Daily Decision Time at American Income Life
Every day at American Income Life we are faced with many decisions that have to be dealt with. Almost instantly, we have to make a decision as to where this issue falls within our priority scale. If we are effective at handling things in an appropriate manner, we are certain to feel less stress, be more productive, and most likely will have more time to focus on the really important things in our life.
Here are the questions we have to answer almost immediately when sizing up a task or project: Is this urgent or is this important? Sometimes the answer may be both urgent and important and sometimes the answer may be neither urgent nor important.
Typically when defining urgent we think of something that has a time frame or deadline associated with it. Within the day to day operation of an American Income Life agency, there seem to be many urgent tasks. In many cases an urgent issue can seem to be meaningless and silly, but nevertheless it needs attention. Also, recognize some things become urgent because we put the issue at hand off until it actually becomes urgent.
When something is important, it doesn’t necessarily have a deadline. It’s important because of the overall impact it has on our lives or business. An important issue almost always has a long term effect, and it helps you achieve your overall objectives.
“Is this urgent?” “Is this important?” Those are the questions that must be answered; then we can prioritize how we address projects and tasks.
Is it Urgent and Important?
This task needs your attention now! There’s a deadline coming around the corner or the wheels have come off of something. Whatever is at hand, it needs your attention now and must be handled. Get it done! Do it now!
Is it Important, but not Urgent?
No deadline at hand, but this task or project is important to achieving your goals for your agency. This is where your agency’s vision and plans get worked on, your leadership team gets developed, and relationships with others are established. You should spend most of your time here, because this is where you build and grow your business.
Is it Urgent, but not Important?
This is where things go wrong. This is where we make our mistakes. This is where we let ourselves get interrupted. This is where we get distracted. We allow ourselves to believe this is urgent, but in reality it doesn’t help us achieve the results we’re after. Think about the mundane things around the office that need to be done: toner for the copier, getting bottled water, making sure the trash gets emptied. Delegate, delegate and delegate some more.
No, it’s not Urgent and it’s not Important!
Time wasted! Check yourself here. Often we get involved in things that simply have no impact at all. It could be too many phone calls or insignificant conversations. It might be you’re watching too many “Harlem Shake” videos. Whatever your time waster, it needs to be controlled, and it needs to be stopped.
One thing to understand: what’s important today may not be important tomorrow. This is a fluid process based upon where you are in the achievement of your goals and objectives. “Important” may be, and most likely will be, a moving target. Keep that in mind as your position against your objectives changes. Then make adjustments in how you prioritize your activities.
It’s your call; your decision. Is it important? Is it urgent? How you will you prioritize important activities, tasks and projects as you move through the balance of the year at American Income Life?
Here’s to an amazing 2013….IT’S TIME!
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