Priority Management: Keep the Main Things the Main Thing

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Sections of this topic

    “I’ve fallen into this trap too many times. In my mind, I tell myself if I’m busy, I’m adding value. The reality is that we can be busy about the wrong things. And, if we don’t discipline our lives, we’ll find ourselves investing a lot of our time with little impact.”

    Some leaders have this ailment called activity addiction. Do you? They think that having their plate overflowing each day means that they are excelling at their job. Being busy is not the same as being effective. Truthfully, some highly effective people are not overly busy. They have learned to focus on priorities, not activities; to delegate but not micro-manage; and to know when to act and when not to.

    The most effective managers today are not addicted to being busy; rather, they are addicted to producing measurable results by doing the right things, in the right way and at the right time.

    YES or NO!

    People think focus means saying yes to the things they have to work on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. So pick carefully. Get together with your boss, team or board in the next week and answer these 6 questions:

    1. What are the key things we have to accomplish this quarter?
    2. Which are the most important or has the highest priority?
    3. Why are they important to our team or organization?
    4. When are our deadlines? How firm or how flexible?
    5. Who are the key people or groups we must satisfy?
    6. When faced with competing tasks or requests:
      – What do we say yes to?
      – What do we say no to?
      – What do we put aside to later?

    Management Success Tip

    Make sure your time is used to its best advantage. If you’re like most hard-charging managers, you have a long to-do list and feel proud of it. Now take another look. Start a stop-doing list. Effective leaders have developed the discipline to stop doing anything and everything that doesn’t lead to the results they want.

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?