Fighting Fires isn’t Sexy

For those of you with more on your to-do list than you have time to do, it could be quite difficult to decide which projects get your time and attention. Getting focused is the top challenge most super busy managers struggle with. I have learned so much about this problem first-hand dealing with it as I balance my roles as mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister, and more with that of being an entrepreneur. I have now created and delivered a highly effective workshop “There’s Too Much on my Plate” to help others manage their work more effectively rather than constantly fighting fires by handling the crises that come there way on a regular basis.

Some highly recommended and very effective techniques I teach about include:

1. Choose the RIGHT priorities

Here I refer to the 80:20 rule and apply it to managing your workload. Don’t be so busy doing lots of the things that will detract you from doing the things that matter most. 80% is trivial but 20% is vital. Focus on your 20% with 80% of your time and energy. Work smarter! Focus the majority of your time and energy on activities that advance your overall goals and purpose. Anything else on your to-do list is likely a distraction!

2. Ask Yourself the RIGHT questions

Rather than asking about how you’ll be able to get everything done, ask what steps will help you achieve your goals, how the activity or project ties into the bigger picture, when critical hand-offs need to occur and other such questions that more closely align with your goals and objectives.

3. Be in Control

Manage your day rather than reacting to other’s needs and priorities and putting your own priorities on the back burner. Don’t be fooled to believe that you’ll be able to get to your stuff once you’ve gotten through everyone else’s because that rarely, if ever really happens. Learn to negotiate and ask better questions, to push back, and to set clear boundaries.

Fighting someone else’s fires places your time and energy with them. When someone needs your help and tries to make their priority your priority, remember that by reacting you are giving up your power. Instead, if reasonable, politely let them know that you will gladly help them out later once you’ve finished your own work. Focus on your priorities first!

About The PriorityPro
Natalie Gahrmann, an international expert, empowers professional women to ignite their passion, demonstrate personal leadership and exude greater confidence. Her background in business acumen and leadership development is instinctively applied through 1-1 coaching, workshops and keynote presentations. She can help you gain clarity, focus and direction so that you accomplish more of what's important to YOU!

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