In our current ecosystem, no matter if you work for a Startup, multinational company or yourself, your calendar is full of action items, remainders or meetings. With such a frenetic activity, it is really easy to lose focus and productivity here and there. By the end of the week, those moments turn into poor meetings, remainders on hold and action items incompleted.
There is a tendency to encourage multitasking profiles and/or situations. However, it is proven that multitasking doesn’t deliver the results expected (as common believed), besides that it is not nice thing to do while someone is seeking your attention
“If you are in a meeting with me, you have my full attention” Eli Broad, The art of being unreasonable, Chapter 6
I can not agree more, as I once I told a fellow MBA (he still remains me in every single meeting), “your time is not more important than mine”. With that sentence, I promise, I didn’t want to be rude, but make my point. In my opinion it is a social contract, when everyone agreed to meet. That is why it is important to set expectations with your team from the beginning. More to that in a future post.
On the top of that, when dealing with someone else’s agendas and calendars, it is believed that everything is important and urgent, and therefore has to be answered with yes. That creates an expectation gap.
The bottom line – in the current dynamic we have plenty of tasks to complete. Some of them are important, others urgent or both, while some are nor urgent neither important. Therefore, we need systems to not only to manage our task but to prioritize them continuously.
Prioritization is crucial because it will allow you to use your time effectively and not just efficiently, focusing on what really move the needle forward.
“If you can’t delegate, it’s not someone else problem is your problem” Eli Broad, The art of being unreasonable, Chapter 6
Whether you are a decision maker or executer, time is the only resource that is not coming back or can stop. However you can manage it by setting a list of action items (To Do List) and prioritising them. In doing so, you will get the best out of your time allowing you to not only be efficient, but also effective. Everyone around you will thank you, because at the end of the day you will give the time back to their life.
Prioritise requise methodology and discipline as well as be flexible not rigid. However, it is really interesting the consequences of those situations for your own time management planning, as well as for understanding implications in someone else’s schedule.
One of the most simple methods is the Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle, reflected in a 2×2 matrix (below) that helps you to plan and coordinate your action plans as well as coordinate your team performance.
The idea with the method, which I find self-explanatory, are two main things
- Get insights
- Prioritization helps while planning the “important” task to move then to the right, transforming a “Crisis” (Urgent and important) into a “Project” (Important and not Urgent)
- While prioritising “not important” task in your to do list, this matrix helps you either delegate them or remove them completely, as they only create distractions rather than adding any value.
Once this methods has become a routine, it would be easy for you to analyse and obtain different business insights according to the results of your prioritization process.
Many things are out of our control because they depend on someone else’s actions, follow ups or approval. However, if we are able to prioritise our task and schedule, we will get much more things done using our time effectively and efficiently.