“I would like to be less productive”, said no one ever! Often, my coaching clients are faced with overwhelming demands to increase the speed of decision making & delivery and caught up in that always-on / always-connected feeling – trying to keep pace by doing more, multi-tasking, context switching. While not intended, this approach can actually cause them to be less productive in the end.
It is so important to be present and mindful about what we are adding to our plate – prioritization is critical to helping us stay focused on high value activities (the critical few things!) that drive successful outcomes.
Even more than that, a prioritization mindset is what will help us achieve our personal and professional best! When adopted, a prioritization mindset will create the space and energy to focus on the things that really matter.
So what can you do to adopt a prioritization mindset and how do you know when you get there?
- Set Boundaries: As a leader, you hold true to the vision for the organization, you set the agenda and you make the rules. You establish boundaries and hold your team accountable to certain standards of performance. But are you giving yourself permission to set boundaries that protect your own happiness at work? Boundaries set the tone for the emotional climate of the organization and reflect the behaviors you will allow and the culture you desire. When you set boundaries, you are making space for your personal goals and your best work as your best self.
- “No” as a Full Sentence: If saying No is difficult for you, you may be drowning in a sea of Yes’s. Your to-do list is long and filled with tasks that weren’t originally on your radar and aren’t in support of the goals you set for yourself. Know what matters to YOU – ask yourself these questions… does this request align to strategy or delight a customer? does it play to my strengths, develop a blind spot, provide an opportunity? When you say No, you are saying Yes to those things that excite you, advance your development, move you toward your goal.
- Embrace Simplicity: It is easier to develop a complex solution than a simple one. Simplicity is hard but when it comes into focus, it creates abundance – in energy, time, meaningful work, health. It enables you to move away from complex, chaotic choices and begin thinking about your work and life in a different way. Be intentional in looking for the simple solution, start planning ahead, stop watching so much tv, spend less time on social media. When you embrace simplicity, you embrace possibilities and become even more focused, confident and committed to your direction in your career and your life.
- Commit to Self-care: When you feel depleted, you have nothing to give. It is easy to fill your time with the needs and priorities of others and activities you “should” do. Often personal priorities, self-care, “you time”, falls to the bottom of the list. If you are kind to yourself and consider your own needs, you will be able to show up fully for those around you. When you commit to self-care, you are able to engage and contribute graciously so everyone benefits.
If you are stressed-out, overwhelmed or overcommitted, try some of these strategies. Developing and sustaining a prioritization mindset is one of the best ways to achieve more. More time and more energy to focus on activities that will help you reach your goals and achieve your personal and professional best.
Consider a professional business coach to help you narrow your focus, energy, resource so you can dedicate more of yourself to the few things that are going to make the biggest difference in your life!