Prioritizing skills are your ability to see
what tasks are more important at each moment
and give those tasks more of your attention,
energy, and time. You focus on what is
important at the expense of lower
C. Ray Johnson, in one of the final chapters of his book
CEO Logic : How to Think and Act Like a Chief Executive,
summarizes: "Prioritizing is the answer
to time management problems - not computers,
efficiency experts, or matrix scheduling.
You do not need to do work faster or to
eliminate gaps in productivity to make better
use of your time. You need to spend more time
on the right things..."
We all have many things to do, and we never
have time and energy to do them all. We
don't have time and resources to do them
equally well either. Many things will be
left undone, no matter how hard you try.
Prioritizing is a way to solve that
One key reason why prioritizing works, and
works well, is the 80/20 Rule.
The 80/20 Rule states that 80 percent of
our typical activities contribute less than
20 percent to the value of our work.
you do only the most important 20 percent of
your tasks you still get most of the value.
Then, if you focus most of your efforts on
those top value activities, you achieve much
more than before, or you will have more time
to spend with your family.
Prioritizing is about making choices of what
to do and what not to do. To prioritize
effectively you need to be able to recognize
what is important, as well as to see the
difference between urgent and important.
The important, or high priority, tasks are
the tasks that help us achieve our long-term
goals or can have other meaningful and
significant long-term consequences.
At first glance, many of the tasks we face
during a day seem equally urgent and
important. Yet, if you take a closer look,
you will see that many of the urgent
activities we are involved are not really
important in the long run. At the same time,
things that are most important for us, like
improving ourselves and our skills, getting a
better education, spending time with family,
often are not urgent.
With good prioritizing skills, you finish as
soon as possible all the important urgent
tasks, the ones that would get you into a
crisis or trouble otherwise. Then, you focus
your attention and try to give more and more
time to those most important, but not urgent
tasks, the ones that are most rewarding in
the long run.
Prioritizing principles can be applied to
both planned and unplanned activities.
For planned activities, like the ones
included in your to do list, you can mark
each of your tasks with "A", "B", or "C",
depending on its importance. The "B" tasks
should be done only after you are finished
with all the most important "A" tasks, the
ones that just must be done. If you have
time after you are finished with the "B"
tasks, you can move on to the "C" ones.
When you set priorities in to do lists, also
keep asking yourself if any of your tasks can
be eliminated or delegated.
When you prioritize unplanned activities,
you often need to make quick decisions, and
you don't have time to analyze the situation
in full. It is best just to keep in mind your
goals and rely on your instincts. Your
effectiveness in such situations depends very
much on the clarity of your goals.
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