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Beware the Busy Manager Part II

Time_flies Have you ever noticed that some of the busiest people get the least results?  They are a flurry of activity, moving at a fast clip, multi-tasking like pros. I have felt like I was moving in slow motion when officing beside a "busy" manager.

But are these busy people really achieving all they could be achieving? And are they accomplishing the most important things?

Things which matter most should never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

~ GOETHE

Managers who are focused and committed epitomize GOETHE's advice. They don't squander time. Their behaviors are purposeful, planful and reflective. Watching them in action is like watching a finely tuned piece of equipment operate at peak efficiency. No wasted motion. Every action has purpose. And most importantly, all actions produce results.

So what do focused and committed managers DO that sets them apart from their peers?

1. They concentrate where they can achieve outstanding results. They don't have dozens of goals on their annual performance plan. They don't take on projects just because someone thinks it'd be a good idea. (Usually less that 5-10 percent of what we do accounts for most of our results.)They are selective in what they commit to, but once they've committed, they own it. They will do whatever it takes to see the initiative through to success.

2. They maintain a steady pace. They don't hurry or rush around frantically. They have an easy pace, working with a certain rhythm that allows them to achieve vastly more than the average person. And they don't multi-task. A hallmark behavior of successful managers and entrepreneurs is that they do one thing at a time.

3. They do the most important thing that needs doing, and they stick with it until it's done, or until they've done all they can do at that moment. They make deliberate choices, over and over again, asking themselves such questions as:

  • "What is my major goal or objective right now?"
  • "Is what I'm doing contributing to the accomplishment of my most important goals and objectives?"
  • "Why am I on the payroll?"

4. And finally, they have the self-discipline to manage some of life's biggest time wasters, like telephone interruptions, email, unexpected visitors and meetings. Focused and committed managers control their external environment, rather than letting their environment dictate their actions.

  • How many goals/projects/long-term to-do's are on your plan for this year?
  • At work, are you calm or tense?
  • Are your work habits productive habits?
  • Or, are you too busy?

Photo on flickr by gaurang

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