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12 Ways Exceptional Leaders Spend Their Time Effectively

When you read the stories of great leaders, you may think that every great leader reached the top because of chance or because they got lucky. Truth is that these leaders did something right with their times and energies and were able to make the necessary trade-offs that helped them reach the leadership positions.

There have been many books written on what these leaders do. After conducting thorough research, we have come up with a list of 12 ways exceptional leaders spend their time. Effectively. By inculcating these ways in your individual life, you can also pave your way to success. So without further ado, let us untangle the mystery of leadership success.

1. Waking up With a Positive Attitude

Most people you meet in your life are not fans of getting up early. They would rather stay in their beds till noon and then get out with an unpleasant attitude. These people lose their energy at the beginning of the day and then do not recover it easily. Resultantly, they are not able to give in their all to their businesses or their organizations.

One of the ways exceptional leaders spend their time is they sleep early and then waking up on time. By taking a good night’s sleep, they can keep up their energies for the entire day. Additionally, these leaders make a conscious effort to wake up with a positive attitude. Rather than thinking about what went wrong, they are future-oriented and think about a good future.

2. Caring About One’s Physical Health

One look at your surroundings and you will be shocked to know how careless people are regarding their health. Most do not consider it a priority. Others who consider it a priority are not able to give proper time and effort to their physical health.

Great and exceptional leaders prioritize their physical health and make no compromises on their exercise routine. They will either set a fixed time for their daily walk or gym session or they will take out time from their busy routine and dedicate a couple of minutes to exercise. Additionally, leaders ensure that they take the right medication so that their work does not affect their physical health.

3. Utilize the Commute Time

Leaders, whether they are running a huge company, or a small one, end up spending a lot of time on the commute. Whether these people travel by busses or through their transport, a long commute is often an undeniable reality for these people. Although commute time can frustrate an individual and make them feel less energetic, great leaders can turn it around and find a silver lining here as well.

Most great leaders will either read a good book or take notes during commute time. Some even ponder over their thoughts and try to reach important decisions. Others take out their phones and make notes for the day. By spending their commute time preparing for the day ahead, these people can avoid wasting too much of their time.

Also Read About: 25 Qualities of a Good Leader to Revolutionize Your Career

4. Planning Ahead of Time

Leaders use their instincts to their advantage, and rightfully so too. Leadership demands that you take some decisions quickly and on the spot. However, it is also important that you plan ahead of time, especially when the stakes are high.

Before you reach important decisions, make sure you have all your research and data gathered. Moreover, use tools available on the internet to make preparations for the future. This will help you better navigate through difficult situations and make you mentally and physically ready for any challenge ahead.

5. Organizing Day-To-Day Work

As a leader, you may think that you have people who will take care of mundane, day-to-day work. Although this is somewhat true, it should not prevent you from making better organizational decisions. Leaders have a lot on their plate; nay, their plate is often full. However, leaders who use this as an excuse to be messy, end up failing miserably.

Great and exceptional leaders go out of their way to keep as organized as possible. This does not only reflect in their offices but also reflects in their personal life. If you observe their home and their personal space, you will notice that these individuals have all their belongings sorted in the right places. This gives them the peace of mind that comes when your surroundings are hospitable.

6. Manage Their Email and Texts

As the world has progressed, more people have moved on from emails. They have chosen texting as an ideal way to communicate. Sadly, this has blurred the lines between professional and personal time. Take WhatsApp for example. People who allow their employees or their office staff to text them on WhatsApp end up staying in the ‘office zone’ the entire day.

Great leaders know how to make the distinction between private and professional space. They use emails as a professional tool to communicate with their colleagues and staff. When they have to use texting apps, they prefer using ‘WhatsApp business’. This ensures that their personal space is well protected.

Collaborate With Staff Members

7. Strategizing to Get Better Results

You would expect the most famous world leaders of history to reach important decisions without using many strategies. However, that is not true. Leaders like Napolean were able to achieve great things because they used strategizing as a positive tool. Napoleon was called the ‘God of Strategy’ because he spent a lot of time studying his enemies and then acting accordingly.

In the current world, exceptional leaders use strategic methods to study their clients and their competitors. They also study the marketplace to know market trends. Next, they use ‘trial and error’ and ‘alternative ideas’ methods to reach the best decision possible.

8. Meaningful Meetings and Conference Calls

One of the reasons why leaders fail is because they conduct too many meetings for the sake of it. When these leaders get the added responsibility, they believe that they need to do things a certain way. This propels them to conduct unfruitful meetings that waste everybody’s time.

Exceptional leaders realize the importance of a few, but meaningful meetings. Look at the extensive meeting the Founding fathers of America had before signing the declaration of independence. They realized that the meeting would only get over once everyone agrees on a suitable outcome. Similarly, leaders of today need to realize that the duration and frequency of the meetings do not matter as long as the results are favorable.

9. Collaborate With Staff Members

Regardless of how great of a leader you are, there is very little that you can do without the assistance of others. Leaders who believe that they are self-sufficient and do not necessarily need anyone’s help end up failing miserably. Leaders need to be smart and intuitive and realize how important it is to effectively collaborate with staff members.

By developing good listening skills and effective communication skills, they can better interact with their counterparts and their staff members. Additionally, this gives them clarity on how things are running in their organization. Leaders who communicate with their staff also end up achieving trust in leadership.

10. Staying Connected to the Managers

When you start your leadership journey, you may overestimate your capabilities and believe that you can singlehandedly control everything that happens in your organization. Truth be told, you will need the help of managers who can effectively run your business. Leaders are often too involved with big decisions and do not always have time to carry out the day-to-day operations of the organization. This is where managers come in.

Exceptional leaders spend their time cultivating good relationships with their managers. They give them the confidence and freedom to channel their energies in a positive direction. They also give their managers incentives that propel them to work harder and manage the operations in the best possible way.

11. Striking a Balance Between Professional and Personal Life

As we mentioned above, leaders need to strike a perfect balance between their professional and personal life. Most leaders will spend all their time fixating on their jobs and give no time to their personal life. Although, this can prove successful in the short run. It can even give these individuals all the momentum to kickstart their leadership journey, but in the long run, it will lead to burnout.

Exceptional leaders divide their time and energies in a way that they can do justice to both their private and professional life. They spend a good amount with their friends and family so they do not resent their jobs and their leadership position in the future.

12. Limiting Entertainment Time

Leaders should not stop looking for fun things to do, however, the road to leadership is difficult and laden with a lot of responsibilities. This is why great leaders need to make the necessary tradeoffs between their fun time and professional duties.

Leaders limit their entertainment time and do not spend too much time doing idle things like watching a Netflix series or playing sports for hours. Moreover, they also prefer quality over quantity which is why great leaders will spend their entertainment time doing something productive. They will watch a movie that gives them both knowledge and entertainment thus getting the best of both worlds.

How Does Good Time Management Help Your Leadership Career?

  • Streamline Your Work
  • Helps Enhance Your Physical Health
  • Improves Your Mental Health
  • Allows You to Do More in Less Time
  • Makes You an Inspiration

Learn Time Management With Best Diplomats

Learn Time Management With Best Diplomats

When you have to do so much in so little time, you end up respecting both your own time and the time of others. This is exactly what Best Diplomats teaches you. The program and the training are planned in a way that teaches young leaders of the future the importance of time management.

Additionally, Best Diplomats operates in several cities and has helped thousands of kids reach their full potential. The training helps you become more confident and approachable individuals that can better navigate the difficult road of leadership ahead.


Leadership is not for everyone: a popular phrase we have all heard growing up. However, data indicates that anyone can become an exceptional leader if they follow a few simple steps needed to revolutionize their strategy. By following the 15 ways exceptional leaders spend their time effectively, normal individuals can also pave the way to success. By focusing on one’s physical and mental health and strategizing their time, individuals can become great leaders of the future.


Why Do Leaders Need to Spend Their Time Effectively?

Leaders set the tone for everyone to follow. In an organization, they have two prime duties. The first is to conduct their businesses in the best way possible. This requires them to follow a tight schedule and not leave anything to chance. Secondly, leaders are an inspiration for everyone else. When leaders are lousy, others follow suit.

How Do CEOs Spend Their Time?

CEOs are not ordinary leaders and are the pillar that holds the organization intact. They have a lot on their plate. If they are not responsible, they can take the company down with them. Most CEOs will possess excellent organizational skills. From the time they wake up to the time they sleep, they follow a strict schedule. They make time for their physical exercise because CEOs need to prioritize both their health and their work- a lot depends on it.

Do Leaders Take Frequent Vacations?

It differs from leader to leader. A general myth surrounding leaders is that they do not take any vacations. Some people believe that leaders delegate all their tasks and do not do anything themselves. Both extremes are incorrect. Most successful leaders take vacations once or twice a month. By doing this, they can strike a good balance between their personal and their private life.

How Can I Learn Effective Time Management?

The internet is full of gimmicky ideas that give you quick solutions to bad time management. However, effective time management requires constant effort and persistence. Individuals need to ensure that they are willing to follow a strict schedule. They need to create rewards and punishments to keep them on track. Additionally, attending a good leadership training program can also help kickstart your journey. 

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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