“The activity that arranges items…”
It sounds so easy so why do we find it so hard. Even this morning starting to write this blog I was distracted and was not giving it the priority it deserved.
Brian Tracy the author of “Eat that Frog” has the simple principle to avoid procrastinating imagine you had to eat a live frog, you would want to do it as quickly as possible. His ethos therefore is to get your worst job done as quickly as possible. Eat that Frog!!
There is also science to support when is the best time to have ultimate focus. Dan Pink the author of When says there are three main time periods in the working day. Peak, Trough and Recovery. The Peak period is in the morning and we are best tackling the analytical tasks that may need attention to detail. The Trough just after lunch is a good time to catch up on admin, tasks that will need less brain power. We then have another period called Recovery when it is a great time to do creative thinking and this could be late afternoon into the evening.
The most well known Prioritisation exercise is the matrix by Stephen Covey. In its simplest form is to ask the question is this task important or urgent. He challenges the fact that sometimes urgency is generated by others and if we identify important tasks they often prevent items even becoming urgent. Spending too much time on important and urgent together can feel very reactive whereas tasks that are important and not urgent are proactive and preventative.
Knowing that nothing has been lost or forgotten is also good for your peace of mind, so David Allen author of Getting Things Done, recommends using the metaphor of buckets. Allen suggests having a Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annual & a Projects bucket, this way nothing is lost.
Prioritising is a discipline or practise that with the right personal planning tools can become effective. Look at your to-do list this morning and simply identify the “Frogs” and go for a very simple A, B, and C system. The “Frogs” are As they have to be done today, the Bs maybe this afternoon and the Cs are unlikely to be tackled today but they are safe in your daily bucket for now.
Please do get in touch for a 90 minute workshop on Prioritisation firstname.lastname@example.org