How Do You Make Time for Priorities? Eleven Recommendations

Situation: A CEO is building a new company. She has a small, highly qualified team, and much of the work is hands-on. In addition, there is fund raising to support the venture. The CEO also makes time for exercise and keeping in shape. With all of this on her plate she is getting overwhelmed. How do you focus on priorities in an early stage company? How do you make time for priorities?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • Maintain your exercise and health – this makes everything else easier.
  • Decide on your strategic platform. This creates a larger conceptual framework and helps to clarify priorities.
  • Identify the gating items. Focus effort here and spend scarce resources strategically to push your goal.
  • Within your gating items, identify the factors that make you scalable. Focus most of your effort here.
  • Create a weekly focus.
  • Lay out your to-do list in a Covey quadrant – most and least important vs. urgent and not urgent. Review this weekly to eliminate or delegate less important priorities.
  • Operational issues are usually symptoms – identify the causes and fix them.
  • Daily, list what you’ve done. Look back every 1-2 weeks and assess how you spent your time. Eliminate time wasters.
  • Don’t let you passion be undermined by the drudgery.
  • As an early stage company, you have to react – understand and appreciate that some aspects of early stage company life will not be very strategic.
  • Fix things rather than adding people and complexity. This compliments Fisher’s Stages of Growth recommendations for a company of under 11 people.

One thought on “How Do You Make Time for Priorities? Eleven Recommendations

  1. Anjan Bhattacharjee

    First of all it has to be understood “Time Management” everyday is “Tactical” not “Strategic”. 24 hours in a day is universal to all. You must use fundamental technique of “Parallel work” to try making doubling time available. With excellent planning, daily we can pre-delegate to our senior managers in respective areas [Marketing/Finance /Materials/HR etc] handle all ‘inside’ and ‘incoming from outside’ jobs and correspondence and decision making beyond policy matters. Only Policy sensitive decisions to travel up reducing list of priority for the day. CEO should ensure that all ‘non priority for the day’ jobs are also completed before he leaves the desk. Otherwise these “Non Priority” will become priority in a day or two. The senior managers in turn follow the same rule of delegations to their respective managers. This delegation has to be ensured at all levels from top to bottom. The daily “Priority List” will progressively
    get reduced at all levels due to sharing by relative capabilities. No Firefighting will be required in future.

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