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Most people I work with in coaching are far too busy. And the companies contribute to the workload with reporting and administrative complications. How do you manage not to lose sight of your important tasks under these circumstances?

At the moment I am working with a sales team in individual coaching sessions. Since they are all from the same company, it’ s natural that certain topics keep coming up. One of them: too many tasks for the time available. As a consequence, some of the team members work far too much, while others keep putting off their obligations. Nobody is happy with the situation.

It would be one thing if management reduced and optimized the amount of work. But let’s be honest: the chances are, as in most larger companies, very poor. This means that everyone has to find a way to cope with their tasks and not lose sight of the most important ones. One way to do this is to define a mission: 

  1. Define your mission
    To do this, you first have to understand what your mission in your job is. Why do you get up in the morning? Of course, money is a part of it. But you know exactly how limited the motivation factor of money really is once you get used to your salary.So please be more specific. For example, one of my coaching clients, a key account manager, stated his mission like this: “My clients must be fond of our company in order to buy from us. My most important task is to make sure, that they do.”    Your mission could be to make life easier for your colleagues through your work. Or are you working to ensure that your customers never have to worry about your products?

    Personally, I believe that a mission works especially well if it contains an emotional component, as you can see from the examples. Also, make sure that you use your mission statement to achieve or exceed your official goals. This is essential if you want to take some liberties. And, of course, your mission must also be compatible with your personal priorities.

  2. Define your criteria for decisions
    Once you have defined your mission, consider the criteria for making decisions about your work tasks. From now on, the key account manager in the example will always ask the question: “Does this help our customers get fond of our company? There are a lot of things that are important, for example, that he is easily accessible or that he quickly organizes help when there is a problem. But his good mood is also an important success factor. For this he needs to be well rested and relaxed. Everything that contributes to this is therefore also a priority. Other tasks, on the other hand, do not affect the well-being of his customers at all. For example the unloved reports.Define your decision criteria based on your mission. And in the future, do your work according to your priorities. This brings us inevitably to point 3:
  3. Make yourself unpopular.
    Look at it this way. If you don’t get the job done, someone in your company or among your clients will always be angry with you. If you do, your private life suffers and family or friends feel neglected. So however you do it, it’s wrong.So my suggestion is that you deliberately and intentionally make yourself unpopular in the future by consciously deciding what to do first and what to do later. It is also possible that you will do certain tasks less carefully and therefore faster. On the other hand you will make more effort with those tasks that serve your mission.

    However, you can also decide not to do certain things at all and thus enter into a conflict. The prerequisite for this, is that you are so good at your job that your company does not want to lose you. By the way, your refusal to do certain things that are completely irrelevant to the good feeling of your customers, could possibly even lead to a discussion that changes something. I have experienced that kind of thing. However, you need very broad shoulders to be able to stand such a situation. If you don’t want to put yourself through this, find ways to do the less important jobs “quick and dirty”. 

Now, here’s another little trick. I would only ask myself the decision question for tasks that take a little more time to complete. Anything done in 10 minutes or less, you just do right away. You could also reserve an hour every day, first thing in the morning, to do unloved jobs, so that you can spend the rest of the day doing everything that is important for you.

For many of my clients, these tips work. How about you? Write me a comment!

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