Creating More Time

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In this edition

As I race to the finish on the Maverick Manager Masterclass (we launch Monday June 24th!), I am spending time thinking about some of the overarching traits a manager needs to have. You know, the personal qualities that will be useful regardless of the numerous topics you need to master. I’ve come up with two: mentality and time management.

This week, I’m talking about the latter. Given the ever-increasing amount of work that ends up on the plate of the manager, the ability to manage time—and even “create” time—becomes crucial for ensuring you get the right things done. And getting the right things done means you’re having impact.

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Creating More Time


Beyond all the subjects one must master to be a good manager, beyond the knowledge and emotional intelligence one brings to the table, there are two fundamental qualities that will determine whether a manager will find long-term success: your mentality, and your ability to manage time. In this week’s newsletter, I want to talk about time.

Managing Time as a Manager: A Path to Success

Time is one of the most valuable resources a manager has, yet it’s often the one most mismanaged. Every manager I’ve ever met faces more work—individually and for their team—than is reasonably possible to complete. Effective time management is a game-changer, not just for your productivity, but for your overall success as a leader.

Managing time effectively means mastering three things: understanding how much time tasks take, where to invest your time, and how to create more time.

How Much Time Things Take

We tend to underappreciate the extent to which time impacts goal achievement, mainly because a project’s duration is always more than sum of the duration of component tasks. Yes, you need to have access to sound estimates of how long tasks will take and maintain visibility over these timelines. But you also need to know how long it takes if that task requires coordination, or if the person responsible for the work has other things on her/his plate as well. You should have a sense of whether the person estimating a task’s duration is overly optimistic or “sandbagging” it. When you are dealing with new topics especially, you should pay even closer attention.

Larger tasks are typically associated with larger risks and uncertainty, which means planning for contingencies. Even projects that seem simple on the surface might have hidden complexities that could extend their duration. Thus, in addition to understanding the timeline assuming things go right, you also need to plan for scenarios where things go wrong, which includes knowing how to recognize when you are on the right path (or not).

Why is this important? Because it helps you set realistic deadlines, managing expectations, and manage workload in the team.

Where to Invest Time

The more senior you are, the more time you should spend on prioritization and preparation. Not all tasks are created equal, and as a manager, you need to discern which tasks warrant your attention and your team’s attention. You should be prioritizing tasks that align with your team’s goals and objectives, and postponing those that don’t. When faced with multiple tasks that may be in line with your goals, evaluate the impact of the work (the return on your effort) and how quickly you can complete it.

Preparation, on the other hand, is about planning ahead. Preparation is what you need to do to elevate yourself from the minutiae of a task or a project. Good managers know how to “zoom out” and aside time for strategic thinking, problem-solving, preparing for discussions with your team, and developing your team. You will be vastly more effective when you spend time thinking about and working ON your business rather than IN your business, even though the latter will be constantly trying to lure you away.

How to Create More Time

The idea that you can create more time is a funny thing to imagine. Yet “creating time” is exactly what managers must do, for themselves and for their teams. You create time by:

  • Effective delegation – Delegation is about offloading tasks by granting your team autonomy to do the work in exchange for visibility. By distributing tasks effectively, you free up your time for more critical responsibilities.
  • Negotiating deadlines – This involves setting realistic timelines that consider a team’s workload and potential bottlenecks.
  • Resolving conflicts – Resolving conflicts quickly prevents them from escalating and consuming more time.
  • Forcing trade-offs – Great managers know how to present contradictory or competing choices in a way that forces decision-makers to confront trade-offs and come to a decision.


Most managers sink under the weight of work. However, managing time effectively is an endlessly valuable gift you can give to yourself and your team. By understanding how much time tasks take, investing your time wisely, and creating more time through strategic delegation and prioritization, you can significantly enhance your—and your team’s—productivity and effectiveness as a manager. These principles are explored in depth in the Maverick Manager Masterclass, where I am to equip you with the perspective you need to manage time like a pro.

A quick reminder!

I’m launching the Maverick Manager Masterclass on June 24th!

Find out more here and register for exclusive discounts to newsletter subscibers!

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