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The MHC Blog

Powerful Business Insights for Succesful Leaders

Success Part 2: Prioritisation and other Success Skills

I’m going to let you in on a secret. You can’t do it all, and you can’t have it all. We are all limited to 24 hours per day and our energy to accomplish things during that time is limited as well. It’s also why it’s important to get good at prioritisation when it comes to success. This idea of choosing what to do when and what to focus on “right now” comes into play in a few different ways.

Following last week’s blog, I want to take a look at 3 areas that we should consider when prioritising for success and suggest 10 Success Skills that are helpful for us to develop to enable us to achieve whatever success means for each of us.

Prioritisation When Setting Goals

The first place when we use prioritisation is when we define our unique version of success and start setting goals. While we may have ideas and ambitions, not all of them are feasible. Maybe you’d like to be an astronaut, but there simply isn’t a big market for that occupation. Instead, you prioritise on something that’s exciting and attainable. Maybe it’s teaching high-school science, or maybe it’s running an online store for astronomy equipment and supplies.

You’ll also prioritise goals for different areas of your life. If you’re just starting out in your career, you may spend more time and energy at the office than with your family. Eventually, that will change, and you’ll shift your focus to strengthening those relationships. Being able to prioritise what’s most important right now helps you get things done without feeling too guilty about it.

Prioritisation Based on Biggest Impact

Once you’ve determined what your goal is and what milestones you need to reach to make that goal, it’s time to pick what will have the most impact and what will move you ahead more than anything else. Let’s say you’re working on becoming debt free. You have a fixed amount of money to spend each month on reducing any debt, and so you prioritise where you put the money. 

By starting with the highest interest debt, you make the most progress. In this example, it’s easy to determine where to spend your money. But, it’s not always easy to see where your efforts would have the most significant impact on other goals.

Spend some time thinking about this, get advice from a mentor or peer, and keep an eye on your effectiveness. You get a better feel for prioritising for biggest impact over time.

Prioritisation Based on Your Environment

We don’t live in a vacuum and life isn’t always easy. That forces us to pick and choose wisely. Working on what’s most important to use and that we feel will have the biggest impact isn’t always possible. Let me give you an example. Let’s say one of your definitions of success is to move to a nicer neighborhood and into a bigger house.

That will involve selling your home, and to make sure you get the best price possible, you want to do some major decluttering, cleaning, and some minor renovations. Your goal for this week may be to repaint the living room. Then your kid gets sick with a stomach bug. Painting the living room is no longer feasible. So you adjust and do a little kitchen decluttering in between tending your child.

Sometimes our priorities have to change and shift based on our circumstances and our environment. It happens, and it’s ok. Do what you can and get back to what you perceive as the highest priorities when it’s feasible.

The Top Ten Success Skills Everyone Should Have

When it comes to success, there are a few basics skills you should not only have, but work on improving and mastering over time. They will greatly increase your chances of reaching your goals and making great things happen. Let’s quickly run through the list.

Success Skill # 1 Goal Setting
Your goals are your roadmap and compass. Without a goal, it’s hard to know what you should be working on or when you’ve succeeded. Always start by setting a well-defined goal and if possible put a deadline on it.

Success Skill # 2 Decision Making

A big part of being successful is making the right decisions. What path should you take, what should you work on next. Those are important choices that influence all aspects of your life. Get comfortable making decisions and learn what you can do to pick the right one more often than not. Practice and experience are great teachers here.

Success Skill # 3 Time Management

Time is our most limited resource. To make the most of if we have to get good at prioritization. That’s really what time management is all about. It’s deciding what’s most important and what will have the biggest impact. Then you figure out how to make it happen in the most time efficient manner.

Success Skill # 4 Organisation

If you’re unorganised, it’s hard to figure out what needs to happen next. It’s also a huge time waster to look around for bits and pieces. Make getting and staying organized a priority, and you’ll be amazed at how much more you can get done.

Success Skill # 5 Focus

Our world is full of distractions. Being able to tune everything else out and work on one task at a time is important. It’s what focus is all about.

Success Skill # 6 Discipline 

Discipline has become a bit of a bad word. What this skill is really about is persistence. You have to work towards your success goals on a regular basis. Do something to move you forward every day if possible.

Success Skill # 7 Effective Communication

We work with other people. We deal with co-workers, customers, friends and family members. Being able to communicate effectively (both when speaking and in writing) helps us work better together and more efficiently. Clear communication also prevents misunderstandings, which can be a drain on time and energy.

Success Skill # 8 Networking

Success will come much faster if you’re able to leverage other people around you. Network so you have a group of people you can ask for feedback, advice, and support. They can help you avoid mistakes and get you in touch with others who can help you along the way.

Success Skill # 9 Positivity

Staying positive seems like such an ethereal concept, but being able to keep up a good attitude has a big impact on your overall success and quality of life. You’ll have more fun and stay more motivated when you can tap into positivity. Look for the good in anything that happens along your success journey.

Success Skill # 10 Patience

Last but not least, you need to embrace patience. Success doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be in this for the long run. Lean to be patient and celebrate your little successes along the way.

In next weeks' blog I'll be discussing why success is not an overnight thing.

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Mike Hoff

Written by Mike Hoff

Over his years as a senior manager, Mike developed a passion for learning and development and has a reputation for developing high performing teams and managing performance, especially during challenging economic times. He has a proven strength in energising teams towards strategic goals and getting them moving in one direction, aligning them to the overall strategy of the business. Additionally Mike has been successful through his coaching and mentoring efforts, in developing individuals to their full potential. His energetic style, passion for people development and effectiveness coupled with an in depth understanding of business at both a strategic and operational level creates a unique blend.

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