Learning to Work Smarter, Not Harder Series – Segment 3

Adriana Girdler

Manage Priorities – Help, What Do I Do Next? Welcome back to the working smarter, not harder series. In our first two segments we talked …

Manage Priorities – Help, What Do I Do Next?

Welcome back to the working smarter, not harder series. In our first two segments we talked about needing to benchmark current ways of working and making daily decisions based on your Vision/Mission statement. The third step to becoming more efficient is to prioritize. This is a simple concept in theory. And like most theories, putting it into practice can be difficult for some organizations.

Have you ever come across an organization, project, or job that doesn’t have any priorities? Or worse yet have a laundry list of number one priorities?

Priorities provide the needed guidance for quick decision making, like resource loading and funding, so precious time is not wasted. This can’t be done if you don’t have priorities or all your priorities are number one. To change this you need the following:

  • First – Only have one number one priority. Decide what is really important and put the needed energy, resources and funding to get it done and off your priority list.
  • Second – Only have five priorities on your list. It’s proven that when we have a laundry list of activities we become overwhelmed and therefore don’t know what to work on or we spread ourselves thin trying to get everything done and as a result nothing much gets done. Only focus on five priorities at a time and complete them before you move on to a new priority.
  • Third – Rotate the list. I just told you to only have five priorities, so what do you do with your laundry list of 20 or more! Don’t throw it away, put it away…in a parking lot of ideas/future works. When you finish a priority on your list, you can now pull a new priority from the parking lot, as long as it’s in line with your vision/mission statement, and add it to your priority list.

This will keep your priority list short, sweet and most importantly manageable. This will expedite projects and improve task closure resulting in you moving closer to your personal and organizational goals which will allow you to work smarter, not harder.

Watch all of Adriana’s BizTV Canada videos

  1. Map your way to working smarter
  2. Back to the future
  3. Manage priorities
  4. Meet all day, work all night
  5. What is value?

Try using these three tips and let me know if it made your priorities more manageable! Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it.


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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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