Next Level Leaders – Managing Time and Priorities, 2

Last time, we looked at four areas of focus as a foundation for good time management when you’ve been promoted into a new managerial role. To review, these include managing priorities, determining needs of your new director reports, managing projects, and fitting in with the pace of the environment.

Today we’ll look at a way you can plan and manage your time through determining the level of importance and urgency for your tasks. This method went into broad based use from Stephen Covey’s The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

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Behavioral Goal Setting

To set and attain goals is an important process for nearly all high-achieving leaders. Whether you go through a formal process to set and monitor goals, or informally record your aspirations, the desired outcome is the same.

People typically identify tasks or activities as the stepping stones for goal achievement. For example, if you want to achieve a certain revenue number in your department, you can divide that number among your employees resulting in a goal of x dollars per employee.

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Laser Focus

Something that differentiates top performers from others is that they stay focused on the end result. They don’t just write a report or complete an assignment; they think about how their work can have the greatest impact on the end result or user.

The workplace is filled with busy people, and some might offer the excuse that they’re just too buried to bring project x to the next level. Although this may be true, those who break through the busy-ness barrier do it regularly.

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Updating Priorities

Many people made priorities based on an old list of what is important to them. Every once in a while (Every month? Once a quarter? Twice a year?) it is helpful to rethink your priorities and determine whether a change is appropriate.

This is especially important for leaders because their priorities certainly change based on what is going on in their companies.

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Time to Redd Up!

Spring has arrived. It’s that time of the year when once upon a time spring cleaning was the source of household activity. Some researchers attribute the origins to the Iranian Norouz, the Persian new year, which is also the first day of spring. Tradition was that Iranians would “shake the house” prior to and in anticipate of the new year.

Closer to home, a colloquial version is to “redd up,” like the verb, to rid, meaning “clear, put in order, clean up.” If you’ve ever lived or passed through Pittsburgh, PA, you’ve probably heard this expression!

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Stop the Insanity!

Last time we talked about prioritizing activities that you want to complete by the end of the year. Another important exercise for year end is answering three questions to help you identify and reframe your activities in the new year.

While reflecting on these questions, keep in mind both professional and personal interests.

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Juggling Priorities

Many people take a deep breath at the beginning of December. The realization that there’s only one month left in the year comes as a shock, no matter how many times you’ve gone through it!

The people who succeed are those who manage their priorities effectively. Not all priorities are equal! On the other end of the spectrum are people who are unrealistic about what can actually be completed in the remaining available time.

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How Is Your Resilience?

“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
– Nelson Mandela

You know it when you see it: a resilient person is someone who recovers from adversity and keeps going, regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes I refer to this as “bounce-back-ability”.

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Personal Accountability

This month we are highlighting several competencies that have become more important in our evolving workplace. Last week the focus was on the value of flexibility. Today we’ll look at personal accountability.

Do you answer for your personal actions? Unfortunately, this is becoming rarer in the workplace. People are quick to blame others and slow to take responsibility for what they did or didn’t do.

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