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  • A Question of Scale

    Sorry, I’m nearly "blogging" here today …

    Tom Peters encourages us to make a major splash with any piece of work we are given – make it a real masterwork to impress the socks off your boss.

    Brian Tracy says go for the highest pay off task first, and get it done before you start on anything else.

    With these two philosophies in mind, some NA items can shrink into near invisibility: they “feel” small compared to the importance we attach to the big projects.

    For example, you have cleared a three day slot to attack and hopefully finish a major report. It’s a big pay-off in terms of customer satisfaction, boss satisfaction, and cash value.

    But on you @phone list is a call whose outcome will decide the next phase of a project you are supervising. If you charge ahead on the big report and ignore your phone calls, then this project is delayed for at least three days.

    Sometimes the importance of a task cannot be measured in terms of how big a piece of time it will take you to do it. In my own case, I find it hard to disconnect from a big report where I have built up a lot of momentum – but I have to disconnect in order to keep other stuff moving along. The same context applies to both - @desk – but I need to have ways of breaking away from one task to keep another few plates spinning …

    Dave

  • #2
    Use all four criteria

    Dave - sometimes you have to use all four criteria to make the right decision. I apply the criteria in the order DA lays them out and they rarely fail me:

    1. Context
    2. Time (available)
    3. Energy (available)
    4. Priority

    It sounds like you're at the number 4 stage in the scenario you describe.

    You might want to look at Michael Gelb's More Balls Than Hands for another perspective on how to juggle all the balls you have in the air at any given time.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: A Question of Scale


      Tom Peters encourages us to make a major splash with any piece of work we are given – make it a real masterwork to impress the socks off your boss.

      Brian Tracy says go for the highest pay off task first, and get it done before you start on anything else.
      I love when "other people" say what works for them. In fact, I've read that every discussion about the knowledge workers' work begins with time and priority; yet, our day to day lives are made up of weird windows of time, constant interruptions, and judgment calls about what to do.

      So, taking into account what everyone "says," the question comes back to:

      How do you decide what to do, when you do it?

      Any ideas?

      Comment

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