For many top managers, one of the most difficult tasks is balancing between very different areas: sales, finance, legal. A balance is also needed between different aspects of personal life – work, family, physical activity, and sports. Prioritization Matrices!
There are several prioritization techniques to deal with the flow of tasks that come our way every day.
1. Organizing business tasks by urgency/importance
The Eisenhower Priority Matrix will help you, which subdivides tasks according to their importance and urgency. For a manager who is responsible for sales, tasks that generate a contribution to revenue and provide a quick opportunity to get sales here and now will be important. For an account manager, customer retention is a priority, all tasks will go from this goal.
In this regard, an integrated approach can be seen in the other two prioritization techniques:
1) ABCDE – urgent; important; dependent; dependent, but less important; can be excluded.
2) MoSCoW – must – necessary; should – needs to be done; could – desirable; would – I would like to do, but can be ignored.
They help build a dependency map. For example, the task of developing and updating a new platform may not seem very important to the sales department, but for a top manager, a significant change in revenue growth is possible only after the development of the platform, thus the task becomes important. Another example would be the launch of a new advertising campaign: an urgent, important, priority task, but not requiring complex business processes, so we classify it as class A – urgent. You need to weigh the sum of the factors in order to prioritize, not just urgency and importance, but also to understand what the result will be – long-term or short-term, and how easy the task is to perform.
2. Interdependence of tasks
This technique is used in the development of technologies, new technical solutions. Here you need an Agile board, it allows you to see what decisions can be made now, quickly, and with minimal resources (they get high priority).
Further complex and dependent, but making a significant contribution to the business result, then the priority is the sum of the factors: urgency, importance, dependence, ease of implementation.
3. Balance wheel
The third group of prioritization techniques does not relate to the business of a top manager, but primarily to putting things in order in personal priorities, they will allow you to find a balance between work, family, and self-development.
One of the most common techniques is the wheel of balance, in which 8 key areas are distinguished (some coaches identify 12 main areas of life): physical activity and sports, money, business and career, self-development, life brightness, family, and loved ones, friends and social contacts, spiritual development. The technique quickly shows which of the spheres of life is now in a phase of too much overload, and which, on the contrary, is sagging.
One of the most frequent profiles of careerists in their work, business (10 points), while physical activity, sports, beauty, health can significantly sag (3 points). Thus, you can see what should be given priority, how to build back into your schedule the practice of self-development, maintaining social contacts. Modern coaches recognize that all 8 quadrants or all 12 cannot be constantly in balance, one side or the other will certainly dominate, but maintaining balance is necessary.
Lack of physical activity will lead to severe health problems, prolonged overload will not allow you to achieve big career goals. The wheel can be adapted to suit you: break one of the areas into subtasks and focus on what status you have at the moment, where you want to go.
In addition to the wheel of balance, you can use the wheel of life roles. If a person is constantly in the “parental role” both at home and at work, most likely he suffers from a lack of friendships.
It is important for us to switch from one role to another, even if we have achieved what we dreamed of, it is highly likely that at some point we will need to enter the role of a student again.
The practical result of the analysis using these techniques will be specific changes in each area of life and a step-by-step plan for your development. For example, you found out that a career now takes up 90% of the time, and you would like to develop friendships and social connections. Your plan might look like this:
1) meetings for self-development after work (number per week), 2) communication with friends, and a joint approach to football (number per month). The plan must be feasible and realistic.
One of your most important tasks is to understand how necessary it is for you personally and for the whole society, what you are doing now. Ask yourself: why am I doing this now? What significant factors in my life will it affect? How will this help my long-term goals?
Many top managers are so used to being on call 24/7 that even if there is no need for this, they cannot stop working. In each case, there will be a reason for this behavior that needs to be dealt with. Further recommendations will be of a similar nature – learn to take a break: do not check work mail/chats for 2-3 hours at all, spend 1 day without the Internet, choose different activities (sport/work, tasks at home/work) and try to fully relax. You will be much more effective if you can train relaxation, deep immersion in yourself.