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How to Set Priorities for More Success

October 18th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I have worked with many different people in my business career.  I have come to realize, we are not hatched from the womb knowing how to prioritize our work or our lives for success.  It is a learned skill.

If this important tool isn’t learned, we are left to muddle through life focusing on unproductive activities.  This leads to under achievement and frustration.  When we take the time to learn how to prioritize our work, it opens up a whole new world of achievement and success.  Here are three things to consider when setting priorities.

1.  We must understand the rule of 20/80 in our activities.  20% of our activities will account for 80% of our success.  Out of the 10 items on our lists of things to do, 2 of those items are of higher value than the other eight.  Those 2 are responsible for the achievements of our desired effect we are working to accomplish.  How do we know which are our 2 things?

2.  We must understand the big picture.  Meaning, we have to know the end result we are striving to accomplish, and what it takes to get there.  If we don’t know our target, we will wander aimless, never getting close to our desires.  Only by seeing the big picture will the best path appear.

It’s like hiking.  If we only stare at the end of our shoes, we will trip and fall over every obstacle in our path.  If we raise our eyes above our feet we will see the path ahead.  We will know, in advance, when the path has things that will hinder our progress, such as tree roots or limbs that will smack us in the head.  We will see clearly the path that leads to our destination.

It is important to set a time when we can block out our distractions and set goals.  Goal setting gives us the path to walk.  To set those goals effectively, we have to be clear on our desired outcome, or the destination we are striving for.

When we have done this, we are able to ask ourselves, what is the most valuable use of my time now?  An entrepreneur and business owner will ask themselves, what activities will bring the most profits?

3.  Setting our priorities also includes knowing how our work affects others.  Are we impeding another person’s progress by not completing our work? There isn’t anything more frustrating for a team than having to wait for someone else to accomplish a task that directly affects completing their own tasks.

For instances, lets say, we are working on an assembly line and building a new car. The workers responsible for installing the engine can’t put it into the car if those responsible for the frame haven’t done their job.

If it doesn’t impact our results in a positive way, or is holding someone else back from completing their job, it might deserve to be a low priority item on our list.

Understanding how to organize our work with proper attention to our high impact priorities is a valuable skill to have.  Now is the time to polish up this skill.  It will move us faster to our destination of success!

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  1. October 18th, 2010 at 16:24 | #1