How to Prioritize Your Time
Being able to prioritize the use of your time is a critical management skill. Let’s review signs when your use of time merits some further reflection:
- You feel like there is never enough time to get your work done.
- You seem to get the urgent things done, but not the important ones.
- You never seem to have enough time, but even so, you feel like you’re wasting precious time.
- You feel like you spend all your time at someone else’s need or direction.
When you feel like this, know you are not alone! Most every manager struggles with these challenges. There is rarely enough time in any manager’s day for the demands that fall their way. So managing, and prioritizing, your time, is critically important to your success. Here are our Top 5 Ways to Recognize a Time Management Improvement Opportunity:
1) Any time a week, or a day, starts, you have the chance to frame what is important to you, and what is not
2) Any time an interruption happens, you have the opportunity to decide whether to allow that interruption, build a boundary, or commit to a system to manage such interruptions in the future
3) Any time feel yourself fighting a fire, you have the choice to reflect on what failure in the system led to this fire, and how it could be prevented the next time
4) Any time you feel an overpowering desire to escape to some unimportant, non-urgent task, just to blow off some steam, you have the chance to wonder how you got to this non-productive place.
5) Any time you are coaching a subordinate or colleague about how to manage their time, you have the opportunity to affirm the importance of doing what is important, and not just what is urgent
Being smart with how you use your time pays big dividends. Here are some:
- You spend less time fighting fires, and more time building systems to prevent fires.
- You make more time for what is important, not just what is urgent.
- You build better boundaries around the use of your time, and preserve precious time for your most important tasks.
- You get more done with the same amount of time.
Learn a simple yet powerful tool for prioritizing your time here.