A ballet is choreographed in advance. Each dancer knows their steps, the timing, and their entrances and exits. A hockey game is more reactive than a ballet. The players respond to the movements of the other participants, or the bounce of the puck.
Would you describe your day as being planned and choreographed, or are you reacting to what is in front of you?
While we all need to be agile and flexible when something of importance arises, the most strategic way to organize your day is to choreograph it in advance. (I don’t expect you to jeté across your office.)
Thinking strategic means that before your day begins you determine the best use of your time to accomplish the important tasks which will move you towards your annual goals.
Do you sometimes feel exhausted at the end of the day and yet don’t feel like you accomplished anything? These are the non-choreographed days – days when you started your day without a plan, and emails and phone calls took over your schedule. These days are almost like a pin-ball game where you are bounced from task to task.
If you want to be more strategic, think about the goals for your day before you start working. Prioritize what is central to reaching your weekly, monthly, annual and long-term goals.
Of course, things will pop up. But don’t let these things run your schedule. Determine which items need to be handled and rework your daily plan.
Remember that even in a hockey game, good hockey player learns to skate to where the puck WILL BE.
So start your day off as a ballet dancer – plan in advance, but react like a hockey player within that plan to what happens during your day.