Priority Management

Last week, I spoke about two of the most important aspects facing smaller companies as they look to take that leap into larger markets, global markets, and to expand into a much bigger entity.

One of these issues was related to taking the longer view.  But of course, before you can take the longer view, you have to find the time to do it.  Last week’s podcast talked about ideas, theory. Now I want to start talking about how to do it.  Something which is unfortunately often lacking in a lot of the consultancy work you may hear.

The first in this series of the Leap Program is on Priority Management.  Not time management but priority management.

Priority Management  is one of the very first things that, when I meet with executives, we talk about.  But first, let me say two things, the first of which is, none of what I’m going to talk about is my work.  It is all taken from Peter Drucker’s book, The Effective Executive, which was first issued in 1967, and remains probably the best book you could possibly purchase on anything to do with executive training or management training.  Every time I read this book, and I must have read it 25 times, there is always something in there that I’ve missed.  It’s just jam-packed with information.  All I’ve done is maybe update some of the techniques he’s used, but more or less, I’m going to tell you what he suggests.

The second thing I want to tell you is that this is a podcast on priority management, which some people talk about time management, and I’m actually recording this at 10 minutes past 10 at night.  So I coach people on this, I use this system myself regularly, every six months the whole process of actually managing your priorities which I’ll talk about.  And yet, even I, sometimes, have to work at this time of night, that’s just the way it is.

 

Definitions and Objectives

  • Why Priority Management and Not Time Management
  • Time is a Unique Resource and is irreplaceable
  • The Supply is Totally Inelastic – Demand Up, Supply Unchanged
  • Humans Are Bad at Managing Time – Dark Room
  • Objectives of Priority Management
    • Ensure What We do is In Line With Our Priorities
      • First Job With Executives
      • Bad Memories
      • Best Customer Calls
    • Provide Large Continuous Chunks of Time
      • Managing People
      • 7 Hour Report Split into 15 min Slots Results in Little

 

Where Does the Time Go?

  • No One Remembers Well
  • Historic Analysis
    • Computer Agendas Make it Easier, IF USED
    • Data Sample = 3 Weeks
    • Place in categories What You Did
    • For Blank Periods, Mark Nothing
    • Work Out the Percentages for the Categories
  • Real Time Analysis
    • The True Drucker Method
    • Write Down What You Are Doing Every 15 mins
    • Use your assistant or Your PDA

 

Finding Priorities

  • Do Not Invent Your Priorities !
  • Job Description – is it Upto Date ?
  • Ask Your Boss – Be Careful However
  • Look At Recent Engagements/Meetings/Presentations
  • Write Everything Down Like Brainstorming – Then Organise
  • There Might be 50 But These Are Tasks, Not Priorities
    • Drucker Says Only One Priority
    • Let’s Try to Have Only 5

 

Eliminating Excess

  • How Do These Priorities Compare to Your Time Record?
  • What Can Be Completely Eliminated?
    • What Would Happen if it Was Not Done?
  • What Can Be Done By Others?
    • If Something can be done by someone below you It Must Be Done.
    • You are More Expensive to the company than your Report
  • How Do I Waste Other People’s Time
  • What Do I Do That Wastes Your Time Without Contributing to Your Effectiveness?
    • Organisational Time Wasting
    • The Recurrent Crisis
  • Malorganisation = More than 50% of Time in Meetings

 

Time Blocks – Your Discretionary Time

  • Making the Time for Those Tasks Which will Make a Contribution
  • It Is rarely More than 25% of Your Time
  • Consolidating is Key
  • Ideas:
    • Work From Home 1 Day a Week
    • All Meetings, reviews etc on Mon and Fri. Then 3 Mornings Left
    • 1.5 Hours of Work At Home Before Leaving in the Morning
  • Mindset the Key – Use the Time For Priorities

 

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