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The 3 Secrets of Effective Time Investment

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The Excellence in Government Podcast features interviews with public and private sector thought leaders to offer rising feds tips for tackling government’s most pressing management challenges.

With each passing day, the hands on the clock tick closer to making sequestration a reality. If you haven’t seen it yet (and the squeamish may prefer not to), Government Executive recently published a timeline with key dates leading up to sequestration. What you'll see is that time is quickly running out and the once unimaginable now seems likely. In all this uncertainty, one thing is clear: federal workers will be expected to do more in an increasingly resource constrained environment—which means investing your time wisely is more important than ever.

That is where Elizabeth Grace Saunders comes in. Saunders, “Time Coach” and author of the book, The Three Secrets to Effective Time Investment, recently joined me on the Excellence in Government Podcast to share tips she says all government executives should be employing to get the most out of their time:

Tip 1: Get in place daily or weekly planning.

“As a manger you are the flag bearer,” said Saunders. “If you don’t have a clear idea of what’s important you can’t lead your team well.”

Tip 2: Cut down on meeting time.

“I find that people are either going to too many meetings or they’re in meetings too long,” said Saunders. “If you can cut back on meeting time you’re saving yourself time to get work done during the day, instead of taking it home, and you’re saving your staff time too.”

Tip 3: Prioritize one-on-one time with your people.

“As you [cut back on] other meetings, you want to make sure you keep the essential ones in place,” said Saunders. “That way you’re catching if someone is off track early or congratulating and encouraging those doing the right things.”

As for the three secrets of effective time investment, Saunders clued us in on those and much more. Listen to the Excellence in Government Podcast to learn more interesting tips for managing your time. 

What are your own time management secrets? Share in the comments below. 

Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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