This week we spent time with several of you helping you to prioritize all the tasks and projects currently on your plate. For some of you, it’s a matter of which requirements to focus your energy. For others, it’s which new venture to pursue. And for even a couple others, it’s more granular. What tasks are contingent on other tasks (I can’t launch my website until I have a logo, or I can’t present a candidate until I have one), and what is the best order to complete the tasks at hand.
Prioritization is hard. Not the task of doing it. If we put two things in front of you, and ask you which is more important, you almost always know the answer. Putting things in order isn’t difficult. Recognizing you need to prioritize, and then sticking to that plan, is the hard part.
The highest priority of prioritization is finishing. It doesn’t matter how much progress you’re able to make on a project or a task. If you don’t finish it, the work you already invested loses its value. It’s easy to be excited about shiny new things, but it’s much harder to focus and finish the things you start.
What do you have on your list currently that you’ve started but not finished? How much time do you think it will take you to complete?
If you’ve been avoiding it, you’re likely overestimating the amount of time it will take. This happens to me often. Last year, I put off my taxes until the absolute very last minute I could provide the data to the accountants and still be on time for my filing. I allocated an entire morning. Five hours of numbers and taxes and yuck. I spent weeks stressing about it. Thinking about it. Worrying about. Thinking it was going to take me forever to get done. Each day, I prioritized something else over finishing the numbers. When I finally reached the last possible moment, it took me 35 minutes to finish. I spent more than 35 minutes worrying about it! How silly.
Find the thing that needs to be finished and finish it. You’ll feel so much better for it.
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