Monday, April 07, 2008

What is your priority?

The very worst use of your time is to do well what need not be done at all. The way I always look at it is that you need to spend 80% of your time on the top 20% of your daily activities (or in leadership terms, people). For example, if you have a list of ten items to accomplish, 2 of those items will be worth more than the other 8 items altogether.

To achieve great things, you must always be concentrating on the top 20% activities that contribute the greatest value to your life and your work.

What you need to do is determine the consequences of spending your time on a certain task. The value of anything in your order of priorities can be measured by assessing the potential consequences of doing it or not doing it. Something that is important has significant consequences to your life and your career. Something that is unimportant has few or no consequences of significance to your life or career. The mark of the superior thinker is your ability to consider possible consequences before you begin.

Become a high achiever by getting more done in less time. Wouldn't you like to have more success? When you separate the urgent from the important, you can plan every day in advance.

Too many times we spend valuable time on the computer surfing the internet for meaningless sites, staying up late watching a tv show that we will forget in the morning or talking about what someone did on the weekend when that time could be spent focusing on what really needs to get done. For example, instead of surfing the web, use that time to write an email to a loved one; instead of watching tv late, go to bed earlier and get up earlier to get more done before the rest of the world starts their day; instead of talking about what someone did on the weekend, spend that time getting to know them better in real time.

This is a area that we all can improve on. If we do in fact want to take our games to the next level in urgency and organization, so we can ultimately put more on our plate, we need to live by this 20/80 rule.

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