This is a reminder to avoid the tyranny of the urgent!  Before you enter the busy season make the time for your Big Priorities.  The time management training I’ve had (mostly in my corporate life—various systems) focuses on the importance of identifying priorities and “Time Activating” those first on your calendar. Usually, we’d go offsite as a team and learn the same system so we could share the same lingo and have the same tools.  It used to all be paper systems and now it’s also available online.  The systems may get more useful and sophisticated BUT you still have to identify your priorities and to carve the time out for those activities.

Most of the time the priorities are those big projects that could make a significant difference in your business.  Hopefully, those priorities jumped out from your planning for the year — your goals for the year that are part of the operating plan that flowed out of your strategic plan.  Those kinds of Big Priorities require you to set aside time for yourself and relevant team members to develop a project plan and identify goals to making it a reality. If you are like most of us, it is often easier and more fulfilling to react to everything that comes up in a day!  I handled this customer issue and this employee issue, and I found this new tool, etc.  We all want to start off with a clean slate, having taken care of all those urgent issues before sitting down to concentrating on the Big Rocks. 

But we all know those urgent items regenerate themselves! Combine that with our human need to Get Something Done Today rather than spending the day wrestling with a plan for rolling out that new software or developing a marketing campaign for a new service line or the like. 

I remember my Franklin Covey time training—maybe some of you had it.  The Covey trainers would use the rocks in a jar example.  They demonstrated that you could not get the big rocks into the jar unless you put them in FIRST! And then smaller rocks and then the sand? It only works if you put the big rocks in first!  

The big rocks are your As.  A items are the things that are most important—Your Big Priorities, Your Big Rocks.  Identify them, set aside time for them and reward yourself when you move ahead on them.  The urgent items will always be there for you to fill in around the Big Rocks. 

One of your Big Rocks should be Preparing my Company for transition.  Even if you are 10 years out, think about what your goals are for transition? Internal transfer to family or key employee(s)? Sale to a third party? What should I be doing to be where I want to be? How can I optimize my planning? 

Where are you in your process?  If you’d like to discuss your situation, selling or buying a business or preparing your business for sale, please let us know. In the meantime, if you have questions or comments, I can be reached anytime via email: [email protected] or phone at: 224-688-8838. We’re here to help you harvest your potential.

Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio