Does this reaction look familiar? It’s the typical response that many leaders have when they are faced with trying to identify and manage their organizations’ priorities.
You’ve heard the old saying, ‘Learn how to distinguish between your wants and your needs”. Well, in today’s corporate environment, that is a very difficult task given the amount of priorities that organizations attempt to undertake.
If you are a leader in an organization having to distinguish between wants, needs and must haves, then you are no stranger to the level of stress the effort can present.
So to help make it a little easier, we’d like to share some quick tips to assist you with narrowing in on identifying and managing priorities. Let’s consider the first 2…and then stay with us as we share more throughout the week!
Tip #1: Make time to schedule your priorities
Priorities are schedule driven, so be proactive with setting aside the time needed to schedule priorities so that you are able to meet deadlines. For example, if you know that you will be expected to set new priorities at the end of every year, then schedule time for the exercise in advance, and include the right people to help weigh in on the effort. Setting the time aside will ensure that you schedule your priorities appropriately.
Tip #2: Identify urgent versus non-urgent
Using your most current priority list, separate the items into urgent vs. non-urgent to determine the top priorities for a defined time period such as 90 days, 120 days, or Q1, Q2, etc. To help drive decisions in assessing urgency, you can develop a list of criteria that defines urgent and non-urgent. It’s important to know what those terms mean for your organization. Try using a scale of high, medium and low to further aid in distinguishing levels of urgency.
To check your assessment, consider applying this question: What priorities will have negative consequences if they are ignored? You may find yourself doing a little reshuffling after answering this question.
Remember, it’s vital to distinguish urgency, as not everything can be the most critical, most urgent or most important on your priority list, because if that’s the case, your priorities will not be realized.
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