You have a lot on your plate.
People are constantly asking for your input or help. You have so many plates spinning that it’s hard to imagine how you can get it all done each week. It seems like it has become more of a choice on who you are going to disappoint instead of who you will delight.
The more responsibility you have in an organization, the more important it becomes to master prioritization.
Not only will you set priorities weekly and daily, but it may be important to reprioritize many times throughout the day or week. And this is much more than just creating a To Do List as discussed in previous posts. This is about crafting the To Do List priorities in a way that maximizes your effectiveness as a leader.
Having a simple strategy on how to put first things first can help alleviate stress and keep your promotability strong. Here is one method from Motivationeer™ that works. This would be the acronym REPS. It stands for Relationship, Effort, Profitability and Sustainability.
Think of each new task in terms of these four words to determine how high up the list it will go. If your task is high in each of these areas, it will probably be your first or second priority. If it scores high in only one category, it might sit toward the middle of your To Do List. And if it scores low in all categories, you can probably bump it to the bottom of your list.
Here is a quick overview of what each one means:
Sometimes you have an activity or action that will have a direct impact on an important relationship. It may be one of your biggest customers or a senior executive within your company. It may be a colleague that you have blown off for quite some time, and tension is growing. It may be a supporter of your own career growth. Whoever it is, consider how this action will affect your relationship.
Some actions are low hanging fruit. They take little effort but have a great impact. These activities are the ones you want to put toward the top of the list. If the activity holds high impact but will take much effort, you may want to start the project but not expect to get it done ahead of other actions.
The higher up the chain of command you go the more important certain numbers become. One of the most important is profitability. Think of your To Do List priorities in terms of their financial impact. This criterion might dovetail into Relationship too. If the action will have a high impact on profit (whether it is revenue or cost) consider keeping it toward the top of the list.
This is a bit tricky. The idea behind sustainability is not whether you can sustain the effort over time, but whether the effort will be repeated again by others in the future. If this action item is bound to be on other colleague’s lists in the future, make it a priority to accomplish the task well and document it. You can then share your work as a best practice and actually scale the savings.
Try out this methodology on your existing To Do List. See how the prioritization changes as you consider the four factors. And keep REPS handy. Put it in your calendar as a 15-minute timeslot in the morning, at lunch and at the end of the day and see how it impacts your overall wellbeing.
Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience. He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.
Shawn Sommerkamp, speaking to the Charleston Church of Christ at the New Year's Eve church service Dec 31, 2017.
Targeted goal-setting is powerful and effective. It helps us keep clarity of outcome. Breaking big desires down into smaller, achievable goals makes success achievable. The biggest challenges are overcome as we make a series of small goals that, collectively, lead to big outcomes.
And yet, just setting a bunch of goals can often be discouraging when we don’t reach them. Ever wonder why we often fall short? It’s because the goals weren’t smart! I’m not talking about whether the goals are stupid or intelligent either. I’m talking about a simple way of thinking about an activity designed to help us achieve results. It’s called S.M.A.R.T. and it stands for the following:
It’s early January.
The Holidays are over.
It can feel like we go from the ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ to the most challenging time of the year.
A more appropriate lyric, now that it is time to make resolutions & get back to work, could be one of the following…
‘It’s The Most:
- Crazy busy
- Cash poor
- Weight Gaining
…Time Of The Year.’`
It’s not that you are
You want to enjoy it, but
it can feel more like “I just want to get through it.”
Although your MIND knows that God’s will for you (according to 1 Th 5:16-18) is to:
“Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”
...your HEART can lag behind & this simple command can seem overwhelming.
Sometimes you can put your finger on what’s dragging you down & other times it’s more elusive ~ not really sure what’s keeping things from being ‘Wonderful’.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
Give thanks, no matter what is happening in your life. This is easy…right?
A national polling firm named Penn, Schoen, & Berland conducted a survey, mid-2012, evaluating American attitude toward thankfulness. They conducted more than 2,000 interviews across the US general population. I’m only going to share a few pieces of the overall report:
Where is the one place people are least likely to express gratitude? WORK
Based on this survey, that hardest circumstance to give thanks exists in and around the workplace. Isn’t that amazing? The place we spend the most waking hours (about 2,200 hours per year, about 110,000 hours in working lifespan) we aren’t thankful for. Wow!
The truth is our career is not just a way to make a living - it’s a way to transform the world. It’s the place God placed us so that we could make the biggest difference in our service to him.
Do you remember when these 3D-Hidden Object posters
came out? They were quite the RAVE…
They were not what they appeared to be at first glance… If you wanted to understand what the poster was really about, you had to stop what you were doing, get real close to it – focus on it, and back away very slowly… and then – like magic – 3D images would appear / seemingly emerge right off of the paper (3D effect). The embedded 3D images were disguised and hidden to the untrained/unfocused eyes.
Some people (me included sometimes) would get frustrated if we could not see the 3D images fast enough – some were easier than others… and missed the ‘magic’ of the poster.