|Preventing beats fighting|
|Here I come to save the day!|
- Put first things first. Begin with the end in mind. Prioritize, plan and execute your daily/weekly tasks based on what’s important rather than what’s urgent. Ask yourself: Will working on this today get me towards my goals?
- Take responsibility for your choices. Embrace the fact that your decisions determine how effective you’ll be in accomplishing your goals. If you choose to react, then you’re not going to get where you want to go. It’s your choice. If you choose to work on somebody else’s problem, it’s not their fault.
- Block off time on your calendar. When you have an important project to accomplish, make some inviolate time. Treat it like an appointment. Don’t look at your email or cell phone during this period. If you must, get out of the office and go someplace else where you won’t be distracted. Trust me; in the few hours you’re ‘disconnected’ the world won’t come to an end.
- Delegate urgent items. Keep your priorities in mind and don’t fall back on the tendency to think either (a) “This is a quick fix” (as a general rule, there’s no such thing), or (b) “I can do this faster/better than anyone else” (this may be true, but you can also do your priority task faster/better than anyone else – and it’s more important).
- Consider using an Urgent/Important Matrix. This is a tool credited both to President Dwight Eisenhower and Steven Covey. If you’re a visual person, and it helps you to graph things out, this may be useful.
- Plan ahead to avoid the urgent. A lot of urgent things happen because we leave important things to the last minute. Anyone who’s ever pulled an ‘all-nighter’ knows this. Some things, of course, cannot be foreseen. But a lot can, and should, be anticipated.
- Before favoring an urgent task over an important one, ask yourself key questions:
- Must this be done NOW?
- If not, when can I schedule to get it done so that it becomes part of my plan and an important ‘to-do’?
- If so, do I need to be the one to do this? To whom can I delegate?
- What do I have to put on my ‘to-do’ list for the future so this doesn’t happen again?