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Even CEOs have only 24 hours: Time Management for self-development



Time Management for self development
Time Management for self development

In the fast-paced world of business, where deadlines are tight and demands are high, it's easy to feel like there's never enough time in the day.

So, how does one prioritize self-development?

Let me remind you that even the most successful CEOs to world leaders, operate within the same 24-hour timeframe. This is something I say to my Coachees all the time.

The difference between those who merely get by and those who excel lies in how they manage and prioritize their time, particularly when it comes to personal and professional development.

To progress in your career and develop as a leader, you need to carve out time for self-development consciously.

Here are strategies to help you maximize your 24 hours and invest in your future success.

1. Prioritization is the Key

First and foremost, recognize the importance of self-development. Without self-development, you risk stagnation and falling behind in an ever-evolving business landscape. Make self-development a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. Scheduling time for learning and growth should be just as important as scheduling time for meetings and tasks.

Strategy: Block out (in your calendar) at least 30 minutes to an hour each day dedicated to activities like reading industry articles, taking online courses, or reflecting on your personal goals. Treat this time as you would an important meeting—it’s your investment in your future. Depending on your personal preferences, this can be a block of 15 to 30 minutes in the morning, evening, or even mid-day.

Can I request something from you? Before you proceed with this blog, can you open your calendar and block out 30 minutes for this one week to start with? Yes, right now?

2. Leverage the power of micro-learning

The idea that self-development requires hours of uninterrupted study is a myth. Micro-learning, which involves consuming information in small, manageable chunks, is an effective way to integrate learning into a busy schedule.

Strategy: Utilize pockets of free time throughout your day. Listen to podcasts during your commute, watch educational videos during lunch breaks, or read a few pages of a book before bed. Over time, these small investments compound into significant knowledge and skills.

3. Delegate and automate

This is a very important aspect of finding time! During my stint in the corporate world, I used delegating a lot, which helped to develop my team and also freed up my time for learning and development and other strategic initiatives.

To free up time for self-development, look at your current workload and identify tasks that can be delegated or automated. Delegating not only helps you manage your time better but also empowers your team by giving them new responsibilities.

Strategy: Make a list of your daily tasks and categorize them into what you must do personally and what can be handled by others. Invest in tools and software that automate repetitive tasks, such as scheduling, email management, or data entry. This will create space and time for more strategic activities, including your own development.

4. Embrace time management techniques

Effective time management is crucial for balancing work responsibilities and personal development. Techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, time blocking, and the Eisenhower Matrix can help you stay focused and productive.

Strategy: Experiment with different time management techniques to find what works best for you.

Pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique is a time management method that involves breaking work into intervals, typically 25 minutes in length, called "pomodoros," followed by a short break (usually 5 minutes). After completing four pomodoros, take a longer break (15-30 minutes). This technique helps maintain focus and productivity while preventing burnout.

Time blocking

Time blocking involves dividing your day into blocks of time, each dedicated to a specific task or group of tasks. By scheduling tasks in advance and allocating specific time slots, you can better manage your time, reduce distractions, and ensure that important tasks get the attention they deserve.

Eisenhower matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix, also known as the Urgent-Important Matrix, helps prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. Tasks are categorized into four quadrants:

1. Urgent and Important (Do immediately)

2. Important but Not Urgent (Schedule for later)

3. Urgent but Not Important (Delegate if possible)

4. Neither Urgent nor Important (Eliminate or minimize)

This matrix helps you focus on tasks that are truly important and avoid getting caught up in less meaningful activities.

5. Create self-accountability through goals setting and tracking

Having clear, achievable goals for your self-development journey keeps you motivated and focused. Whether it’s gaining a new certification, mastering a specific skill, or expanding your professional network, setting goals provides direction.

Strategy: Use a goal-setting framework like SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) to outline your objectives. Regularly review your progress and adjust your plans as needed. Tracking your progress not only keeps you accountable but also helps you celebrate your achievements along the way.

6. Build a Supportive Network

Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals, who value self-development, can provide motivation and support. A network of peers, mentors, and coaches can offer guidance, share resources, and hold you accountable.

Strategy: Join professional groups, attend industry conferences, or participate in online communities. Engage with mentors and peers who can provide feedback and encouragement. Networking with others who prioritize growth can inspire you to stay committed to your development goals.

7. Reflect and adapt

Continuous reflection on your growth journey is essential. Regularly assess what’s working, what’s not, and how you can improve. Adaptability is key to navigating the dynamic landscape of self-development.

Strategy: Set aside time each week to reflect on your progress. Ask yourself questions like: What did I learn this week? What challenges did I face? How can I overcome them? Use these reflections to adjust your strategies and stay aligned with your goals.

Conclusion

Everyone’s day is made up of 24 hours; but how you utilise those hours determines your success. By prioritizing self-development, leveraging micro-learning, delegating tasks, embracing time management techniques, setting clear goals, building a supportive network, and reflecting on your progress, you can make significant strides in your career.

Remember, the journey to becoming a better leader is continuous. Investing in your growth not only enhances your skills and knowledge but also positions you to inspire and lead others effectively. Make self-development a priority, and watch it transform your professional life.


 

Johncey George is a Leadership and Life Coach and specialized in Coaching for Introverts.


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