. This age-old personal time management technique allows you to start work each morning with a clear idea of exactly what you wish to accomplish.

Stop wasting time in meetings

Meetings might be a business necessity but they can also chew into your productivity and that of your team.

Make sure you have a clear agenda for each meeting, keep them on track and schedule them to be as short as possible.

Unless you have a lot of ground to cover, half an hour should be more than enough time for a team meeting.

Watch out for time bandits

As great as it is to have an open-door policy in your business, be mindful of time bandits who might eat away at your productivity.

And time bandits aren’t just people who pop into your office for a quick chat. Things that steal your time might also include checking your emails, or scanning the news headlines and social media.

To mitigate the risk of time wasters, set times during the day when you can’t be disturbed and close your office door.

If routine tasks are taking up your time, set specific periods or chunks of time when you will attend to things like emails.

Outsource the tasks you don’t need to be doing

It can be challenging for business owners to let go of the reins, but there’s a good chance there are jobs that you do throughout the day which could be completed by others.

Take the time to identify these tasks and allocate them to others, whether that’s by outsourcing, automating, or delegating the job to a team member.

Use your calendar

If you’re leading a business, your calendar is your best friend, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a paper-based planner or a digital calendar synced to your phone and computer.

Start making a habit of jotting down all appointments and tasks in your calendar as you plan each month, each week, and each day.

That way you know exactly what’s on the agenda and when you’ll find the time to keep on building your business.

If you’re looking to eliminate time-wasting habits and instead set goals and embrace planning, I’m available to assist, and you can reach out to me here for a discovery session.