MVP: Being intentional helps us focus on priorities.
Stage 3: Stage 3 focuses on being more intentional about making choices by using specific strategies to decrease the time you spend in quadrant 3. The following challenge may seem like time management, but I will explain in the webinar why it is a priority management strategy.
Challenge 3: Hopefully you already blocked two or three chunks of time in your calendar to work on email. Now the hard part: Don’t look at email outside of those times! It might help to turn off your email notifications. Remember, if it is a true emergency, someone will call you or track you down. Email is not an emergency.
MVP: Organizational misalignment contributes to urgent leadership
Remember we are only three days away from the webinar that will tie this week’s challenges together. Register here.
Stage 2: Once you understand that priority management is the key, it is critical gain clarity on what your priorities should be and on some of the root issues that make focusing on them more difficult. An important part of leadership is aligning organizational systems and resources to make it easier for people to do their job. Misalignment not only damages an organizations culture, but it also traps leaders in the black hole by creating friction and generating issues that repeat themselves.
Challenge 2: Ask one or more people you lead (teachers for all you school leaders) what would be one change which would make their job easier. Think about the implications for the organization and the way it is structured and distributes resources.
MVP: Urgency increases the likelihood that we will spend time on something unimportant.
Welcome to a special Saturday message. This week I’m offering you five daily challenges ahead of Thursday’s webinar on The Journey: Escaping the Black Hole of Urgency.
Each challenge corresponds to one of the five stages of moving from urgent to strategic leadership and should only take about five minutes or even provide you with extra minutes.
Stage 1: Urgent leaders get focused on what feels most urgent and what is loudest. As a result, they spend time doing things that aren’t important. The problem is not time management – it is priority management! Understanding this is the first step to escaping the black hole.
Challenge 1: For a 24-hour period this weekend, stay off your phone except to use the phone and your message app.
Ahead of Tuesday’s challenge, please block 2-3 short periods of time to read and respond to email on Tuesday. Block the times out on your calendar and try to protect that time.
The Journey is a five-week adventure designed to shift your perspective and give you strategies and tools to help you approach your work differently. You will be able to travel this journey with weekly check-ins with me and a virtual community of other leaders. Learn more here.
MVP: We can sustain some things by investing in others.
On Saturday you will get an email from me asking you to join next week’s five-day challenge. You don’t need to register to participate.
Each small challenge is drawn from a different chapter of my book. Completing the challenges and attending the webinar will give you a great preview of The Journey. It will be a bit like packing your bag 🤣.
The webinar is free, but The Journey is not.
Each week I invest upwards of ten hours in these daily emails and the podcast.
My vision has always been that The Journey and future courses like it will subsidize my ability to produce the emails and podcasts which I am committed to keeping free and without ads.
If walking this journey with me has been beneficial to you, please consider helping me continue that walk with others by taking this new adventure with me. You can learn more about The Journey here.
Today’s intention: Plan to grow. Look at your calendar and think about when and how you can set a growth goal. If you have the capacity, consider traveling The Journey from March 12-April 14. It will require a daily investment of about 15 minutes, a bit more on Sunday and Friday afternoons. Even if you can’t take this adventure with me, think about being intentional in your growth.
MVP: Trying harder helps you get more done, but more what and at what cost?
I used to pride myself on how hard I worked. I headed into school as soon as dropped my kids at the babysitters, taught all day, and did my planning and grading after school or in the evening. For three years I coached varsity football and middle school girls’ basketball. The seasons overlapped so there were days I would not get home until 8:00 and still have lessons to plan or work to grade.
However, the long seasons took a toll on my ability to be a good husband and father, and my attitude began to become more negative. Finally, I began cutting back.
Ten years later, I went through the same cycle as a professor at Western Carolina University and Clemson University.
We can work harder, but it isn’t sustainable in the long run, and it comes with a cost to our families, our relationships, and our health.
Today’s intention: Think about the time you give to your work and the impact to has on you. Then think about how that impact carries into your family or other important relationships.
Remember you can sign up for next week’s webinar on escaping the black hole of urgency here. It runs from 7-8 (EST) on March 2nd and it’s free!