Put First Things First

As managers we need to concentrate on focusing on our value and mission statement before we begin to manage others.  It is essential to put these things first as Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, encourages managers to do.  The items we should put first are the things that will highlight our value and contribution to the entity we are working for or with.  Covey illustrates this concept with the time management matrix diagram below that classifies how managers spend their time and how they should be spending their time.    

While looking at the diagram, understand which things listed are described as being urgent and/or important.  Each quadrant has classified things in them that occupy our time and the value that is attributed to them.  Contemplate what quadrant you fall in as a manager and which quadrant you should spend more time in.  It is easy to be distracted by interruptions in quadrant three mostly because they get our attention easily and can be annoying.  Mail and other activities are disguised as urgent, but over ninety percent of the time they are not important.  I recommend managers spend their time in quadrant two because that is where their personal development is highlighted.  Personal development is very important to your brand and what value you are contributing.  It is not considered urgent because of the time it takes to establish them. 

Ask professional bloggers how long it took them before they started to get the traffic they wanted or the stats they preferred.  Social media takes time to figure out and time to develop the right connections with the right people.  Anyone practicing social media knows how time consuming it is and everyone starts at the bottom of the learning curve.  That is the great thing about social media is that it is constantly improving and software is continually being added to social websites to provide fast, inexpensive and reliable information.  Getting back to time management focus on the things in quadrant two because that’s where you will get the optimal ROI of your value. 

Effective people are not problem-minded; they’re opportunity-minded.  They feed opportunities and starve problems.  They think preventively.  They have genuine Quadrant I crisis and emergencies that require their immediate attention, but the number is comparatively small.  They keep P and PC in balance by focusing on the important, but not urgent, high leverage capacity-building activities of Quadrant II (Covey quoting Peter Drucker, 154).        

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About Benjamin Fry

I will graduate in December with a degree in business management at the University of Nevada, Reno. I have held multiple management positions at my current company, Sports Authority. Continuing to further my KSAs in management, motivation and leadership. I feel it necessary to break down the barrier that younger management and older management have built between themselves. With my experience, I plan to aid managers from all ages to understand how to integrate various management styles in order to make businesses more efficient.
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