This is the sixteenth installment in our 25 week series exploring the 25 competencies, or soft skills, that our assessments measure. Each week we’ll give you the definition of that competency, explain its value, and give you tips to help you develop it. This week: Time and Priority Management.
Time and Priority Management is prioritizing and completing tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames. Put simply, it’s your ability to organize, prioritize and manage your work. Those who are skilled in Time and Priority Management are in control of their calendars and not the other way around.
Being about to organize and prioritize your schedule often seems like a pipe dream given the constant emails, phone calls and interruptions we receive throughout the day, but people who are skilled at Time and Priority Management do this on a regular basis. They are great at determining what their priorities should be and understanding the time it will take to get those tasks done. They are optimistic about their ability to be productive, but they also take into account that they could encounter distractions.
Time and Priority Management is a critical skill to lowering stress in your life. The more out of control your life feels the more stressed you become. Being able to adequately schedule your life, both personally and professionally, will greatly reduce your stress levels. Certainly there are always some surprises that will throw a wrench in your perfectly planned week, but having planned your week already will make fitting in that wrench a lot easier.
If you’d like to improve your Time and Priority Management, you can start by setting certain times on your calendar throughout the day to check email and allotting the remaining time to any projects or clients work you have. By only checking your email two or three times a day you reduce interruptions to your work flow and limit the frequency of curve balls being thrown at you. You’ll have to find a schedule that works for you and your work, but this trick can help you better focus on the important tasks you need to get done as opposed to just responding to the immediate emails you get.
An important note: One size does not fit all. Understanding your Behavioral Style and your natural time management tendencies first will help to maximize your efficiency. Some styles can avoid distractions, others welcome them. To better understand your style take one of our a complimentary Behavioral Assessments.
If you would like to learn more ways to develop your Time & Priority Management skills, download our Time & Priority Management Rx Suite here.