Do You Treat Your Rocks As A Separate Job?

steering wheel with lots of sticky note reminders - what's the priority?Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing a common theme among my clients. They keep saying, “I have a day job and a Rock job.” At first that confused me a little bit. Then I realized that one of two things is true. One possibility is that we chose the wrong Rocks for the quarter. The second possibility is that the team member is spending most of their time on useless activities.

Certified EOS® Implementers teach our clients the idea of setting 90-day goals or priorities that we call “Rocks.” This helps them focus their “day” jobs around the most important things for the company and for their department. During a full-day session we create these priorities and everyone gets in agreement on what the most important things are. Then the leader puts their head down and goes to work.

What Priorities Are You Spending Your Time On?

We want to make sure we are focusing on the top priorities during the day. The things that will take our organization, our department and ourselves to the next level. Work on the things that matter most, not the reactive non-priority work. This comes from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Our Rocks need to be important-but-not-urgent activities (Quadrant 2) that make urgent-and-important activities (Quadrant 1) melt away.

Covey's quadrant chart of urgent/not urgent and important/not important activities

I find that most leaders and managers get sucked into Quadrant 1 activities, and they refer to that as their “day job.” These activities are just a reality of life. Most often this means they don’t have their processes and people set up to take care of those issues. Remember, every system is perfectly designed to produce the results it produces. If you spend too much time in Quadrant 1, it’s time to change the system.

Set Rocks in Line with the Right Priorities

When setting Rocks, make sure they are aligned with your seat on the Accountability Chart, your Roles, and your Measurables. They are intended to take you and your company to the next level, get all your numbers back on track. If you can get all your Rocks aligned and avoid Quadrant 3 activities, limit Quadrant 4, and manage Quadrant 1, you will set yourself up to get what you want from your business and your life.

Next Steps


This article originally appeared on the Optimize for Growth blog on March 29, 2017.

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