Here’s how a chief of staff can leverage their time management skills to improve business efficiency.
- What is time management?
- Why effective time management is essential for chief of staff roles
- Five ways chiefs of staff leverage time and effort to improve business efficiency
Chiefs of staff must have stellar time management skills given their duties. A soft skill like time management can help them improve their performance and productivity, get more done in less time, and reduce the burnout associated with juggling too many responsibilities at once.
This article explores why time management matters for chiefs of staff and how these professionals leverage their time and effort to improve business efficiency.
What is time management?
Time management is the art of organizing time intelligently to maximize productivity. This skill is highly beneficial for chiefs of staff. At its core, time management is all about getting more done in less time by setting smart goals and allocating time to different tasks in a way that prioritizes mission-critical activities over non-essential ones.
Why time management matters for chiefs of staff
From acting as the CEO’s right hand to designing critical business processes and procedures, chiefs of staff have essential responsibilities in organizations. The magnitude of their actions and how they manage their time can be far-reaching.
Good time management skills help chiefs of staff set clear goals and prioritize high-impact tasks, leading to increased productivity. They enable them to achieve more with less effort and worry less about deadlines.
Another way it adds to their productivity is by enabling them to adapt to changes as they arise. For example, chiefs of staff can designate specific blocks of time in their daily schedules for dealing with unforeseen contingencies. This gives more room to maneuver around new developments while ensuring other activities remain on schedule. It ensures they never get inundated with tasks or suffer burnout.
How chiefs of staff leverage time and effort to improve business efficiency
There are several ways chiefs of staff can leverage time and effort to improve business efficiency. The top five include:
1. Creating an execution plan
Crafting an execution plan is the first step a chief of staff takes to manage their time effectively. It’s critical for business efficiency as it helps chiefs of staff understand the context in which they work and how what they do impacts the organization.
An execution plan typically outlines the primary objectives for the job, career growth, and personal life of chiefs of staff. It includes all the weekly, monthly, and annual tasks and priorities they need to complete to stay on track and achieve personal and company goals. It also guides the best course of action when they are stuck or navigating new territory.
As a rule of thumb, chiefs of staff always consult the CEO when creating an execution plan to ensure that their personal goals align with those of the CEO and the organization.
2. Building a schedule
Once the execution plan is in place, chiefs of staff schedule all the critical events to ensure they don’t overlap. These include personal priorities, company events, retreats, breaks, recurring meetings, and other critical events impacting the organization’s bottom line.
Scheduling is an essential time management skill for chiefs of staff, as it helps them:
- Have a reference point for tracking events
- Understand what they can realistically achieve within a given period
- Create enough time for essential tasks
- Plan for the unexpected
- Achieve work-life balance and become more productive
3. Creating time blocks
One of the most challenging aspects of being a chief of staff is that you often have little control over your time. Most of your tasks and projects depend on the CEO’s needs, priorities, and requests. That’s why grouping activities into time blocks highly benefits these professionals.
Time blocking is based on the idea that breaking your day into finite units can maximize productivity. With this time management technique, chiefs of staff can plan their day and designate specific portions of time for certain tasks. For example, they can allocate 30 minutes for confirming meetings, two hours for creating presentations for the CEO, 20 minutes for checking emails, and so on.
Ultimately, creating time blocks enables chiefs of staff to focus on one task at a time, minimize distractions, and ensure that they don’t neglect any duties.
4. Regularly reviewing the execution plan
An execution plan is a living, breathing document that requires constant updating to keep up with the times. And no one knows this better than chiefs of staff. That’s why these professionals regularly – usually every week – review the execution plan to ensure it aligns with the goals of the CEO and those of the company.
Regularly reviewing the execution plan enables chiefs of staff to manage change proactively – such as when an employee leaves or company goals shift – and ensure business success and continuity.
5. Preparing for the next day
Another way chiefs of staff improve business efficiency is by reviewing the day’s activities and planning for the following day. They spend at least 30 minutes at the end of each day reflecting on what got done (and what didn’t) and the next day’s critical tasks. This helps them become more innovative daily and ensures they aren’t overwhelmed by last-minute surprises.
Improve your business efficiency by partnering with Chiefly Consultants
In a rapidly evolving business landscape, effective time management is paramount. At Chiefly Consultants, we help you drive profitability through critical thinking and a proactive approach to mission-critical activities. We help you become more innovative in executing day-to-day activities and managing change to remain competitive no matter the circumstance.
Get in touch to learn how we can take your organization’s time management to new heights.