Does your workday feel chaotic? Does it seem like you never have enough time to get everything done? A lot of leaders feel this way. One part of better managing your time as a leader is to recognize that perfection is an illusion and you won’t be able to get everything done every day. Some of the smaller items will have to move to another day or be delegated.


While recognizing that reality can relieve some stress, there are more tips for time management for leaders that help keep their day to day lives under control and their businesses running smoothly.


Stack The Early Morning With Wins

When people first show up for work, their whole to-do list is in front of them. That can feel overwhelming. Deciding what to do first and feeling like you have a handle on things can quickly turn into wasted time and a lot of stress. Also, tackling the biggest item on your list can be too much.


Instead, perform one to three small and easy tasks right away. The satisfaction of knocking a few small items off your list starts the day on strong footing.


Plan Your Day The Night Before

At the end of your work day, plan tomorrow. When you do this, mark one to three items as the priority items for the next day. This way, you’ll know that as long as those tasks are completed, it was a good day. If conflicts arise in your schedule, you’ll know what the priority tasks are without having to stress about it in the moment.


This is also a good time to note a couple quick things you can do for those early morning wins.


Make Time For Your Distractions So You Can Focus

Does your inbox distract you? Schedule some time for that in your day. Now it’s out of your mental space, because you know that you have time set aside to take care of that.


Do you feel like you need to be available for people? Do you need to be regularly checking your phone? Multitasking makes it difficult to get things done. One popular way to tackle this is to use the pomodoro technique. Focus on your work for 25 minutes and then take a five minute break where your mind can rest, you can check your phone, and stand up and stretch.


Organize Your Inbox

Email has become a huge distraction for many people. It’s easy to turn into a leader who seems disorganized and always distracted if you can’t stop checking your email.


Turn off your push notifications and only check your email twice a day, at specific times. You can tell your staff when your email hours are and encourage them to only text or call you during other times if it is urgent.


Use the labels in your inbox to keep things organized. Can you answer that email in two minutes? Do it right away. This is a suggestion from David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. If not, then label the email with something appropriate, like “soon” and tackle all the emails in that folder when you have more time put aside.


Time management can be a burden to some people, but it doesn’t have to be. By utilizing these methods, you can begin to take control of the time you have, giving you more time for the important things in life.