How To Coach Teams To Prioritize Like Champions

Tania Braukamper
Tania Braukamper

February 10, 2022

How To Coach Teams To Prioritize Like Champions

Did you ever dream of winning an Olympic gold medal? 🥇

Let's rekindle that dream for a moment. Imagine you set a long-term goal of becoming a winning gymnast. You'd need to make it a priority to practice. And you'd also have to say no to a lot of other things.

Otherwise, you'd never reach your goal. 

It's the same with organizational goals, only they're more complex because everyone is involved. All staff need to be equipped with the tools and strategies to consistently prioritize the right things, or you can kiss that gold medal goodbye. 

By learning to prioritize, we take control over our time and energy. By teaching teams to prioritize, we empower them to perform at their best.

Let's take a deeper look at how poor prioritization is a problem, then talk solutions. 

❓ The Problem: 

Prioritization is a key that unlocks focus and successful time management. Yet many of us fail at it because:

  • We’re overwhelmed by too many tasks and get weighed down in "busy work";
  • We don't know how to differentiate between what's urgent and what's important;
  • We don't feel comfortable saying “no”.

🌊 The Consequences: 

When we don’t prioritize, we end up focusing on the wrong things. This means we’re less productive, and progress doesn’t get made on long-term goals. 

In the end, team members can end up overwhelmed, unmotivated, or even completely burned out, which leads to serious health damage and a total loss of productivity. 

✅ The Solution:

At Skoach, we've learned that it's not enough to announce your company goals and expect everyone to prioritize the tasks that align with them.

We need to equip teams with strategies for making effective prioritization an integrated part of their working day. 

Here are some examples of strategies we coach people on:

  • Asking "what's important now" and blocking out time for most important goals.
  • Saying “no”: learning how and when to say no so they can limit tasks that don't move the needle.
  • Setting finish lines / hard stops: leveraging Parkinson's law for their advantage.
  • Scheduling time both for top goals and for unpredictable events, so that the latter don’t jeopardize the first.
  • Using the Eisenhower matrix to distinguish the important from the urgent and determine when to say no or delegate.

When teams are coached on finding that critical path, their daily work ticks along, and long-term goals get met. Win-win. 🥇

💬 Quote

“I like the reinforced sense of achievement we get from taking a moment to strategize and getting it done.” — a Skoach user after being coached on how to time-block important tasks.

🤔 Something To Think About:

What's one step you can take today that will help your teams become better at prioritizing?
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