Time Management For Managers. Part 4 – PrioritizingPosted by admin
Part IV. Prioritizing
First of all let’s try to understand what word prioritizing means. Write down a list of projects or simple tasks to be completed and then rank them according to their importance, so the most important item will appear to be the first one in your list. It means you will start doing second priority task only when more important one is completed. This is how prioritizing process looks like.
It is easy to understand how priorities work if you associate them with poker chips. As a rule in poker three mail colors of chips are used. Blue chips are the most important for a player, because each blue chip worth a lot of money. If one looses the blue chip it definitely means failure for him, oppositely achieving an additional blue chip is a great success.
Red chips are not as important as blue, but still it is not recommended to ignore them. One need to pay high attention on red chips, but the first priority is always given to the blue ones. If one looses or gains an additional red chip it means neither failure, nor success, but when player operates with big amount of red chips, their loss or obtaining has much bigger importance.
There are also white chips. Their importance is not even close to red or blue chips. Failure to obtain white chips will not worry the player, sometimes one even sacrifices white chip to get more important red or blue one.
But let’s go back to prioritizing. Our top priority tasks are blue chips, the goals of medium importance belong to the group of red chips and after all white chips are the tasks with the lowest priority. It is highly important to make this division and you will realize that only some of your goals are equal to blue chips, and these are tasks to concentrate on.
The Objective Setting – Performance Appraisal form contain mainly the blue chips objectives. In a long term prospective your daily and weekly goals perform red chips importance level, because they are just an input, a step on the way to main objective. But actually during one week you will also have goals of different priority, which may be red or blue chips equivalents, a lot of your daily tasks may be so called “white chips”.
When you are planning your activities for a following day, don’t forget to prioritize your goals. It may be very important in some situations, for example you had a red chip task for Monday, but you didn’t manage to complete it in time, so on Tuesday this task gets blue chip priority.
When you try to rank your goals, to define their priority, take into consideration the following topics:
- The level of importance;
- How important is this project for your supervisor;
- Accessibility of people you need to interact with or equipment needed to complete the tasks;
- Make sure there is a certain order of completing the tasks.
Another way to understand the level of importance of the objective you have is ask yourself a simple question: “What will happen if I don’t complete this task until deadline?” If the answer is, that it will lead to failure or some substantial negative effects, it means this is objective of very high priority – blue chip goal. If the consequences don’t influence the results in big extent, these tasks will likely belong to white chips.
- 1. First of all it is recommended to spend the most amount of your time working on you blue chips objectives, less time should be devoted to red chips goals and if then you have some free time left, it belongs to white chips.
- 2. Never forget, that blue chip goals are goals of high priority, so you have to work on them first of all. Don’t start red chip task until you have your blue chip completed. It is much more useful to have just a small part of blue chip project ready, then to accomplish one white task completely.
To be continued…