Scheduling 2017 ahead or putting first things first

Every time I set myself to the task of scheduling the year, the writer and educator Stephen Covey and his “jar with the rocks of life” come to my mind. Covey reminds us the importance of prioritizing, introducing the really important things in the jar first, so that secondary activities don’t occupy their space.

Each one has its own criteria when it comes to valuing what’s really important… but, with respect to this question, I totally agree with Stephen Covey that the main aspect is the TIME we spend in RELATIONSHIPS and, after that, comes everything else…

Time to spend in our relationships with our family, our friends, the people composing our team, customers, collaborators, partners… and of course, with ourselves.

In order to place this time spent in relationships within our “jar” or schedule, we have to go beyond quotidian activities that absorb us daily or weekly, and think about it over a much longer period of time and considering those around us.

Therefore, we must schedule the year 2017 thinking about the moments we are going to spend with our whole team. For example, a meeting at the beginning or at the end of the year, which is the right time to analyse the current situation and draft future projects. We will have to pay attention to the dates and events that are important for the members of our team (births, weddings, surgeries, celebrations) and write them down, if we want to keep up to date…

Beyond formalities imposed by HR departments, when scheduling, we must ensure to save time for each one of the persons directly depending on us, to listen to their projects, needs and ambitions, and express our objectives and expectations to them.

We must also reflect about the time we are going to spend with our customers. Moments that can be highly beneficial for us because, thanks to them, we will get to know the customer’s real perception of our products and services, and we will learn what to provide. And the time we will spend with our potential customers, whenever we know that we have something really valuable to provide them.

Finally, it is necessary to spend time with our partners, to professionally discuss decisive matters. Communication between partners is assumed as natural (even more if it is a family-run company), but it is highly recommendable to note, in the schedule of the year, at least one or two partners meetings.

This week is a great opportunity to think about priorities and let them occupy their well-deserved space, preventing accessory things from ending up asphyxiating important things.

(Artículo en español)