Self managing is Job One. If you can’t manage yourself, don’t expect to manage a business, or other people, or clients, well.
We use a really effective technique to help our clients self-manage. “Big Rocks” is a management concept of sorts which has been used in various ways for some time. It’s a concept which I use with all of my clients, and we use at BOSS Management Group, to keep focused on what needs to be done to move the business forward.
There are many techniques to use to help us self-manage, but I’ve found ‘Big Rocks’ to be easy to remember, easy to visualise, easy to keep focused on, and consequently it produces results.
My definition of Big Rocks, in a business context, is those actions or projects or achievements which will actually move your business forward. If you have two Big Rocks for a month, and you achieve them, it will actually move your business forward. Think of them as critical foundations for the business you are building.
Being busy vs being productive:
Imagine you have a bucket, which represents your capacity or available time, in any given day, week or month. Now, imagine you have a number of big rocks that need to go into that bucket. Put them in. You’ll still have room for a few pebbles, and then you’ll be able to add some sand to fill up the rest of your capacity, and if you really want to, you could add still more if you add some water into the bucket.
You can fill your time with lots of activities and be very busy as a result, but the key to effective self management is not to be busy but to be productive!
Big Rocks must go first!
The point of the story is not that you can always fit more into your day, or month, but that if you don’t attend to the Big Rocks (most important priorities) first, you’ll never fit them in.
Sometimes we can all get consumed by the day to day, and at the end of those days, we feel drained and also that we haven’t really achieved anything or made any forward progress. It sort of feels like treading water.
Big Rocks = Bigger Game
Keep focused on what your Big Rocks are for the month, and if you can achieve at least one of them each month, you’ll be moving your business forward. Big Rocks help keep you focused on the bigger game, and allow you to still deal with the pebbles and sand each day.
Once you have the important priorities identified and in focus for yourself each month, you can use the same tool for each of your key staff, or teams.
These are the four key points to remember:
- Self management is Job One.
- Use Big Rocks as your simplest self management tool, to keep clear on priorities.
- Big Rocks move your business forward.
- Use the Big Rocks concept with your team to keep them focused and on track.