How do you decide your projects and priorities? I was reading Seth Godin’s blog and it sparked a few thoughts for me. Do you know how you decide what you are going to do for the hour, day, week, month, year?
Do you decide by what is:
- Most Proven
- Most Certain
- Biggest Pay Off
- Most Fun
- Most Convenient
- Most Known
- Most Unknown
- Most Important
- Most Urgent
- Most Challenging
I have been challenging myself this last year about really thinking consciously about what I am doing and what I am working on – the important tasks or the urgent tasks. Covey talks about this in his book and audio book – 4 Disciplines of Execution. I highly recommend reading. Below are the quadrants he suggests putting your tasks into to distinguish the important (tasks that improve – overall goals) from the urgent (tasks that keeps things moving – the day-to-day). See my blog on this here.
As a Chief Strategy Officer of a company, my overall goal is to make sure we are adding value to our customers. I do this by researching technologies and the ever changing offerings of solutions. My day-to-day tasks involve meeting with clients, responding to emails, managing a division of great people, which is working in the business. So for me, my “Critical Activities” and “Important Goals” are tasks that work on moving the business forward, such as process improvements, new systems, and new partnerships. While I can get caught up by the “Distractions” and “Interruptions” of a full Inbox and administrative tasks. Below are some action items that I have found helpful in keeping me focused on what is important.
- Create an Annual Calendar Plan
- Really visualizes what your year looks like
- Create your Ideal Week
- Give you something to shoot for
- Watch the secret weapon videos
- Combines Evernote and David Allen’s book – Getting Things Done
- 10 short videos that have helped me a ton.
- Listen to Covey’s – The 4 Disciplines of Execution
- Move to email batch responding – check it 2 or 3 times a day at specific times.
- This will allow you to attack the important tasks in your life.
There is no perfect answer, but knowing which way you want to go and where your feet are pointed is a great way to start.