Every week. Every day. Every few hours. You’re challenged with immediate problems to solve and issues to overcome. In another hour, something is going to come across your inbox or instant message window and you are going to have to react. You will have to respond. You will have to drop what you’re doing. Some burning item will come up and you’ll need to fix it.

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Urgent matters come in all varieties in the Customer Success and services world. Each one is more important than the last and desperately needs attention. The issue might be finalizing a single sign on integration for an upcoming launch or it could be some metrics needed for a client briefing that snuck up on you.

Many of your HR and Learning & Development peers are presented with similar challenges. Their situation might be about a deliverable getting off track on a timeline or a group of people not completing their past-due compliance training.

Meanwhile, your “To Do List” is getting longer and longer on the other side of your desk. The important projects you have been setting aside, the ones that will require planning and work across functional lines are not kicking off. And you’re not strategically advancing the big things that matter most.

What are you going to do? How do you manage what is urgent versus what is most important?

Solving this daily challenge takes planning. It takes finding the right balance on how you allocate your time.  Dedicating time to strategic efforts takes rigor and discipline. Always attending to the most pressing topics (and putting off the important ones) doesn’t let your organization efficiently progress at achieving larger goals.

This is what works for me and how I deal with what is most important.

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I usually go outside with pen and paper for the focus part.  I unplug and change the scenery.  It works every time.

Now it’s your turn to get it done.

Urgent requests are not going to stop. Look…there’s another one that just came in on your phone. Carve out the time to plan ahead before you don’t have time at all. Focus on what will lead to the best results. Strengthen this behavior by making it a habit. You’ll be more successful by committing time to the important things and your customers will be better off for it.

I’m a tagger and you should be too.

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Tags are merely labels used to identify things.

In the simplest form, tags are things like the sticker labels your grandfather used in his garage or the DIY labels your partner now organizes with. In terms of technology, many applications and software use metadata or social tags to further enhance our browsing experiences. Meta tags (short descriptions added to each web page) are used by search engines to help improve the relevance and quality of search results.

The ability to tag your experiences is now available on most websites and applications. For example, on Facebook, you tag people in your posts, as well as the location and date. This improves the search on Facebook and allows you to sort and filter posts later. The proliferation of hashtags on Twitter have helped make the site the phenomenon it is today, and you can now see hashtags used everywhere in social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. The use of hashtags can connect conversations across social media sites.

Here are three reasons you should start making tagging a habit:

#1 – Improved User Experience – Tagging makes the application you are using smarter, which creates a better user experience for others. This means better search results and a more personalized experience.

#2 – Increasing Eminence – Tagging content is a gift to the creator, author or owner of the content. It helps further brand the subject matter and allow others to find it easier.  Creating a personal habit of tagging will also help define your areas of interest; creating eminence for you as well.

#3 – Save Time – Indexing your own content will save you time later. How many times have you looked for something that you previously consumed and just wish it was easier to find? Tagging shortcuts your search by having content indexed with more keywords to find it again later.

It takes only seconds to tag content. Depending on the application, it might be called metadata, keywords, tags, categories, labels, topics, social tags, hashtags, or something similar. Take the extra 20 seconds and make it a habit. There are no right or wrong tags. Use synonyms and similar words that could lead someone to the right content.

Don’t forget to follow the keywords and tags when applications provide this option. Tagging and following will quickly hook you into others that are giving back in this way and the quality of your findings will be immediately enhanced.

Takeaways

In case you are new to tagging, here are three easy ways to get started:

  1. Tag your photos and posts in Facebook with people, dates, and locations.
  2. Hashtag your posts everywhere in social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest.
  3. Tag all of your learning in Degreed.

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To learn more about tagging and personalization in Degreed visit get.degreed.com.

Authored by: Mike Makis and Sonja Schurig of Degreed

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