Last night as I lay in bed having just fed Leila her dream feed, I was pondering my next blog post. Laying there I couldn’t think of anything topical and just as I was about to fall asleep it came to me – the power of prioritisation! I immediately sent myself an email reminder and then spent the next hour tossing and turning in bed thinking of what to say (only to forget it by the time I woke up today)!
Having gathered my thoughts following a much needed hot chocolate, I’m back on task! Now, I’d call myself the queen of prioritisation. Because with two kids, full-time breastfeeding, kindy drop-offs and pick-ups as well as being co-CEO of My Food Bag – my plate is pretty full (excuse the pun)! And I believe one of the things that enables me to fulfil all my different roles and hats is my ability to priorities.
I am a ruthless when I priorities. To the degree where I will have up to 20 unread personal text messages at any one time (unless it’s to do with my little people), as I believe that if something is urgent whoever is trying to reach me will call me instead.
Having the ability to prioritise, re-organise, delegate and structure your work load (and your life) can make or break your career. This is also ultimately one of the key skillsets which is required to efficiently run and manage a team or business.
Often when people talk about prioritisation they talk of the functional aspects of prioritisation. Such as organising your tasks and estimating how much time is required to complete them. I like to think of prioritisation slightly differently. When you are prioritising your tasks, these are the three key questions I suggest you ask yourselves:
- What is the impact if I don’t do this?
In a business such as My Food Bag where we have weekly deadlines this is exceptionally important. What might seem like a small request can quite quickly have a huge or unforeseen impact.
- Who asked me to complete this task?
Often when I ask for something to be completed this becomes top of the priority list from whoever I’ve asked (I guess that’s the benefit of being the CEO)! While this is often necessary, in some cases the task that I’ve asked for is clearly non urgent. So the lesson is, if you are uncertain of how important something is, make sure you validate it.
- Is it time sensitive?
Ask yourself, ‘am I holding up anyone else from completing their work’? E.g. could there be a domino effect and if so, what can I do to ensure that I get my task done within the timeframe needed.