Guest Blog: Goals for Setting Priorities

Don Vance, CCM, CPC Chief Operating Officer General Manager Hound Ears Club

Don Vance, CCM, CPC Chief Operating Officer General Manager Hound Ears Club

Top 10 things every Club Manager or Department Head needs to know when setting your priorities in business and in life with projects, priorities and deadlines.

1. Narrow your objectives.

You probably won’t be able to achieve every goal you’ve ever dreamed of. So identify your goals clearly and why they matter to you, and decide which are most important. By concentrating your efforts, you have a better chance of achieving what matters most. Remember; once you develop a plan on how you are going to get there, your mind automatically goes to work in figuring out ways to achieve your goals, even when you are asleep. I like to refer to the “5 five P’s” – Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance! If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail. Like golf and life, if we don’t keep score, then we are just playing a game but we are really not in the game to win.

2. Focus first on the goals that matter.

To accomplish primary goals, you will often need to put desirable but less important ones on the back burner and focus on what’s most important at this very moment. If your boss is asking you where you are more than once about a project, then most likely, this project is critical to him, so what’s the delay?

3. Be prepared for conflicts.

Even worthy goals often conflict with one another. When faced with such a conflict, you should ask yourself questions like: Will one of the conflicting goals benefit more people than the other? Which goal will cause the greater harm if it is deferred? What happens if I don’t achieve a certain goal? What is the negative impact? Learning how and when to shift priorities is the sign of a good manager. If you are one that cannot juggle priorities, then you may be in the wrong leadership role. Perhaps what you are doing isn’t your cup of tea?

4. Put time on your side.

The most important ally you have in reaching your goals is time. Time when lost will never be regained. So, you must learn the value of time and understand time wasters in your day and eliminate them. Are you working enough hours in the day to accomplish your priorities? Are you productive in those hours? Do you work on less important projects first, because they are simpler? Think about what you are doing on an hourly basis, keep a time log / study and learn from it.

5. Choose carefully.

In drawing up your list of daily personal and business goals, you should look for things that will help you feel like you have accomplished something in the day, feel secure, happy or fulfilled. Some of the items that wind up on such lists include goals and objectives that cast out a big net and touch many people. So, choose carefully, what matters to you, may not be the right priority, especially in business.

6. Include Team Members.

If you have a team member who you feel confident in, who you can run things by, perhaps if you are having difficulties in making the right goal setting decisions, you should ask them for their advice. Or, if all else fails, just ask your boss and I know you will receive support from this individual as well. Make sure that that this person is vital part of the goal-setting process.

7. Start now and don’t delay.

The longer you wait to identify and begin working toward your goals, projects, priorities and deadlines, the more difficulty you’ll have reaching them. Don’t procrastinate, “Do It Now!” Because, now is the time to achieve your goals! Remember; “Inch by inch, anything is a cinch, and yard by yard, everything is hard!”

8. Sweat the big stuff and keep on task.

Once you have prioritized your list of goals, keep your time allocated to your goals on course. Whenever you find yourself spending too much time on any particular goal, (especially the big stuff) you need to back up and reassess to make sure that you are still on task. Don’t let one single priority consume all of your time, preventing you from achieving any of your goals.

9. Don’t get sidetracked.

If you find yourself sidetracked, don’t get down on yourself, just pick back up where you left off and reprioritize to see if you are on track or not. Don’t be afraid to mention to your supervisor that you are behind and you need more time. However, if you ask for too many pardons, you will not be looked at favorably and could be subjecting yourself to an unwelcomed review.

10. Be prepared for change.

Projects, priorities and deadlines may change daily, so it is advisable to constantly review your priorities, just to see where they stand and alter your work schedule and action list based on what you are seeing.

In summary:  Our lives are busy, whether we like it or not. With social media and computer technology, our members and residents and our “bosses” have the ability to reach us all hours of the day, including past regular working hours. So, let’s face it, if we don’t learn how to manage our time, our time will manage us. The adverse view to this statement is that we will ultimately find rest when we are laid to rest. However, as for peace of mind, we can have that immediately, once we organize ourselves and learn how to take control, better prioritize our projects, deadlines and priorities and accomplish what’s important in our lives.

The choices that we can make are in our control and they can have a positive impact in our lives, if we will make these decisions with prudence, diligence, focus, timeliness’ and with genuine care and concern. The ability to shift priorities and refocus on what’s really important and what really matters is key. We must not get bogged down in trivial details, or needless conversation, but instead we need to focus on the details that matter. If you struggle often, with “Analysis to Paralysis” type of thinking, trying to be perfect, then you are no good to anyone because you will without a doubt reach gridlock and then you will become ineffective. There is a real balance to reaching this level of achievement. The aforementioned top (10) ten ideas will complement your abilities, freeing up enough time for you to have balance in your life without compromising your ability to get things done at work and at home in a timely manner.

Article written by:  Don E. Vance, CCM, CPC, Chief Operating Officer/General Manager, Hound Ears Club

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers — those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.

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