Priority management and task management are two sides of the same coin. priority management is getting a good handle on which priorities are the most iportant to you and managing them is such a way that you are able to easily juggle them between other people if necessary. This articel below discusses how to understand priority management at the basic level. A great place to start for those that want to approach time management from a place that is more pragmatic.
If you have never prioritized your activities before, it is hard to know exactly where to start. When we focus on completing tasks, we tend to want to make everything on our list more urgent then it actually is. Start by every morning writing a list of everything that needs to be completed. At the end of the day, check your results against the list. Were you effective?
This very powerful list is you-the boss – directing you – the employee. Without a daily plan – directed with a purpose – nothing changes. Therefore, if it is your plan, your idea, your desire – write it down and track your results. You will become a great employee but an even better boss.
To make it easier for you to prioritize, I have used the ABC’s of prioritizing. This is a standard format utilized in most Time Management systems. It helps to ensure you focus and accomplish your high pay-off activities between the other details you are working to accomplish in a day.
If you do not accomplish an A priority, it will create financial loss, severe problems, or a loss of credibility. Consider these tasks as “have-to.” The activity must be completed within 1-3 days.
These have little or no pressure attached. They are generally your “want to do” items. B priorities mean you have established the beginning of balance on your schedule and you are controlling the details. These are the tasks, which come from your Item’s To Do Journal and your Flight Plan Goal Setting Journal, if you are using the Strategic Self Management System. If you are a list maker, it would be those items from your list. B priorities should be done between 3-7 days.
C items are the ones you have scheduled as “would like to do” if I have time available and so carry no urgency. Whether it is a favor, odd item, any task which can be done at your leisure, would be considered a C priority. This task can easily be accomplished 7+ days with no fear or loss of consequence.
The difficulty with establishing priorities is that we tend to want to make all items on our list an A. This can create an abundance of problems as, no matter how we look at it, we only have 24 hours in a day. All items you mark as an A are items you are absolutely committed to accomplishing for that day. These items carry stress because of the “have to” factor. Select them wisely.
You should consider A priorities as carrying a negative undertone because it should trigger to you that you are reacting to your environment and falling behind in the details. It represents potential problems and it should warn you it is time for a planning session as your tasks are getting in the way of your goals. If you find yourself having a difficult time deciding what priority to label an item, ask yourself, “What will be the result if I don’t do it today?” Think about the effect and decide from there.
B priorities are your action steps from your Flight Plan, your To Do List and your monthly priority list. These are the items you wanted to do, are committed to doing, and can accomplish on a timely basis. If you do not have either of these journals, you can easily create an ongoing electronic list or a regular notebook will do. You will want most of your priorities to remain B as often as possible as it means you are in control of your schedule and your life is in balance. You are pro-acting to your plan versus reacting to others. These tasks represent what you WANT. Understanding with realization if you accomplish these tasks, you will have achieved what YOU set out to do.
C priorities are items, which eventually you would like to get to if you have some time available. This could include reviewing advertising materials for marketing ideas. Looking at course flyers to see what skill based learning you may want to take. You may decide to read an article on a new product you are interested in adding to your current line. A business owner may decide to pick up their own mail because they have some time left in their day. C priorities have no consequences attached but if done can create ideas or increase skill based awareness. If a C is on hold – there are no consequences. They are just items you would like to accomplish – if you can.
Wishing you continued success in the accomplishment of your short and long term, predetermined, worthwhile goals.
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Publish Date: 05/11/2010
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