"As a senior manager, I am expected to manage the organization's strategic goals and future growth. But how can I make sure that I am devoting time to everyday activities as well as the organization's long-term aims and objectives, and what are the implications of failing to do so?"
Jo Causon, Director, marketing and corporate affairs, Chartered Management Institute
For someone in your position, with responsibilities at every level of the organization, juggling and prioritizing your activities can be a major challenge. Striking a balance between the various demands you face will allow you to manage priorities more effectively and ensure that you are fulfilling everyone's expectations.
Firstly, though, it is important to recognize that you are not alone. Research from the Chartered Management Institute shows the majority of senior managers find it difficult to prioritize their work.
This struggle to coordinate daily activities is leaving individuals feeling overloaded with most saying they have little time to think or make strategic decisions for their organizations.
The lack of forward-thinking and innovation revealed by the Institute's research is clearly a concern for UK business. Without investment of time and effort into the future of the economy, organizations may struggle to compete internationally as markets become increasingly global.
Enhancing your product or service, as well as the skills and competencies of your best talent, will definitely make a difference to how well the organization performs in the long term.
However, you also need to consider the implications of not prioritizing effectively in the short term.
In the research, managers reported that lack of time meant they rarely got the chance to interact and chat to their staff. Your team is likely to lose focus and motivation if you continually fail to engage with them, or involve them in the decision making process.
The inability to prioritize may also impact on your own commitment to the job. If you are struggling to get tasks completed and leave time for strategic planning, you are probably not performing to your full potential.
To ensure that you are fulfilling your responsibilities and using your time effectively, it is crucial to factor planning time into your work schedule. During this time, think about the tasks that you have, what time you need for strategic planning and what activities can be delegated.
You should also make sure that you have time to talk to the team, update them on key decisions and offer support with any problems or challenges they are facing. Ultimately, if you are managing your time well, you will provide a better, more inspirational figurehead for your managers.
Director, marketing and corporate affairs
Chartered Management Institute
The Chartered Management Institute is the only chartered professional body that is dedicated to management and leadership. It is committed to raising the performance of business, supporting and advising individuals and organizations, and to help tackle the management challenges you face on a daily basis. E-mail to a friend