Next Level Leaders – Managing Time and Priorities, 1

You’re newly promoted into your new managerial role. Frankly, everything is new, from your overall responsibilities to a new boss to people reporting to you. You knew how to balance tasks in the old job, but now there are many different moving parts.

How you manage time and balance priorities is one of the biggest initial challenges. Part of this is because your time isn’t your own anymore. Your direct reports want and need your attention, and, in many situations, these are different people than your previous colleagues.

First things first, you need a handle on your priorities, including what your new boss expects of you. If this is an internal promotion, you may be acquainted with this person, but things always change when there is a reporting relationship.

Discuss this person’s expectations, clarity about deadlines and the frequency (and form) of communication expected from you. Is the new boss someone who will give you the freedom to learn the new job and sink or swim on your own or is micromanagement the order of the day? Obviously, there is a big range in between and you’ll need to establish a rhythm that works for both of you.

Second, how needy are your new direct reports? How have they been managed until now and what are their expectations of you as their new boss? Take time with each of them to get acquainted to get the lay of the land and initially assess their needs.

Third, what projects and tasks have you inherited in your new job and what are the expectations around progress and completion? What are the predetermined timelines and is there flexibility to change any of them?

Fourth, what is the pace of the environment? Is it stable and does it move at a moderate pace or is it fast paced with the need to adjust immediately to any changes?

These four elements will inform how you move ahead to manage your time and priorities. Importantly, how you managed your time before is not likely to be the same as what it needs to be now. Next week, we’ll discuss a few different ways to approach this.

Header image by Emmy E/Pexels.

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