Setting Priorities

In the present age of intense competition there is so much to do to meet our personal and career goals that there is no escape to prioritizing our work. The scarce time and resources should be utilized to do the most important tasks that contribute to our achievement of goals.

Here are some tips on how to set priorities to be effective in achieving your objectives:

  • Use Pareto Principle to the hilt. Pareto discovered that a small percentage of people in the entire population accounted for most of the wealth in the country. It was later discovered that it applies to almost all that we do in life. If we list the jobs that we have to do we will find that just 20% of the jobs take 80 % of our time. We can analyze these jobs in order of their importance in attaining our specified goals do first that take the least time and reject the desirable or non essential jobs that consume a lot of time and energy and contribute next to nothing to our goals.
  • Use VED analysis to know what is important to meet your goals. VED analysis is simply mentioning Vital, Essential or Desirable against each of jobs you have listed. To put it simply, avoid doing jobs that do not contribute to your goals. Learn to say no to people who expect you do things for them which are of no consequence to your objectives. The prioritized jobs will also have different levels of difficulty or ease of doing. Decide what makes you feel comfortable doing first; the difficult or easy ones and go for it.

There are some prioritizing tools also available on the internet which help you take decisions based on the above principles. Time Doctor is one. Short term priorities are highly dynamic in today’s fast changing world. You have therefore to be nimble on your feet and agile enough to react to a change faster than your competitors to stay on top.

If you don’t set your priorities you tend to follow the path of least resistance which leads away from your goals and makes you drift. Or you tend to procrastinate not knowing the consequences of your inaction.

There is a difference between what is important for your goals and what is urgent. A job perceived to be urgent may not be important in achieving your goals. Similarly what seems to you as emotionally important really may not be so for reaching your goals if you think rationally. This does not mean that you make your life unemotional, selfish and full of drudgery.

What it means is that you should decide your goals based your inclinations and follow them through. Setting priorities using Pareto’s Principle will perhaps be the most important action of your life. It will put you in the fast lane of success and happiness.

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