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How to Prioritize Your Priorities


Productivity has become a huge focus for me in 2017.

Juggling multiple priorities for me is nothing new. However, as my responsibilities and team continues to grow, I have to be more organized in order to remain effective.

I also have to be more aware of how I invest my time and energy. I have to make sure the most important tasks and people get my time and attention — and that they get me when I am at my best.

This doesn’t change how many hours there are in the day. Or that despite my very best efforts, urgent situations arise and other items have to be pushed to the backburner.

When that happens, I have to adjust quickly or my productivity for the day  will be ruined.

When I have to prioritize my priorities, I ask myself 4 questions:

  • Where can I pass? The first thing I do is look for items I can delegate. While I would love to be involved in everything, I know I can’t. And it has become much more important to me that things get done than that I be the one to do them. Decisions we make are rarely permanent. I can always go back and fix something that the other person missed — or ask them to move the project forward so I can pick it back up later.
  • Where can I pause? Then next thing I do is look for items I can move lower on the list or to the following week. Usually, there are items on our to-do lists that can wait. When urgent issues arise, moving other items to a later date is a logical step.
  • Where can I punt? Once I have delegated and move items to later dates, I look for items I can delay for a greater period of time or permanently reassign. This is different than passing or pausing because, when you punt, you do not have intention on returning to the item for quite some time — if ever. Punting removes the item from your to-do list for 90 days or longer.
  • Where must I push? With items delegated, delayed and diverted, I am left with only the things I absolutely have to do. I can reset my priorities based on the deadlines and importance of those tasks.

Your time and energy are precious commodities that you only have so much of each day. Be sure you are giving it to the people and items that need it most.

If you can punt it, pause it or pass it, then it isn’t a priority. Fix your focus on the remaining things and push through!

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