Business management often is about time management and, if you think about it, we waste a lot of time thinking about how not to waste time. In fact, there are bookshelves lined with manuals on time management. Who has the time to read all the scholarship on saving time?
But there is one simple element to virtually all time-management techniques and strategies: Prioritization.
According to Cary Green in a February Gettingsmart.com blog, without prioritization, you may be busy, but that doesn’t mean you’re managing your time well. Here are five ways to think about priorities in order to avoid busyness in your business:
Take ownership of your priorities: We’re at our best when we’re doing what we want to do, working on projects that we ourselves initiate. If you establish a relentless focus on achieving individual or group priorities, you’ll be surprised how much time you’ll have to accomplish what you set out to do.
Not everything is important: Look for ways to automate or delegate activities that are not priorities and, therefore, not a good use of your time.
Others’ priorities may not be your priorities: Don’t lose sight of your priorities because someone else has other priorities.
Just because it’s urgent doesn’t mean it’s a priority: Keep the focus on priorities because urgent issues are not always important issues.
Time is not relative: The least effective person you know has the same amount of time as the most effective person you know. The difference, of course, is effective people have their priorities in order while ineffective ones often do not.
While we’re talking about prioritization, there’s one more thing to remember: The most productive people are those who take care of themselves by getting enough sleep and exercise. They often will work in focused bursts, with breaks to recharge their batteries.