Want to be a leader? Learn to prioritize.
If you’re an expert at prioritizing your time, well, don’t read this — it’s not a priority. But if you’re not a world-class prioritizer — and you’re not diligently working to get better at it — think again. You’re stunting your own growth as a leader.
A few insights about leadership and prioritization:
How well do you prioritize? And how do you know?
YOUR PATH FORWARD:
- For background, read up on the Covey quadrants, covering the intersection of the urgent and the important. Try one of the following, depending on how much time you have:
- On a work day with few meetings (if there is such a thing for you), set an alarm or alert (e.g. in Outlook) to ring every half hour. Each time the alarm rings, take 30 seconds to ask yourself two questions:
- How important is what I’m doing right now, given my skills, my interests and the mission of my organization?
- What else could I be doing that’s more important right now, and how might I have chosen to do it instead?
- Look at your calendar:
- How far out is it scheduled? If it’s only today and tomorrow, and then some meetings after that, you might have a prioritization problem.
- How much time do you have scheduled in the next two weeks for discretionary activities that address important but not urgent topics? If you don’t schedule such time, you allow vacuums in your schedule. And nature, as they say, abhors a vacuum. “Incoming” will fill them up, for sure.