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Getting things done all about priorities and rhythm

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We all have great ideas and plans. But actually moving on them is really hard (it really isn't, but we make it that way).

Why?

Because you can't do everything. (Yes, nothing new there, but we all get caught up in it.)

There are three resources everyone has in limited supply: time, money and people. And the most critical resource is time. It doesn't matter how much money or how many people you have, you cannot get any more time.

One of the first lessons of strategic planning is that the toughest part of strategy is not deciding what to say “yes” to, but rather what to say “no” to.

Focus and priorities are where success lies.

Companies that are growing have graduated to a place where what used to work great might not work so well anymore. They have either already encountered problems that they do not feel equipped to solve, or their natural sense has gone on alert, and they believe danger is around the corner.

The foundation of execution is focus, prioritization and accountability. The reason so many companies or individuals fail in execution is that they either try to do too much at one time, or they are not accountable to deliver results for which they signed up.

Here is the reality: your day job does not go away.

Your day job includes those urgent tasks that must be done simply to keep an organization alive. The day job occupies the vast majority of every employee's day; it never goes away and it cannot be ignored. It will hunt you down and find you if you try to avoid it.

The only way to execute on new, important goals is to separate those goals from the day job and prioritize/limit them.

Goals are like aspirin – one or two OK; three or four questionable; five, six or seven unhealthy; eight or more – coma. Same thing with goals – too many and you go into a coma.

Achieving your goals comes down to focus and accountability.

Limit your goals to the critical few. Break them down throughout the quarters to chip away at achieving them.

Ensure that everyone on the team understands the goals, knows what to do to reach them and knows whether progress is being made toward them. Create a rhythm of accountability with targets, a dashboard and review dates.

Great execution comes from being able to predict, plan, do and adjust in order to adapt to what life throws at you.

Tom Garrity is managing partner of Compass Point Consulting LLC in Bethlehem. He is a certified coach with Gazelles International and a certified exit planning adviser with the Exit Planning Institute. Compass Point provides growth and business transition consulting to small- and medium-sized businesses. He can be reached at 610-336-0514 or tgarrity@compasspt.com.

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