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.

An example of something that is both important and urgent is client deadlines. Strategic planning or relationship management are examples of things that are important but not urgent.

Things that are urgent and less important are often things that other people ask you to address (often their urgent and important items where they are floundering). Finally, tasks that are neither urgent nor important are your lowest priority items.

Here are the challenges that you face, especially as you’re learning your new managerial role.

+ Everything seems important and urgent. If you regularly function in this zone, you will burn out. You need to determine degrees of urgency, and work accordingly.

+ You’re floundering in urgent, but less important. If you spend a lot of time in this area, chances are you’re doing other people’s jobs, and you need to influence them to do their jobs and come back to you for review, not for the doing.

+ You neglect things that are important and less urgent. Allocate time for these activities and make sure you do them. Just because something is less urgent doesn’t mean that it should be ignored.

The key to all of this is to stay focused and to proactively manage your schedule by prioritization. It may not be perfect the first time around, but eventually you’ll find a good rhythm that works best for you.

Header image by LinkedIn Sales Solutions/Unsplash.

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