Them or me? Prioritization 101

It’s easy to lose yourself in other people’s priorities. That’s why having your own defined priorities is absolutely necessary whether you’re a C-Suite executive or a stay-at-home mom. Author Chuck Palahniuk wrote, “If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t.”  The same goes for priorities. If you don’t know what your priorities are, they won’t happen.

Here is a starter program for prioritization. This is a weekly cycle:

  1. Identify the beginning of your week. Some people say it’s Sunday, others say Monday. There are no wrong answers here – so just pick one.
  2. Create your “rolling” to-do list at the beginning of your week. This includes all of your work, personal, and miscellaneous to-do items. I call it a rolling list because this isn’t a list you make once. It’s your buddy; your prioritization BFF.
  3. Set importance levels to each item on the list. They are either A items (Must be done) B items (should/could be done but could also wait until later) and C items (no one will notice if they don’t get done). Go through your list and letter each item.
  4. Plot the A items in your calendar. Immediately. I’m serious. If they are not in your calendar, they are not going to happen, or at least not when they should if they are not there. Go ahead and schedule more time than you think they’ll take in case things run long.
  5. Plot the B items in your calendar if there is room. If there is not room, don’t plot them – you already identified them as to-do items that are not priority. If they will become priority at some point (if they at some point will switch to A items, pop into the appropriate week, and plot them there.
  6. As you complete your items, cross them off of the to-do list. If you finish the week with 75% or more of your A items completed, consider it a success.

That’s it. Simple? Yes. Easy? Not at first. Stick with it.

Helping people develop prioritization techniques are just one way a coach can help you. If you want to explore this or more, please let me know by clicking here. I’ll get your request and we’ll connect soon for a free session just for you!

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