The job of being an IT manager is a tough job indeed. We spend our weeks using out IT manager skills to manage our team, planning for the future, and attempting to put out fires when they show up. All of this can easily become a bit overwhelming if we are not careful. What most of us would like would be some way that we could come up with a way to start our weeks out on the right foot. So that we were in charge and not the events that make up our lives. Well, it turns out that we can if we take time on Sunday to do five very important things.
Think About What You’ve Already Accomplished
Before you can be successful this week, you really need to spend some time thinking about what you were able to accomplish last week. What you need to do is to sit down and take a look at your to-do list. There’s no real IT manager training that tells us how to do this. Hopefully, there were a number of things that you were able to get accomplished last week. Understanding what you were able to do is important as you start to plan what you’ll want to accomplish in the upcoming week.
One of the other things that you’ll want to do is to determine if there are things on your list that seem to be remaining there week after week. If there are then some tough decisions need to be made. You are either going to have to boost the priority of this item and make sure that you find the time to get it taken care of this week, or you are going to have to remove it from your list. No matter what you do, it can’t just remain there.
Use Categories To Arrange What You Need To Accomplish
If your to-do list for next week is anything like mine, then it’s probably quite long and has a real mix of things on it: work, family, home, sports, exercise, etc. When you look at a long list of things that you have to do (which just seems to keep getting longer), it can make you feel as though you’ll never be able to accomplish what’s on the list. Take a few moments and sort your list so that everything on it is placed into a category.
Doing this will make your list look not quite so long. Additionally, what’s going to happen is that you will find yourself in a location where you can get some work done and you’ll pick a category of tasks to work on. Now you have a smaller list to work on and you can actually get things done. You are able to get a lot more done when you can focus on one type of task instead of having to switch each time you cross something off of your to-do list.
Do Today What You Need Tomorrow
This would seem to be a fairly obvious thing to do, but very few of us actually do it. Each day that stretches out before us has a number of different things that we have to do in it. The day before that day provides us with an opportunity to get a jump start on what we need to do before we actually have to get anything done.
A great example of this type of thinking has to do with meals. No matter if the meal is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we can generally get a start on things the day before. It can be as simple as gathering the needed ingredients or as complex as actually preparing a meal to be heated up later on. The same concept can be applied to many other things that we’ll have to accomplish during the upcoming day.
It’s All About Inputs, Not Outputs
While we are at work during the week, there will be multiple people who are expecting us to produce outputs. No matter if it’s our boss or members of our team, everyone wants something from us. In order to be able to deliver what people want, we need to have acquired some information at some point in time.
Sunday is a great time for us to sit back and think about what is going to be required of us during the upcoming week. If we can understand what kinds of outputs people will be looking for, then we can make sure that we have acquired the proper inputs so that we’ll be ready to give them what they need. Sunday is the time to get your inputs in order.
Me Time Is Important Also
Although we may not think of it in our rush to prepare for the next week, we also have to think about ourselves. What we need to realize is that the upcoming week is going to require us to move fast. We’re not going to have much time to sit and think and so that makes our time on Sunday that much more important.
On Sunday, you need to find the time to settle yourself down and take some time to be calm. There are lot of different ways to do this. Watching a football game is not going to do it because you may be too involved in the outcome. What you need to do is to read a book or even meditate. You need quiet time so that you can prepare yourself for the busy week that is coming your way.
What All Of This Means For You
The life of an IT manager is not an easy life. We are a critical part of how our company operates and because of that we seem to always be on the move. From the moment we walk in the door at work to the time that we stagger out to our car, somebody always seems to want to talk to us about something. What we need to do is to find a way to get some time for ourselves so that we can get on top of everything that is going to be asked of us.
A great way to go about doing this is to use your Sunday to prepare for the upcoming week. The first thing that you need to do is to spend some time reviewing what you accomplished last week. You can’t possibly know what you have to do this week if you don’t fully understand what you did last week. Next, you need to take your to-do list and place each item on it into a category. This will allow you to focus on one area and work on all of the things that you have to do in that area. Working ahead is a great way to free up some of your time during the week. Get done on Sunday what you can to free up time on Monday. At work people are always going to be asking you to provide them with something. That means that on Sunday you need to be collecting all of the inputs that you’ll need in order to be able to provide the outputs that people will be expecting. Finally, in order to prepare for the week ahead, you need to take time to collect your thoughts. The week is going to be crazy, make sure that you have a firm grasp on what’s really important to you.
Every week is an opportunity for an IT product manager. It’s yet one more opportunity for us help our teams move the company forward and do some IT team building. In order to make this happen, we need to take the time on the Sunday before the week starts to get ourselves ready for what’s to come. Follow these five tips and your next week could be your best week yet!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: When you are taking time for yourself on Sunday, do you think that it’s important that you are alone?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As an IT manager, it’s your job to lead your team. This leadership thing has always been just a bit fuzzy for most of us – just exactly how are we supposed to go about doing it? I’m more than willing to admit that there is a lot to having the IT manager skills that you need in order to be a good leader. However, I also believe that there is one vital skill that we all need if we want to be able to be known as good leaders – communication. The ability to communicate well with our team as we have learned in our IT manager training is critical and in order to do this effectively, it turns out that we need to be good storytellers.