Are you busy and driven by what needs to be done right now? Is your list of projects long? Do you feel you always run out of time to get the best result?
If this describes the way you work, it is time for a little reflection. Pausing occasionally and thinking about the future outcomes you want to achieve can help you reach those goals. Having a clear picture of your destination makes getting there easier. Without taking the time to create that vision, you might find yourself drifting from your main journey.
If there was one best practice to help in this regards, everyone would learn it, and everyone would use it. Unfortunately, one solution does not work for everyone. Only through practice will you find what works for you. There are a few things I do to help me. Maybe some of this will also help you.
1. For longer-term projects spend 10 or 15 minutes every day to make some progress. It is easy to procrastinate when a deadline is six months away, but for me, the result is better if I spend just a bit of time working towards that deadline.
2. Before you spend too much time towards your goal, clarify it. Sit back and think about what success looks like. Develop a plan to achieve the specifics of that vision.
3. Know what is important today, tomorrow, next week, and next month. Keeping the deadlines for your responsibilities starts with knowing the expectations. If you are given a task, make sure you ask about the deadlines.
4. Minimize distractions and trivial tasks. Delegate, eliminate, and delete what you can. Then sharpen your focus on the few and important things that will matter.
Some days, it is easier to list this than actually to do them. But, like all things in life, with practice, it does get easier. What methods do you use to stay on track?
There is a very important group of people that this list especially applies to and it would be those that are in leadership positions. Leadership is not a skill that is developed accidentally. Leadership is learned. We learn through our everyday interactions. We learn from others when we choose to lead or when we choose to follow.
Do you know the difference between being a leader and a manager? It might surprise you to find out that there are some pretty stark differences when it comes to these roles. Mike Hill explained how to identify a leader in an AccelaWork article. Several of his comparisons rang true for me and they might make an impact on you, too.
You’re a Leader if you have current and long-range plans laid out for your group and have shared the plans. You’re a manager if you’re so deep in the weeds that you have no long-range plan and if you did, you sure wouldn’t share it with anyone but your boss.
You’re a manager if you think the business revolves around you and that the employees are there to work “for” you. You’re a Leader if your goal is to grow more Leaders.
The opportunity that is typically lost in today’s fast-paced business world is practicing our skills every day. Wouldn’t it be nice to take the time to think about the interactions we are going to have today, and plan to get better? Maybe a checklist would help us think about the different aspects of the discussions we have scheduled. Well, you can! Change the way you think about your leadership, and implement some daily practice. What will work for you to get better at leadership relationships?