Prioritization and planning are two sides of the same coin. Planning is thinking about the tasks required to achieve the desired goal on some scale . Prioritization is ensuring you are doing the right tasks. Planning and prioritization are two of the best skills a manager can have. They ensure good use of your own efforts and those of your team.
Prioritization is making the best use of your limited time and resources when demands are seemingly limitless. Every single day a manager is bombarded with demands with “ASAP” written all over it. Unending meeting requests, continuous daily reports, pressing operative issues and urgent project tasks — you name it—the list goes on and on and on! If you get into that vicious cycle of trying to do everything, you’ll end up burned out, frustrated and unhappy.
Prioritization in principle means doing “first things first;” as a process it means evaluating a group of items and ranking them in order of importance and urgency. – Business Dictionary
Your day only has a limited number of hours, this is the same for your week, your month, your year etc. There is a maximum number of things that you can possibly do (with good quality) in a period of time— therefore you need to prioritize.
If everything is important then nothing is important. If you qualify the “not-so-important-tasks” as very important it devalues any other “more-important-tasks”.
Start your day by devoting a fair amount of your creative energy to planing your day. This will jump start your day on the right track. You will know your action items (things that matter) and backburners (tasks that can wait).
Perhaps a year is a much longer period but even though, there is a maximum number of things you can do in a year—therefore, you still need to prioritize. Annual planning sessions are important endeavors for companies wanting to set priorities right for the year and align objectives with strategic goals. Nothing beats starting the year in the right direction; you have a game plan and you understand what needs to be done to accomplish your goals.
By planning ahead you are in the best position to adjust priorities. Proper planning is building enough room into your plans for additional demands. New demands pop-up and they may also be important. Adjusting priorities is commonplace; you should always assume that there will be unexpected requests. Set aside time for them. As long as they are important tasks that bring you closer to you goal, they must be done!
Photo courtesy of Ivy Remoreras Photography.
3 thoughts on “What Prioritization and Planning Can Do for You”
Thanks for this nice post,
you are completely right – we always need to think what the prioritization can do for us, and what we can do for prioritization 🙂 Actually we can say that setting priorities correctly means doing your business successfully (for example when you sort out minor clients, while trying to concentrate your efforts at more paying ones). I may advise using collaborative to-do listing applications of your choice to control your priorities. For example we are using VIP Task Manager http://www.taskmanagementsoft.com/ that helps us to plan and keep our action items prioritized during the day, so we prevent our business energy from being senselessly spent.
Perfectly said Prioritization is very important, there is only so much tasks one can squeeze in limited time. Dilemma of demand on the go is experience not only by managers but also by key personnel. The best managers are those that are able to drive value by being able to pinpoint the right task to the right personnel and having a project develop seamlessly. Of course this is easier said than done but good planning coupled with coherent prioritization goes a long way.