Leaders Set Priorities and Deadlines – Even for Others

Deadlines are kind. They give people a way to prioritize their time and efforts.

Priorities are also kind. Not setting them becomes fertile ground for frustration.

Without priorities, people are led to think one of two things:

1- All of my tasks are equally important.

2- None of my tasks are important.

The result?

The tasks you needed done the most were left undone.

Planning is the most important part of the formula for time management.

How can we expect others to successfully manage their time without giving them priorities and deadlines to complete the formula?

Balance direction and priorities with freedom and autonomy. People are motivated by the feeling of autonomy. (See “Drive” by Dan Pink.)

Have a new hire or someone new to a task? Use this rule of thumb when delegating.

An example of the whole process:

I assigned a task for Ashleigh with a deadline of December 10th.

In the initial email, I provided information for her to complete the task, and asked if she needed for anything to be clarified.

I let her know during our one-on-one, that the priority for this task is high.

I also told her that I will let her know if she is on the right track on the 10th, when she checks in and provides me with 2 examples of her work.

Next week – accountability.

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

Ashleigh’s Input – Speaking from experience, it’s frustrating thinking all of your tasks are equally important. Knowing what takes priority and what deadlines Alan expects for things to get done is essential and saves me a big headache.

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