The Secret to “Time Management” in a 24/7 World.
Most performance problems in management teams are rooted in poor planning and lack of prioritizing, not “leadership.” They get distracted and confuse “fire-fighting” with being effective, when in fact, just the opposite is true. Managers who complain loudest about time scarcity often have the most disorganized calendars and an inability to distinguish between what’s important and what’s urgent.
Here’s a new strategy for you and your team to apply: assign every task to a specific day instead of merely adding it to a “list.” All of your meetings are calendar-specific, so why shouldn’t your activities be as well? When faced with large projects, high-performing managers have learned to break each project down into the sequential subtasks necessary to complete the project. Now assign those subtasks to a specific day. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
Forget the old belief that you should first make a list of every daily task and then assign an A, B, or C priority to each one, with subsets of 1 through 5 prioritization. This may have worked in the 1990s but is ludicrous in today’s faster-harder-smarter-more world. How much time do you spend everyday re-writing and re-assigning these “A-B-C” lists? High-performing Managers are most efficient when they plan 70% of each day and week in detail and leave the remaining 30% for “WTH?” time. This allows for the unexpected “What the heck?” fires that can, and will, pop up. Take control of what takes your time by asking yourself this simple question three times daily: “Given all that I have to accomplish, is this the best possible use of my time right now?”
Bottom line? It’s all about prioritization. You don’t need more “Time,” you just need to decide.
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