Successful CEOs follow these 5 Time Management Tips

Tight time management is crucial at executive level. In fact CEOs are quite clinical and business like in how they allocate and utilise their time. So what exactly is it that they do?

Firm and Assertive Personal Assistant

A highly effective PA forms a critical part of a CEOs time management strategy. A decisive and firm PA knows how precious the CEO’s time is. So she has no qualms to rule his diary with an iron fist.

In close collaboration with the CEO the PA has a very good idea of the priorities in his life. Often she uses her own judgement as to whether he will accept a meeting or not. She also provides guidance on who may be better suited in the organisation structure to approach.

The PA is often the “dragon” at the door, the gate keeper. Her role is to shield the CEO from unnecessary interruptions. This enables him to focus on the essential aspects of his role. She also takes on tasks that free him up.


Successful CEOs work according to a well-planned and organised schedule. A closely managed schedule is a vital link to his success and essential to effective time management.

Successful CEOs schedule important meetings as well as time for preparation and planning into their diary. In fact any projects or on-going commitments are all scheduled into their diary at the beginning of the year. This includes committees, boards meetings, etc.

In this way they remain focussed on the achievement of their Key Performance Areas and deliveries.

Planning and Preparation

Effective CEOs focus on planning and preparation as part of their time management strategy.  This means that they prepare well for meetings. This ensures that meetings are run efficiently and productively. They believe that thorough planning and preparation cuts down on meeting time.

Planning involves having a clear agenda. Successful CEOs ensure that members table their agenda items prior to a meeting. Agenda items are scrutinised closely. These are only accepted if they are relevant to the discussion. Successful CEOs also ensure that there is no “General” item at the end of the meeting’s agenda.

Focussed Meetings

Good time management strategies involve running meetings in a focussed and organised way. This means that team members are guided back to discussing and resolving agenda items. Additional items that are raised in the meeting are “parked” to be taken up in another meeting.

In this way the successful CEO ensures that the attention remains on the items previously tabled. Should there be a need for further discussion on a specific item it will be held over for another meeting.

Of course if the topic happens to be more of an exploratory nature, the meeting is facilitated in a different way. In this case the CEO will need to allow more time for debate and dialogue. These kinds of meeting are more relevant when looking at future direction or new products and services.

Being Clinical and Bottom-line Driven

Successful CEOs ensure that the bulk of their time is spent on strategic issues, the vision of the company and managing the indices of the internal operations. This means that their time management is geared toward their core functions.

Decisions as to whom they see and meetings they attend, are determined by the extent to which these will contribute to the business and bottom-line. As a result, successful CEOs become somewhat “clinical” in their time management strategies.

It is usually the people who are the most organised and who plan the best who achieve the most. If you would like to achieve more in your career you would benefit from business coaching.

Posted in Business, CEO.