How leaders STOP FEELING OVERWHELMED – 4 key words every manager needs to know!

Everyone wants a piece of your time. And you’re completely overwhelmed, barely hanging on and not really getting anything done?

So many new leaders feel like this. There’s so much to do. So much to learn. Every day something happens to grab your attention, and your plans and ideas get pushed to the side just so you can keep up.

Today we’re going to talk about what to DO about that. How to manage your time in a way that STOPS you feeling under so much pressure AND keeps you making progress.

There are four key words you need to think about.

The first is URGENT. So much of what comes at you in a leadership role is URGENT.

It starts with the normal stuff. As the manager, you have to make sure everything’s getting done, done right and done on time. And JUST doing that will keep your diary, your inbox and your head completely full.

And then there’s the extra stuff that appears every day. Your boss needs something right now. One of your team is sick. A customer complaining. On and on.

There’s so much stuff that your inbox or your to do list are overflowing. All of it needs doing somehow. It’s all urgent.

The next word is IMPORTANT.

Some of the urgent stuff coming at you every day is IMPORTANT.

But some of it is LESS IMPORTANT for YOU to be doing.

If Paul from IT asks for a list of when your team’s laptops were last upgraded, it might be urgent, but it’s less important that you, as the team leader, run around and get the data that he needs.

And figuring out how IMPORTANT any particular task or question or problem is… is a critical skill for managers and leaders.

As is the next word which is DELEGATE.

In order to free up time, in order to reduce the overwhelm, you have to pass of some of the things being thrown at you to the people on your team.

And the things you should DELEGATE are the things that are URGENT but LESS IMPORTANT.

Paul from IT needs his list… But you can get one of your team to do it… instead of doing it yourself.

Try to get into the habit of asking yourself… Whenever anything comes up… “Who can I ask to do something about this? What should I ask them to do?”

If you do that consistently, you’ll be delegating more and more.

And that will give you time for the next word… SCHEDULE.

You’ve freed up time by delegating. You can use that time to SCHEDULE the IMPORTANT things that are NOT URGENT.

Because often, that sense of overwhelm, of too much stuff piling in, is accompanied by a sense that you’re not getting some really important things done. Your plans and ideas and changes. They’re being crowded out by the stuff that’s urgent.

And the only way you get to those things that are IMPORTANT BUT NOT URGENT done is to SCHEDULE when you’ll do them. Set aside time in your diary, to work on them.

Do you see how it all fits together?

Most new leaders spend too much of their time doing stuff that is URGENT but LESS IMPORTANT.

The biggest secret to leadership time management is to DELEGATE as much of that stuff as you can, so that you can SCHEDULE time to work on the things that are IMPORTANT but NOT URGENT.

And how do you figure out what’s in that category… Well… You could read the previous post on being an 80:20 Leader.

Or you can grab my Daily Checklist by hitting the button below, to plan every day in just five minutes, making sure you have time for that important but not urgent work.


Published by bencosh

Helping new leaders make a flying start.

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