I cannot count the times that I have been asked to support better priority management.
Since I believe that my approach to priority management is a bit different, I want to share with you “all” the 6 principles which guide me when I encounter priority-management related issues.
1) Priority Management is a “ceremony”, a residual of days gone by, when priorities were managed. Priorities are no longer managed, they are juggled. When you juggle, objects may fall; when you juggle priorities, things get severely neglected.
2) Almost everything is urgent all the time. Even things that are not urgent are treated as such because of mobile technology’s ability to enhance urgency. So you need to decide what is urgent and what is neglected. This sounds like very bad advice, but imho it is a very realistic way to work with managers.
3) The bandwidth you have available is a function of your own skills, so-called work life balance and the people you have working for you. Enhancing your bandwidth may enable you to deal with more issues, but the issues will still all be urgent.
4) If you have something to do which is important but not urgent, you need to completely detach yourself from all technology and your working environment to do so. If your phone is on and/or you are in your office, important things just don’t get done.
5) Your priorities need not be consistent, because the business world moves too fast to be consistent. Consistent means consistent “until the next update”, like anti-virus software.
6) Learn to work faster this year, and the year after, even more so. Speed is strategy.