Prioritise by Impact

Hi, this is Cyril from Work smarter Live better. In this short video, I want to share with you one simple rule that can make a big shift on how you prioritize.

I was working last week with a group of executives. It’s a long journey. I’m going to be working with them for about 4 months. The one seed that I’m trying to plant in them from the start is this very important rule about prioritization. It’s funny people see executive in their ivory tower, and the big room, they have lots of time to think. The reality is completely different. Most of the executives, most of the managers, most of the leaders I work with, they’re bombarded with emails, they go from one meeting to another, they rush all day, and they never really have the time to do their key priorities. The day to day always takes over.

I ask them a very simple question. How do you prioritize? Why do you decide that you’re going to do one thing compared to another? There are different answers. There’s people who will look at deadlinez. I look at what’s the deadline, when it is due, and decide when to do. There are some people who talk about who’s asking for it. There are some people who talk about what they like to do. They say, I start the day with what I like to do. Other people say, I just tackle the quick things first or how important it is. There’s different kinds of reasons.

There’s a lot of research about how high performers are different in the way they prioritize compared to others. You can read the Bryan Tracy of the world. You can read the Peter Drucker of the world or Steven Covey. Even listening to Eisenhower and all the rules about prioritisation. There is one key thing that comes again and again. The number one key rule of prioritization is prioritize by impact. Prioritize by impact, by value, not by urgency. And it’s really hard to do. The first question you should always ask when you look at what you have to do is not when it’s due. It is what impact long term you will have.

Let me explain how hard it is. If you have, I’ll think a simple example. if you have two things to do, this is due tonight, someone is shouting for it. This, you got three months to do. Which one would most people do first?

When I asked this question, the answer is normally the one that is due tonight. High performers think differently. High performers say, I know it’s due tonight, I know I’ve got three months but which one will have the most impact long term? And if the answer is this one, that’s what they’ll do. I’m going to start with this, and at the end of the day if I got a bit of time, I’m going to do this one.

I know it’s really hard to do but that’s the number one principle if you really want to perform. I remember a CEO that one of my client was talking about. How to be an effective CEO. How to be a successful CEO. And one of my client said that he had a simple rule as a CEO. Every first three hours of his day was dedicated to long term strategy, long term key priorities. If he had a meeting at 9 o’clock that meant he would wake up at 4 or 5 to make sure that his first three hours was always focused on long term priorities. A bit extreme but that’s his way of doing it.

I think this rule you can apply even for email. You check an email, you look at it and say I can spend half an hour doing the perfect answer for that email. You need to ask yourself what impact long term. Because if the impact is low, then you should spend little time on it. You want to spend 5 minutes because it’s much better to spend 20 25 minutes on something different.

This is this week Work Smarter: Live Better tip. Hope you enjoy it. If you like this video **** this blog put a like comment. Put a comment in it. I love hearing any ideas you have about your rules about prioritization. So let’s continue the discussion below. Thank you very much. Have a lovely day.

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