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BAZAAR at Work: The Step-by-Step Authority Control Directory

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Photography: John Akehurst for Harper’s Bazaar​​

How do you sift through what really needs to get done now and what can wait, or even be done by someone else? Time is limited, tasks and things to do are unlimited. Here’s how to get on top of it….

#1. Stick to the plot – remember your purpose and your end goal: does this contribute towards it?

#2. Fast forward –​ when you look back on the day/week/month, what will you have achieved?

#3. Be honest –​ is this just a distraction or is it really important? Are you actually avoiding doing the things you need to do?

#4. You or them  –​who really should be doing some of these things on your list? Is this really someone else’s priority?

#5. Disaster scenario –​ what will go wrong or not happen if you don’t do it?

#6. Biorhythms rule – ​understand what times of the day work best for certain tasks: are you better at writing reports in the morning, or reading strategy in the afternoon? Schedule accordingly so you are most productive.

#7. Busy, busy, busy – ​no one will respect you for just being busy for the sake of it. It’s not productive. A mindset of making choices is the right way forward. You are not letting people down; you are being productive.

#8. Old faithful –​ you can’t beat a good list. Only put the big priorities into it. All other things are simply tasks (they can go on a separate list).

Photography: Regan Cameron for Harper's Bazaar​

Photography: Regan Cameron for Harper’s Bazaar​

As a female CEO once said, as her advice for women gunning for the top job:  ‘It’s about having the swagger – even when you may not feel it.’ So, how do you do that when you’re fighting your case, leading a debate or making a presentation?

#1. Be clear on your views know what you agree with and what you don’t. Be consistent. Be clear on your opinion.

#2. Be prepared – have facts and figures up your sleeve. Being able to respond to specific questions with data underpins your view.

#3. Stick to your guns – maintain your view even when challenged. Be firm, but not defensive or aggressive. Play back the other person’s view to them so they know you’ve heard it, and then repeat your facts and the rationale of your position. Agree to disagree.

#4. Encourage debate – enabling others to challenge you implies you are comfortable with your position. It will encourage others to work with you, not against you – and that will in turn boost your confidence.

#5. Be you and be there – make eye contact, stand tall and try to enjoy it. People feel much more comfortable if they feel you are too.

#6. Keep it simple – don’t make it harder for yourself than you need to. It’s easier to do all of the above and display confidence if you don’t overcomplicate things.