Setting the Right Priorities
from Keen Stuff.com 7/25/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz Blog
Setting Priorities. When you have to choose among several tasks, there are several Prioritization tools you can use. Key ones are summarized below. If you are in a rut with your “prioritization” method, experimenting with the following methods may yield the one that is just right for you.
80/20 Rule. It is commonly recognized that 20% of your activities will account for 80 % of your success (The Pareto Principle). Hence, if you have 10 tasks in your task list, probably 2 of those will be the key ones to focus on first. Hence, whatever prioritization method you use, you should ensure you identify those tasks to prioritize.
The ABC Method is from the paper-based Franklin planner of years ago. It ranks tasks into 3 categories:
. . . . . A = vital, B = important, C = nice
Then it subdivides tasks in these categories into A1, A2, A3, …, B1, B2, … & so forth – to set priorities
Microsoft Outlook, has 3 priority settings for a task: High, Normal, Low. These of course correspond directly to the A, B, C priorities – above. Smart-phones use the same priority scheme as Outlook. Palms uses a numeric rating of 1 – 5 for prioritizing tasks. When synced with Outlook, priorities 1 & 2 are translated to Outlook’s “High” priority, priority 3 is translated to “Normal,” and priorities 4 & 5 are translated to “Low.”
The Payoff vs Time Method With this method, you “prioritize” each task by the payoff you expect from it (01 = highest payoff, 10 = lowest) versus the time it takes to do it. Tasks that have high payoff and that take little time are the ones you would do first. Correspondingly, tasks that have low payoff and that take a lot of time are ones you would do last or not at all.
# . . Task . . . . . Priority . Time
1. Book new Biz . . . 01 . . 15min
2. Answer Emails. . . 05 . . 30
3. Social Media . . . . 10 . . 45min
Closing Thoughts Sometimes priorities shift. We’ve all had to juggle tasks. On the whole though, we need to ensure our “priorities” are consistent with our personal goals & the goals of our organizations/ businesses. Doing this requires a periodic review, and a weekly planning session is ideal for this. You may need to make an effort to identify the Goals & Priorities of your organization, to ensure your priorities are consistent, but it’s well worth it. Finally, to emphasize what was pointed out earlier, you should take full advantage of the Pareto Principle.(80/20 Rule) to pick tasks.
Comments: Is there any other Priority Setting tool that you like?