Thought about priority vs time management to focus on the right things?

Priority management trumps time management for focusing on the right things.

This is what I often hear at this time of year:

“I can’t get it all done.”

“I can’t get anything done.”

“The day seems to slip away.”

The issue is NOT time management.  The issue is priority management.  You don’t want to get more done.  You want to get more of the right things done.  Priority management trumps time management.  We all have 24 hours in the day.  We choose to do different things with the time.

What does it mean?  We need to focus on the right things. 

Here are some “right thing” examples:

  • Cementing the project plan for the next 30 days.
  • Taking every one of your team member’s to lunch and asking them how you can help them achieve more high satisfaction days.
  • Creating a list of priorities for the next month then back them into your calendar (i.e. scheduling the time to get things done).
  • Blocking your calendar for 3 development meetings a week (client, referral source, other opportunities).

Here are proven methods to accomplish the right things:

  • Work from home (or somewhere without distractions) and don’t leave until you have accomplished the project/return (S) that you set out to accomplish.
  • Get to the office 2 hours earlier than everyone else and don’t open your door or turn on your email before the project on your list is done.
  • Get to the office at the same time as everyone else but don’t check email or voicemail until you’ve accomplished what you need to accomplish.
  • Think of your week in blocks of time (and block accordingly). One MP of a firm I work with says he thinks of his week in 10 blocks (5 morning and 5 afternoons) of time each with a specific outcome.  Some like to think of their days in 4 2 hour segments (with some admin time in between and at the beginning and end of the day).
  • Let people know what your priorities are and ask them to hold you accountable.
  • Dan Sullivan from the Strategic Coach advises you think of your days in 3 different ways.  Productive days (very little email or very little pushing stuff along) are days lots of getting things done (or having development meetings all day).  Buffer Days (we have too many of these) are days where we push stuff along (client email, respond to notices, lots of email, admin) yet don’t feel like we accomplished anything. Free days (free days are days where you aren’t working).

As you know, deadlines are coming soon.  I appreciate it is not easy yet we do have a choice.  Let’s make the most of your time before your schedule has no choice.

Priority management trumps time management!

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