Organization: A Key to Leadership Success
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No matter how big or small your team or business is, as a leader, there’s always a great demand on your time. The maximization of your time can be a key to the success of your organization. When I began as CEO of Assurance, this was definitely an area where I needed to improve. I lacked organization and discipline which caused me to always feel that I wasn’t in control of my time. Over the past ten years, I’ve sat through numerous seminars about personal organization. I’ve taken bits and pieces from many of them to form a system that works very well for me. I thought I’d share some of the tactics which have empowered me over the years:
- Daily list of high priorities. No matter where I’m at, the first item that I do each day is write down the top five items I need to accomplish for the day. I rank them in order of importance. I’ve been doing this for the last five years and it’s been the greatest, simplest tool for me. For me, the day doesn’t end until they’re done. If there’s an appropriate reason, I’ll transfer the uncompleted tasks to the next day.
- Schedule time to exercise. I schedule time during my week to exercise. I have a gym close to each of my offices. I usually need about 90 minutes to get a 45 minute workout in – counting travel and shower time. I schedule two to three workouts during the work week so I can get a total of four workouts in per week, including the weekend.
- Running list of non-time-sensitive projects. I don’t use an electronic system for this, and I know that I should. I have a simple notepad on my desk that generally has between five to fifteen projects that aren’t time sensitive, but I know I need to accomplish. Many of these items eventually make their way onto my daily list. I always schedule at least one or two hours in my week to knock out a few of the items.
- Inbox is for actionable items. I have a lot of folders for my emails. Visually, I need my inbox to be a small number. This helps to keep me relaxed. I only keep items in my email inbox that are either waiting for a response or need some action from me. All other emails, I file in a folder. Generally, I aim to have 15 – 25 emails in my inbox.
- Schedule one hour, but keep to 45 minutes. Most of my one-to-one meetings with my employees are scheduled for one hour. But, I try to keep the meeting to 45 minutes. This gives me, and the person I’m meeting with, 15 minutes after each meeting for notes and action items.
I hope that one of these tactics above speaks to you. Learning how to be organized, and finding a process that works for you, is sure to relieve daily stress and increase productivity.
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