Being clear about your priorities gives you the conviction to say no to work that is not a good use of your time, and the confidence to spend time on the things that really matter.
This was a thought I had a few days ago in a moment of relaxed clarity. Bam! There it was. It seemed like a big thought. You might not agree, but for someone who thinks and talks about prioritisation most days of the week, it seemed to carry weight. So here I am sharing it with you.
This thought came from an experience I had in a coaching session with a client last week. He was a busy manager in a large corporate. He was both successful and a good leader. But like many, was caught up most days in the constant churn of meetings, emails and interruptions.
We spent some time talking about the benefits of devoting time every Friday to plan the week and weeks ahead. Not just a cursory scan of his meetings for next week, but a full 360-degree scan of everything he was doing and should be doing.
He committed to making time the following Friday for what I call a weekly ROAR (Review, Organise, Anticipate and Realign). The Monday after I received an email from my client. He’d spent an hour and a half running through the weekly planning process I recommended. As a result, he reclaimed valuable time to work on an important project that had been sidelined by more ‘pressing’ work.
To make time for this important work, he had cancelled or delegated several meetings that he decided were not the best use of his time. By taking the time to plan and get clear about his priorities, he had the conviction to say no to less important work. And he was confident about what he should be working on. If questioned on how he was spending his time, he would have been able to justify his decisions with ease. He was so excited and thankful about his new found clarity.
So, do you have time scheduled this Friday to do your weekly ROAR? If not, block out at least 30 minutes right now. Better still, make it a weekly recurring meeting with yourself – do it EVERY Friday.
Conviction and confidence comes from clarity. And in today’s busy workplace, we only get clarity when we take time out to plan, to think and to prioritise.