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Prioritization

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  • Prioritization

    Sorry for mentioning the P word, but I did a little experiment with it yesterday.

    My list of things to be done in work is on excel. The spreadsheet runs as far as line 103. I generally have a lot of freedom of choice as to what to do next, but that has had the effect of frequently putting me into agonizing decision making quandaries. (Did I say "freedom" of choice? Huh!).

    One of the main complications is that the list covers all of my work roles: client relations, new business, staff welfare, technical, admin etc. When I consider each of them individually, there are always lots of pressing reasons why it should be the one done next.

    Context and time available generally suit most things on the list.

    To be honest, the decision process was beginning to exhaust me, and was becoming very counter-productive.

    In desperation, I tried the following. I added a number of columns to the excel sheet. I headed each column with a reason why the task should be done next: client relations, cash flow booster, new prospect, and so on.

    I then gave each item a score of 1 in each of the columns that described it.

    A final column totted the scores of each task.

    Then I sorted the spreadsheet by reference to the total score column.

    The resulting ordered list of items now feels profoundly right. I have absolutely no qualms about going hard at the top items, and leaving the lower items until later. I feel a great sense of alignment.

    I also feel that Andrew’s (Andmor) description of book-marking tasks will tie in very neatly with this new list. That is, I will work on the top item until I can get no further, then write out a NA, and move to the next item. I will stay with the next item until I can go back to the first one, and so on.

    Very idealistic I know, and I am bracing myself for the cold bucketfull of reality that is coming my way, but damn it, I feel a hell of a lot more inner certainty.

    Burn me as a heretic if you like.

    Dave

    (P.S. I am not Brian Tracy)

  • #2
    Dave , I don't think what you're doing is heretical at all

    Sounds like you're sorting your tasks by DA's 4th deciding factor in determinig what to do next --"which has the biggest payoff "

    I thnk that's a term that only the individual themselves can define , and it sounds like you've determined your own personal criteria to determine that in your work.

    I'm curious if due date etc. has anything to do with your ranking system ?

    You've given me some good ideas here , my boss wants me to put all his requests first on my list , but not in front of a project that's approaching due and being done for someone else

    I thnk I might be able to use somehing similar to rank them properly.

    Thanks!

    Paul

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    • #3
      Hi Paul

      The parameters I use are:

      Billable (i.e. not admin)
      Cashflow driver (get a job delivered quicker)
      Client relations (maintains client satisfaction)
      Deadline approaching
      Requested by boss
      New business (‘phone a referral etc)

      You’re not going to believe this, but I score all of the parameters with a 1, except “Deadline approaching” and “Requested by boss”. This ensures that those items get to the top of the list. The extra 1’s they pick up then gives them a final order, but the main thing is they all get done ahead of lower scoring items.

      The reason I give “Requested by boss” a 10 is because I am only a few months into my current job. Even if the matter is not really important or time driven, I need to look good by responding quickly to his communications.

      After a while I will drop the 10 to a 1 when he has learned to trust my judgement. That will give a more sensible and productive look to my list.

      Parameters can change over time. If I get uncomfortable with my current scoring, I know it will be time to change my method. For now, I feel very happy with the ranking.

      Hope you can get yours to work too!!

      Dave

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      • #4
        Thanks Dave ! I guess it just goes to prove that work is work and bosses are bosses no matter where in the world you are

        Paul

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