All of us have the identical variety of hours in the day, however some people simply appear to get extra finished than others. Whereas hacks are useful, the actual secret’s being vigilant about what makes it onto your calendar, says Don Khouri, productivity coach and creator of the forthcoming ebook When to Say Sure: The 5 Steps to Protect Your Time.
“Many people aren’t totally aware about the decision-making course of to simply accept work relative to what’s on their plate,” he says. “We additionally don’t wish to say ‘no.’ I wish to flip that on its head. As an alternative of realizing when to say ‘no,’ learn to determine when to say ‘sure.’”
To protect your time, Khouri suggests asking your self these 5 questions when somebody makes a request:
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Does this align with my roadmap?
To know what’s worthy of your time, it is advisable know the place you’re headed together with your life and profession over set intervals of time, reminiscent of one, two, and three years. Khouri likens it to taking a street journey.
“Should you have been driving from Nashville to San Francisco, you would want to determine the place to cease and spend the evening,” he says. “It’s the identical idea for reaching your skilled objectives. Ask your self if the request aligns together with your roadmap.”
Take time to outline set outcomes with interim milestones so you realize the place you’re going. “Every merchandise on the roadmap ought to align with one in all your objectives,” says Khouri. “When you lay this out, you may get clear about whether or not it’s best to tackle one thing new, transfer it to a different time, or say ‘no’ to the request.”
Is the requester excessive on my relationship hierarchy?
You’re extra more likely to say “sure” to sure people, and it helps to establish them. For instance, you might put your boss, shoppers, partner, and household larger on the checklist than others. Khouri calls this the relationship hierarchy, and says the secret’s that people have to be ranked with no duplicates.
“You don’t need to have three number-one relationships or two number-five relationships,” he says. “Consider it as a flat checklist from one to n. For some, this rating is aware and clear. For others, it’s extra unconscious.”
The upper somebody is in your relationship hierarchy, the extra vital it is going to be to say “sure” to their request. And the most productive people put themselves on the checklist, too.
Is it a high quality request?
The most productive people anticipate requests for their time to be thought by means of and crystal clear. If it misses the mark, they may refuse the request.
To be thought of a high quality request, the ask must be respectful of your time, crucial, and concise, says Khouri. It also needs to embody options, reminiscent of “Right here’s the drawback we’re having, and a few attainable suggestions.”
Does it match on my precedence checklist?
Chances are high your plate is already full and taking up any new request would require you to shuffle issues round or renegotiate deadlines. This step requires being aware about what isn’t going to get finished.
“Efficient leaders give it some thought as reprioritizing,” says Khouri. “And in the event you’re being requested to do one thing by your boss, you possibly can have them determine by saying, ‘I’m comfortable to take this on. The place does it match on my precedence checklist?’”
May this be delegated?
Productive people are masters at delegation for 2 causes, says Khouri. “First, it will get the merchandise off of their checklist,” he says. “And second, it offers a extra applicable growth alternative for another person. Serving to develop somebody’s expertise helps them be higher and in the end tackle extra. People need to work for leaders who’ve a growth mindset.”
Delegation is sort of a muscle; the extra you do it, the higher you develop into at it, says Khouri. “To efficiently delegate it is advisable be crystal clear about the function or motive to finish the undertaking and what an excellent end result seems to be like,” he says.
Keep in mind, saying “sure” in the end means saying “no” to one thing else. Should you can reply “sure” to the first 4 questions, you possibly can say confidently “sure” to the request. And in the event you can say “sure” to the fifth, delegate it.
“If it doesn’t match your roadmap, it’s best to say ‘no,’ however you are able to do it in an encouraging method,” says Khouri. “You might say, ‘I’d love to assist, however proper now my schedule consists of different priorities I have to give attention to.’”
Whenever you undertake a mindset of evaluating every request for time, you’ll be extra more likely to say “sure” to the issues that basically matter.