Prioritization is like putting pieces of a puzzle together. It is the skill that you must have to better manage your day and life. The challenge is figuring out what is a priority and what can be set aside. With focused prioritization you can reduce your stress and possibly the stress of those around you. Best of all you can have a more organized day which can ultimately lead to a nice work/life balance.
4 Rules for Prioritization
1) Value: Ask yourself what is the value of the task at hand? Does it add to the bottom line? Will it result in a value add to your clients? Will it lead to a positive outcome for yourself, your client and the company? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then this task needs to be a priority.
2) Deadline: If you committed to a deadline specifically to a client a manager or a team member then you are responsible for meeting that deadline on time. Any time you make a commitment to a deadline without verifying if you can meet the deadline due to a scheduling problem, you risk disappointing your clients, peers and managers.
3) Urgent or important: When planning your day ask yourself whether the work that you are about to do is urgent or important. If it is urgent and attached to a deadline then you need to make it a priority. If it is important and can lead to a great value, then establish a deadline for completing the task and make it a priority.
4) Go Big! Always prioritize the most complex task that you need to accomplish first. This gets the big stuff out of the way so that it doesn’t linger on your calendar and keep you up at night. By going BIG you can reduce your stress substantially.