Work priorities are an important topic that seems to never get addressed as much as do the other aspects of business that are necessary for growth. To the highest levels it is productivity, revenue, and absolutely nothing more. From the middle to lower management it is mostly about staff/execution, sales, and all things related to profitability.
As such, it is very easy to fall into the trap of working on your work priorities while doing the wrong things. Let me explain what I mean by this. One of the biggest problems with businesses is that the staff often has to play the wrong role, i.e., they have to be the ones who set the priorities, not the managers. This means that the staff can easily start to prioritise tasks that will actually lead to their own downfall rather than getting the tasks done that need to be done.
The way to avoid this problem is to step back from your work priorities. Make a list of your top 5 priorities. For example: We have a team that is primarily responsible for getting new customers to opt in to our web site. If there is any issue with this process then we will be looking at this as an area for us to improve upon. So, what is the main task here?
In this example, we can see that the work priorities listed are actually setting up the framework for us to work on the improvement of the process instead of the customer satisfaction goal. This will result in us not spending too much time on the customer satisfaction goal, but more time on the tasks that are directly related to the improvement of the system. By delegating this work to another professional development team, we are bypassing the area where the potential issues are. This way we will avoid a possible point of dispute with the other department, which may delay the process.
Another example is when you have some urgent and important tasks to complete, but you are unsure whether they are urgent or not. When you set your work priorities this way, it makes you aware of the tasks that are not urgent but are still highly relevant and important. So, you know exactly what to delegate to which employees to do the job. By doing this, you ensure that the tasks you really need to focus on are done as quickly as possible.
One of the biggest problems with most people is the fact that they don't have a plan. A plan allows them to keep their head in the sand regarding whether or not they are working on the important things that really matter. A good rule of thumb to follow is to delegate the unimportant tasks first (task 1) before you start concentrating on the more urgent goals. By doing this, you'll get everything else in line and you won't end up procrastinating because some tasks are more important than others. Once you're finished with the most important tasks, you can start prioritizing everything else according to their importance.
Another important part of setting your work priorities is to determine your "working time" and "flexibility". If you find that your resources are limited, then you don't have too many options: you have to do whatever you have to in order to meet your goals. The Pareto principle states that if you divide your tasks into equal priorities, then you can work efficiently and effectively. This means that you should divide your tasks into shorter goals so that you can do as much as you can in a given period of time.
By making your life easier by delegating the most important tasks to your most important employees and then prioritizing everything else, you will realize a significant increase in efficiency. In addition to this, by taking a step back from your to-do list each day, you will realize that you've actually accomplished less. Because the less important the task is, the more likely you are to delegate it to someone else who will be happy to do it. The best way to accomplish this is by delegating the tasks to someone who doesn't have to think about what you want done (because they don't have to) and to someone who will be happy to do it.