First Things First: Prioritization

Published Wednesday, March 16, 2011 6:57 PM

In real estate the mantra is "location, location, location" but in our busy work world the words to live by are "prioritize, prioritize, prioritize." Too many tasks and not enough time to do them is a common complaint in the 24/7 world of work. The ability to prioritize - that is to assess your to-do list and triage the most pressing, vital tasks - is a must-have survival skill.

Worried your prioritizing skills aren't up to snuff? Read on for the basics on putting first things first.

At the most basic level, prioritizing can be based on time constraints, potential profitability/benefit, or on the consequences of not completing a task.

Time-constraints:

Determine if a project can be put off or if there's a deadline that can't be missed. Assess how long will it take to do each project and determine if it makes sense to tackle the shortest projects first.

Potential upside:

Consider if certain projects likely to be more beneficial or profitable. Tackling a project that generates the most revenue may make sense or tackling a smaller project for a bigger client may pay long-term dividends. Assess the upside of completing each item on your to-do list.

Consequences:

Examine your to-do list and determine the consequences of not getting to a certain action item. If the fall-out would be major if a project is unfinished, that item moves up the priority list. No one will notice a task is incomplete? That item has low-priority.

For more thoughts on prioritizing, read Harvard Business Review blogger Peter Bregman's A Better Way to Manage Your To-Do List and Work Smart: Do Your Worst Task First (Or, Eat a Live Frog Every Morning)

How do you prioritize your work? Does taking the time to prioritize make you more or less efficient? Share your thoughts here or at the Pendaflex Facebook page.

by Candie Harris

 

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Comments

# Motivation to lose weight said on Sunday, April 08, 2012 5:23 AM

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# Iris said on Monday, August 13, 2012 1:57 AM

Aritcles like these put the consumer in the driver seat-very important.

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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization.  Believing in  "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.

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