The three factors by which to prioritize quickly and easily.
People, when listing their top issues, often include time management as the cause of many of the problems. This is not an issue.
Put plainly, the issue of time management is a fallacy. We all have 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week and 61,320 hours a year. No more, no less. The underlying problem for what people call ‘time management’ is the ability to prioritise and making choices. If something is important to you, then you may choose to do something about it – conversely, you may not. Importance does not equate to action – how many times have you procrastinated over something even if it was of importance?
You need to establish your priorities, for that you need to have clear criteria so that you can properly assess between your options. One way that I use is to apply 3 criteria:
- Seriousness – how important is the matter that you are evaluating (1=Low, 5=Average, 10=High);
- Urgency – how quickly does this matter need to be attended to; is there a window of opportunity that it needs to be addressed in (1=Low, 5=Average, 10=High);
- Growth – if you do nothing then will the matter get worse, stay the same or improve (1=Improve, 5=Stay the Same, 10=Worsen)
Score each item for each of the 3 criteria out of 10. Multiply the 3 numbers – this will give you a value which you can compare with that of the items being evaluated so that you can initially establish the relative priorities of all the items.
Once you have established your priorities you then choose which ones to address or not. It is your choice, no-one else’s. So step up, make your choice and be honest with yourself – you have made your choice, so take responsibility for it. If you choose to work late and miss your child’s first concert then be prepared to take the consequences, whatever they may be.
Time management is not the problem – the real problem is you setting your priorities and making your choices. Only you can determine them, so let’s be honest and not blame an imaginary problem of time management.
What do you feel? How do you prioritise and make your choices? Share your ideas, insights and experience! Share the knowledge, share the wealth.
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