Most people in business, whether entrepreneurs with start-ups, managers with growing companies or senior executives with global public corporations, face a common dilemma. How can one juggle competing priorities effectively and still maintain a level of focus to insure consistently high performance levels? While roles and companies differ greatly, some of the essential skills from time management courses they require are common.
- What essential things will not get done if you do not do them? How important are they to the success of your business? In other words, do these impact your key performance objectives? While there are many things that can and should be done on any given day (and night - and weekend), what are the most important? These should be your top priority.
- What are your business objectives? What are the outcomes that you have committed (to yourself, your boss, your board, the investors) to achieving? What are the time frames? Think in terms of specifics not how they are achieved. Insure that these are documented and have the buy-in of all the key stakeholders of the business.
- What are your interruptions - real and potential? These may include: co-workers, vendors, customers, phone calls, cell phone, e-mail, snail mail and other potential time and focus stealers. This is not to downplay the importance of any of these. Customers are essential to all successful businesses. Technology is vital to efficiency and communication. Co-workers and vendors are also crucial to many if not most enterprises large or small.
- Schedule your day and control your environment so you can do ONE THING AT A TIME. Most successful people list the ability to focus as one of the elements essential to achieve success and maintain optimal performance.
List your priorities. Revisit them. Some must be revisited daily. Others weekly. Some monthly. Others annually. Schedule a weekly and monthly review of objectives. Prioritization is directly related to accomplishing them.