Probably one of the greatest challenges that leaders face today is to manage their time. From the viewpoint of a leader of a team, a department, or it feels like a hamster in a wheel. The very moment you think you’re through with critical tasks for the day,you’re faced with a whole bunch of new e-mails. Then somebody is standing in the door and has a question, telephones are ringing and so forth. The key here is not to get distracted and to focus your attention on what’s important. That sounds simple but is actually very difficult in practice. There are many concepts of Time Management: from the Eisenhower, principle to differentiate between what‘ urgent and what’s important –to actually writing your tasks on a sheet of paper in order to get them„out of your head“ to be able to think clearly about how to deal with them.
This concepts by themselves are very helpful. However, they’re often used in an isolated way, ignoring the interfacing challenges. Let’s say you were working on three different projects and some of these projects are actually part of your goals for this financial year. Let’s further presume that some of these projects have proven to be more difficult, so you had to add further follow-up projects during the year. Now, at the same time you are getting more and more single tasks on your desk from your boss, some tasks are regarding projects of colleagues, and so forth. So what happens now with the priorities that we’ve set up in the first place for the original projects?
The truth is that priorities are changing, things are dynamic and many priorities are just not the same to different people. The key here is to never lose track of your goals on the one side. This means having to be constantly working on your strategy, meaning „your way to achieve your goal“, and to adapt routinely to evolving tasks and projects. Never forget what you’re being measured on your key performance indicators, the measurement points that your company will use to judge at the end of the year how well you’ve done.
Let’s take an example. Let’s say you’re a leading business manager of a business division and one of your key goals is to reduce churn. One of your key performance indicators may be to reduce churn, measured not only in money but also in numbers of customers lost. You need on strategies on how to these clients. One milestone of your strategy may be to get the feedback of your of customer relationships. Another milestone may be to plan with the Marketing Department on how to keep current customers posted regarding the companies work for other customers -including the other customers’ opinions of the work. series of the financial year, of your customers. During these meetings, you would get their feedback correctly and be able to make suggestions on how to improve the collaboration.
All these projects need to be prioritized and broken down into much smaller steps, and many of these tasks need to be delegated properly to the right people in order to make swift progress.
Now, the most important thing is to integrate the tasks that your projects are consisting of. Then to integrate them with the many line management tasks and routine things into an ongoing plan. That plan must be managed properly at least once a week and priorities need to be reviewed regularly. If, for instance, one of your clients has indicated that they want to switch suppliers, you may need to increase the priority of that particular project and at the same time identify the need for action and integrate it with other tasks.
This is a dynamic process, that needs to be constantly adapted to the current situation – not a static one-off decision you make. So you need to make sure you have all your goals, KPI, strategies, and activities on your radar screen. Do you have them?
Would you like further information? Do you have questions or suggestions? We look forward to your call, email or letter. You can contact us using the following methods:
Jens Moeller Consulting Ltd.
Phone: +44 20 799 32 415
Email: [email protected]