Covey on Time and Priority Management

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”
Stephen R. Covey

Without doubt the commonest problem I find with managers who struggle with time management and worklife balance is the failure to understand the difference between ‘prioritizing their schedule’ versus ‘scheduling their priorities’.

So many managers schedule the ‘hard’ stuff. The meetings and appointments. And then they try to schedule every other piece of work around these commitments. Instead of getting clear on the things that matter (key projects, 121s, time with loved ones etc) and getting them on the schedule first they fill the calendar with trivia and then find know quality time left to do what really matters.

Time and again I ask managers what their main objectives are and then, when I look at their calendar, find very little time scheduled to work on them – just a mass of appointments around much less important stuff.

Then they wonder why they find it so hard to find time to make progress…