How do you decide what is going to get done? Are you doing urgent work or just work that feels like it should get done?
One decision you make almost every day is closely connected to what happens next.
What are your priorities?
Will you brush your teeth first, get dressed, or take a shower? What is your priority?
Will you grab a coffee at work, report to your work area, or discuss the latest news with a colleague? What is most important? What is urgent?
There are lots of ways to determine priorities. Often it is driven by some form of need. However, the need is not always the same as what you or others want.
You also likely factor in the concept of what you should do.
Go to the gym after work.
Tidy up this mess before doing anything else.
Finish the report before the meeting on Wednesday.
When you consider the should factor, you may discover that should isn’t always the most important or urgent. Should is often considered a nicety.
In the workplace, or in your community, you’re often challenged by trying to decide on the right things to work on. What is the most urgent?
Will finishing the report early help my coworkers? Does that rise to the level of urgency?
Is picking up trash in the park more urgent than working on a campaign to help shelter the homeless?
People often decide on what they’ll work on next by the urgency that they perceive about the importance of the task.
Individual perceptions which are often driven by group dynamics, peer pressure, and even the media affect your sense of urgency.
The next time you want something to happen you may want to consider how others may perceive the sense of urgency. Urgent work always seems to take a priority.
It’s not the squeaky wheel, but it may be the sneaky wheel.
Understand your priorities.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.