By the time Gabriel maneuvered through IH405 morning traffic, paused at Einstien Bagels and caught up on the morning news, he was only 7 minutes late getting into the office. He knew he had a busy day but most of it was the normal stuff. No big deal.
Once he got into the office and onto his network calendar, sure enough it was back to back meetings. Including a late morning meeting where he was scheduled to do a project presentation to the executive team and a few selected guest. It was high priority. He needed to make an extremely favorable impression. And there was no time in his agenda to do anything between now and then!
A smile broke across his face. No problem. Because last week, Gabriel made a conscious effort to map out his calendar to stay ahead of schedule. Thursday he completed his final touches on the power point pictures and made enough copies for the executive team as well as the anticipated guests. The file was already loaded into the meeting documents. All he had to do was tag in with the CFO and he was ready.
Gabe had a jump on things!
Being ahead of schedule is one of the most powerful secrets of successful and confident advancing professionals. It’s a skill and it’s simple to develop. Prioritizers keep a conscious touch on whats ahead. It’s what I call “necessary but not pressing”.
Necessary – Priorities. Primary Roles or Responsibilities. Income Producing Activities
Not Pressing – You still have time so you still have options and margin. Due date is in the future BUT coming! You can still be proactive!
It’s a simple habit.
1. Look UP – See what’s coming up – 2 week view.
By looking up and getting a view into the next two weeks, you are less likely to get blindsided by things that slipped your mind. Prioritizers get into the habit of using their calendar to schedule important and necessary items in advance.
2. Ask, “How can I get a jump on next week’s projects?
Jump on some part of it now! That doesn’t always mean you need to finish it, but get think ahead and be proactive. Go ahead and lay out the slides on a power point show. Make some copies for a meeting. Book a hotel room.
3. Set alarms and reminders
Alarms are used to alert us! Duh! Place alarms to alert yourself multiple days or a week before the project is due. We all get busy. Pressing distractions can make us inattentive to necessary priorities! Set alarms.
Being ahead of schedule is the signature of a successful professional who is in control of their priority management. And one of the chief benefits is low stress, high productivity and admiration!
So take 5 minutes and get a jump on your next week!