This Week in PCM : Urgent vs Important

Most people use urgent and important interchangeably because we are busy. As I have mentioned in a previous article, busyness is not productivity. Words have power and these two words have distinct meanings. Below are their respective definitions:

Urgent –  (of a state or situation) requiring immediate action or attention

Important –  of great significance or value, likely to have

As you have seen these two words have different meanings. What is important is not what is urgent; but, what is urgent is always what is important.

In the below diagram from

11062016-prioritymatrix

 

 

Here is the breakdown:

  • If it is urgent and important then do it now! Examples are these two are crises and emergencies. A water main break in your house is both urgent and important.

 

  • If it is urgent but not important then delegate Examples of delegating to others are errands. Let me break it down. You are a blogger who knows that social media strategy is critical towards spreading your blog’s content; however, scheduling all of your social media channels consumes a lot of time. Therefore, you save money and delegate this task a social media manager.

 

  • If it is not urgent but important then decide how you want to handle this. A way of deciding is to ask yourself whether or not to pursue this goal is ‘ will this goal put me in a greater long-term position?’ If the answer is yes then do it. Conversely, if the answer is no then drop it.

 

  • If it is not urgent and not important then delete it. Eliminate the mental, emotional and physical clutter that drains you. Removing the non-urgent, unimportant tasks give me more time and energy towards things that matter.

 

Knowing the difference between urgent and important and how to act upon these two situations will help you create, capitalize and maintain positive change in your personal and professional lives.

Source: http://cfjcounseling.com/blog/2015/1/5/overcoming-decision-paralysis-using-the-priority-matrix

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Assess, Action and Adapt

11302015 Assess, Action, Adapt

People always look forward to the New Year forgetting that there are still 31 days left. That would be very bad to underestimate the importance of December. Don’t relegate next year to wishful thinking. Have a plan! You must see December as your springboard into soaring higher in the upcoming New Year. Here are my three As (Assess, Action and Adapt) for using December to your full advantage.

Assess

You have to be brutally honest with yourself and your progress or lack thereof. Conduct a full autopsy of this year by doing a full SWOT analysis. Examine your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Ask yourself what has gone right? These are your strengths and opportunities. Then ask yourself what has gone wrong? These are your weaknesses and threats.

Action

Now that you’ve written down your SWOT analysis, you will devote this month towards developing an annual plan for next year. You can drill this plan down into quarters, months or weeks if necessary. Then, you want to take your strengths and opportunities and maximize these for the New Year. Exploit them to the fullest. See how you can magnify your strengths at work and home towards making your life easier. Conversely, you want to minimize your weaknesses and threats. The action plan’s goal is to eliminate what you have done wrong so that you can do more of what’s going right. This annual action plan serves as your baseline for the New Year.

Adapt

Most people think that once you write the plan, it is written in stone and can never be changed. That cannot be any further from the truth! It is okay and actually encouraged to change your plan after January because situations change. Your original plan is your baseline. The purpose of your annual plan is to guide you through the New Year. When things change, you have to adapt.

Don’t waste another year of winging it by hoping that everything goes well for you on the whimsical New Year’s resolutions that you’ve made at midnight. Make your year (and life) easier by incorporating the three As (Assess, Action and Adapt).

 

Don’t Wait Until 2016 to Be Honest

10122015 Don't Wait Do It Today

This is the final quarter of 2015. Ask yourself a question: what do you want to drop for the New Year? Think about it. Okay, well why wait until January 1, 2016? Do it now in October 2015. Why stay miserable for another 80 days? Liberate yourself from the things that weigh you down because this kind of honesty saves time and money.

Time

You have a finite amount of time on this earth. Why waste it? Honesty improves time management and eliminates waste. Stop throwing good money after bad. Honesty helps time management. You sharpen your focus on what you truly want. Directed, intentional focus always increases productivity. Increased productivity means increased visibility. Increased visibility could mean increased promotions. Right now is the time to strike because everyone is preoccupied. People are already on mental autopilot with Halloween parties and setting up discount flight alerts for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why wait until 2016 to be honest with your time?

Money

How much money have you wasted going in the wrong direction? I admit that I have spent a couple thousands of dollars pursuing another certification because I thought that it would differentiate myself from others.  Although this additional certification would distinguish me from my competition, I’ve found another certification that more closely aligns myself with my future goals. Yes, I’ve wasted money but I’ve stopped digging and realized that I am going in another direction. I am better for it.

Conclusion

Instead of waiting until 2016, why not use this fourth quarter of 2015 to gain momentum towards your new goal. Remember, insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result. Stop this madness by being honest with yourself now in October 2015. Your future self will thank you for it.

This Week in Positive Change Management: Employing the Three Cs to Improve Your Personal Career Brand

Now more than ever it is imperative that any professional has a personal career brand. It is no longer, just do your job and update your resume. The average person will have in between 7-10 jobs in his lifetime. You must actively manage your career to find the next job; hence, the importance of creating and maintaining a stellar personal career brand. The three Cs are clarity, consistency, and constancy. They are necessary towards creating your best personal brand. The combination of these three guarantees that you’ll attract the people and employers in your target market.

Clarity

Dictionary.com defines clarity as ‘clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.’ It is essential that you get clear about who you are, but, more importantly, who you ARE NOT.  Clarity provides you with an opportunity to thrive as a specialist rather than merely survive as a generalist. It is better to know what you are not because you can create clear boundaries. You don’t want to transmit mixed messages, thereby, diluting your brand. Clarity communicates a clear message of what you do. For example, if you are in HR, you don’t want people coming to you about sales & marketing. The next step is to identify your competitors.

Scanning the professional landscape to see what your competitors are doing, and more importantly, what they are not doing is critical towards how you’ll position yourself to stand out. Learn from your competitors’ mistakes and capitalize upon the areas that they aren’t already in. Being the first mover in an unsaturated area, positions you to become an expert. For instance, if you’re in HR but there aren’t as many people working with newly returned war veterans, then this is a niche where you can employ your transferable skills and become an expert. Once you’ve used clarity to identify your competitors, you can then you can focus on marketing your competitive advantage to the world.

Your competitive advantage is the one thing that you do better than anyone else. Having a clear definition of this advantage will attract more people and opportunities. In HR, do you compile benefits packages in a way that new employee understand? Your ability to translate industry-specific jargon into layman’s terms without diluting its content is your competitive advantage. You can convert this into a special niche being seen as an expert. Once you’re seen as an expert, more people will come to you.

Consistency

Consistency is defined as ‘steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.’ In order to keep current in this increasingly global and competitive landscape, you must be consistent. This means consistently communicating the same message offline and online. Take some time to review how your professional brand comes across because it’s imperative that you are consistent in both areas.

Make sure that your resume and LinkedIn profile are the same. If you’ve attained a new certification or a promotion, list them on both. An outdated LinkedIn profile sends an inconsistent message. For example, if you’ve been promoted from HR Specialist to Senior HR Specialist, you must list this change. Recruiters who might be interested in you for one job, may not know that you have a new job or certification. It would be bad for your professional reputation if a recruiter contacts you about a specific position but learns that you’re in another position. Recruiters talk with other recruiters who might work at the company that interests you. You don’t want this kind of mistake to precede you before applying for a job. Putting the most recent information on your LinkedIn page guarantees that recruiters can see if you are the best fit for a potential job.

Constancy

Constancy is defined as ‘uniformity or regularity, as in qualities or conditions; invariableness.’ Being highly visible online & offline to your target market is indispensable. There are many ways to increase your visibility to ensure that the right people see your talents. Offline opportunities include joining meetups, alumni chapters, and professional organizations. In addition, you can be visible through business cards and stationery. Handing out your personal business cards is an effective marketing tool generating high visibility. Furthermore, you can send thank you letters using your own stationery. Regarding online visibility opportunities, you can register for LinkedIn professional groups, follow people on Twitter or like Facebook pages of companies of which you want to work. Moreover, you can also start a blog. Continuing with the HR example, you can write about interviewing new applicants, dispensing benefits information, handling attrition and completing retirement packages.

Creating a Communication Plan to Incorporate the Three Cs

A great way to merge the offline and online visibility tools to achieve clarity, consistency and constancy is by creating a communications plan. Your plan manages how, what, why, when, and where to deploy your offline and online strategies. For instance, you decide to post weekly HR-related articles in your LinkedIn feed. This action achieves clarity (HR), consistency (on message) and constancy (weekly). Your communications plan ensures that you regularly do something constructive towards promoting your personal career brand. Incorporating three Cs of clarity, consistency and constancy guarantee increased demand for your personal career brand.