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  • Writer's pictureDerek Rusher

CEO POV: Mastering Time Management for Busy Leaders

Updated: 5 days ago

In the fast-paced world of leadership, one of the greatest challenges I face, and I'm guessing I'm not the only one, is managing our time effectively. As a Chamber President/CEO, the head of a non-profit organization, an elected official, and what I affectionately call the CEO of my five daughters, I understand firsthand the demands and pressures that come with wearing multiple hats. It seems that I am in high demand no matter the hat I am wearing. So why not add "blogger" to my resume? Being able to effectively juggle everything that I have on my plate is why, to kickstart my CEO POV blog journey, I want to delve into a topic that is fundamental to success in my world and any role: Time Management.

Embracing the CEO Mindset.

On January 4th, 2018, I walked into the Chamber World and I was not ready for the demand on my time. Like Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth." Luckily that punch wasn't literal but it was a blow and I had to strategize how I would manage this new role as CEO of the Chamber.

I've always had a lot of irons in the fire and been able to manage them. I remember a co-worker coming into my office when I was a teacher and he was like, "How do you have time to do all of this stuff?" At that time, besides teaching, I was building an obstacle 'confidence' course with my students and painting murals across campus, and leading a few different groups. It was a lot to take on, no doubt. I learned throughout my time leading students and especially when I entered the Chamber World, as a leader, we must approach time management with the same strategic mindset we apply to our business operations. I learned very quickly, that just as I allocate resources and prioritize tasks to maximize efficiency and productivity, I must do the same with my most precious resource: Time.


In a world of endless demands and distractions, effective time management begins with prioritization. As the CEO of multiple entities, I've learned to identify the most important tasks and allocate my time accordingly. Whether it's attending crucial meetings, spearheading strategic initiatives, or spending quality time with my family, I prioritize activities that align with my overarching goals and values. I also have an amazing and understanding wife 😀

The Power of Delegation.

As leaders, we often fall into the trap of believing we can do it all or we have to be part of everything or I have to do it because no one does it better than I do. What I have learned over time is that I am much more of an effective leader when I delegate tasks to my team. Whether it's empowering team members to take ownership of projects or enlisting the support of trusted board members, delegation has freed up valuable time and allows me to focus on high-impact activities.

Harnessing Technology.

In today's digital age, technology can be a powerful ally in the battle against time constraints. The toughest part is keeping up! Technology seems to be flying by me most days but from scheduling tools to task management apps, leveraging technology can streamline processes, automate repetitive tasks, and enhance overall efficiency. I for one have utilized a few different A.I tools to help mostly with creating documentation and some image creation. As the CEO of multiple organizations, I rely on technology to stay organized, communicate effectively, and stay on top of my commitments. Not sure where I would be without it honestly.

Protecting Time for Self-Care.

In our relentless pursuit of success, it's easy to neglect our own well-being. However, as leaders, we must recognize that our ability to lead effectively is directly tied to our physical, mental, and emotional health. That's why I make it a priority to carve out time for self-care – whether it's exercising, spending time on a hobby you enjoy, or simply unplugging and recharging. I for one love to golf, so I try and get some swings in whenever I can and I also enjoy yard work and spending time with family and friends. I also am a better leader when I spend some time with God. Church on Sundays is great but mixing in some time for devotionals, prayer, and leading a life group with my wife, are all great for my overall well-being. What do you do for your well-being?

Time Well Spent.

I am by no means perfect or even an expert at effective time management but I've learned it's not just about squeezing more tasks into my day; it's about making intentional choices that align with my priorities and values. I also have an amazing supportive wife and I work my butt off. A strong work ethic is something my father instilled in my brother and me at a young age. It's one thing to be busy, we are all busy but are you productive? As leaders, mastering time management is not only essential for our own success but also for the well-being of those we lead.

Ok. I can exhale and I also am going to walk away from my first blog. I feel like I have edited 100 times. I suppose just like art, it is never done, you could keep adding refining, etc. but at some point, you just have to walk away. So I am walking away and I hope you join me next week as we explore another topic through the lens of CEO POV, Leadership Strategies. Until then, remember: time is our most precious resource – let's use it wisely.



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