Time Management Skills for Executives

Time management is essential for executives of companies because we all get 24 hours in

Microsoft Project 2000, showing a Gantt chart
Task management tool

a day, and the more responsibilities you have, the more you need to be able to accomplish in that same amount of time.  Creating good Time management skills is essential to being able to manage more and become more efficient.  Read on for more on the kinds of skills that executives need in their time management and task management to be successful.


What is the greatest time draining activity in which executives participate? Golfing? Tennis? Drinks with clients? Nope! It is the never ending stream of never limited meetings. Sometimes there are meetings to plan the next meeting. Meetings that are unorganized and unproductive are a complete waste of time.

The following are a few good time management skills for executives to help eliminate the stream of meetings and create an unstoppable productive workforce:

Trust — Hire people with a proven track record of getting things done and done well. Sure, if your buddy from high school is a powerhouse, hire him, but if your son-in-law can’t be trusted with a company credit card, don’t’ hire him.

Communicate — Create a method of communication that is clear, that is to the point, and that can be accomplished without a meeting such as a Wiki or project management system. Communicate through the message board on the wiki or project management system instead of in person and at meetings. This will avoid the general chit-chat that can happen during in person or telephone calls.

Responsibility — Create deadlines that are unambiguous, with time-sensitive tasks to be accomplished along the way and hold those responsible accountable. Rewarding time well spent is more important than punishing people who are late or underperform. Punishment and guilt only work when those you’ve hired care about their work and the company bottom line. So place your emphasis on the behavior you desire rather than spend time dealing with behaviors you don’t help your company bottom line.

Teamwork — Create an environment that values teamwork and mutual respect by allowing team members to work together without your oversight or permission. By encouraging team members to share valuable information openly about any project, you will create a strong team that will produce high-quality work.

Respect — If you have hired the right people for the job, let them do the job you hired them to do. Consider managing by exception than by micromanagement techniques. Micromanagement is another example of a time waster. It is fine during meetings and on the project management system to question each other about the why, what, who, and by when – but only when it is done with respect and for the purpose of bringing out the best in everyone. The best workforce effort will always improve the company bottom line.

Cooperation — Ask for help keeping meetings on track by agreeing to stick to a written and focused agenda before each meeting. Put the agenda on the project management system or Wiki for each member of the team to add to before the meeting. Do not allow last-minute additions during the meeting.

Remove barriers — Too often executives insulate themselves from the people most valuable to the company bottom line; the workforce. Obviously, you can’t have an open-door policy for everyone all the time, but you can do three things: create operational procedures that allow the workforce an opportunity to air complaints, contribute to the bottom line, and feel you care about them. You can show you care through rewards systems, high visibility at company gatherings, and regular visits to the production line. By putting in place the “care factor,” people will perform their best because they feel they are cared for, known, and heard.

As an executive, when you implement these kinds of time-saving strategies, you create an environment where everyone can be at their productive bests. Everyone will feel less stress because expectations are clear, a communication and calendaring system is in place, and the workforce will know there is a connection between you and them, beyond just the bottom line.

Award winning author, Debra J. Slover’s leadership expertise stems from 18 years directing a state youth services program, experience organizing 20 state and national conferences, and running her own consulting firm for over six years. Her website is http://www.leadershipgardenlegacy.com

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