In last week’s blog I discussed why prioritization is so important for progress and why it’s so much more than just picking your battles. There is a method to the madness.
Unfortunately, gaining a clear understanding as to why one action ranks over another is oftentimes tricky. Anyone who has felt inundated with work, life, relationships knows this firsthand. It takes a little work to determine an order of prioritization, but it can be done.
Employing the 3-Tier Approach: Short-Term, Mid-Term, Long-Term
“I now have a manageable list to attack.”
As a child, I struggled with anxiety.
We now know panic attacks for what they are, but back then there wasn’t a name to match what I was experiencing. It took some time for me to figure out how to manage the anxiety, the uncertainty, but what I eventually came up with was viewing issues as short-term, mid-term, and long-term—and then organizing my mind in that manner. What must I focus on now or the s*%t will hit the fan, who or what can I stall for a few days, and what can I completely ignore for a while?
Once I get the order of importance sorted out, I know I now have a manageable list to attack. If I determine I need a little back-up, having that list allows me to hand off specific assignments with ease.
After employing that strategy for many years, it just makes sense to rank tasks and actions in this way. There’s an actual physical reaction of relief to know I have prioritization under control. I even use this approach with my girls to help them feel more at peace when stuff starts to pile up (logistically and emotionally).
While the short, mid, and long-term strategy works well for me, others may prefer a more “scientific” approach (e.g. assigning weight, ranking, scoring). However, regardless of how you arrive at a prioritization solution, there’s no better feeling than when it produces results—whether those results are rooted in client satisfaction, improved engagement, revenue gains, or any variety of measurements that one uses to define “success.”
“There’s no better feeling than when it produces results.”
In my case (and what I consider the best part of my job) is that I know, with certainty, that the overarching priority is always the client. I'm their advocate with other vendors. I can hold their hand when the big bad budget starts to rear its ugly head. I'm continuously pushing their project to close early so they can take a last-minute summer Friday.
I'm also supported by a team of specialists. We have streamlined processes, and we really do try to anticipate all of the moving parts of a project before it begins so there are no surprises. But, if that does happen, we’re expertly equipped to meet the unexpected with both calm and agility.