There are many activities that can reduce our effectiveness as Leaders and Managers, but not too many are as disruptive as not being able to finish tasks, projects or programs. Just as there are “givers” and “takers” in this world, I believe there are starters and finishers too. If you are a self-professed “starter” and struggle with “finishing” because of the lack of priority control, here are a few suggestions that I promise will help: There are many tasks that we undertake in the course of a normal day, either professionally and personally. One of the big misconceptions about being more effective is that we need to “multitask” so we can get more done by doing a bunch of things at once. Dr. John Medina, author of Brain Rules, shoots that theory down by discussing how the brain cannot conduct multiple tasks at once!
I use two criteria for determining what goes on my “to-do” list;
- Return on Investment (ROI)-What is the level of benefit that will be gained from the investment of time, money or other resources. Not all benefits are financial, so it can be a subjective valuation process.
- Promises-“What is the value of a person if they have no integrity.” Those activities, actions, resources, and favors that were promised will always be high on my to-do list even if they are inconvenient at a later date.
I prefer the creation of a Ranking List. Make a list of the activities and actions needed to be done and then rank them from the MOST important to the LEAST important. No two activities or events can have the same level of importance.
Complete the most important activity or event first and then start on the second. If you have time and resources to have more than one activity or event going at the same time, that’s fine but keep them separate enough so that you are not letting the effort on an important task be lost or distracted by attending to a lesser one.
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