Saturday, November 22, 2008

Prioritizing Other People's Priorities

It's funny that I just realized this, but today at work, I realized that my job is to prioritize tasks that are all priorities for other people. I've been getting a lot of jobs/requests/tasks that are labeled urgent, priority and even emergency. Well, no one has fallen. No one is injured. No lives are at stake. A delay would not result in injury or lives being placed in jeopardy. Emergency, really?

But I'm good at this - I can collect all these tasks and look at them a bit more objectively than anyone of the immediate players and figure out which thing really needs doing right now and which can be done later.

At my other job, my business, I may not be quite as good at this because I am too immediately involved. My To-Do list is as likely to include and prioritize balancing my personal checkbook as drafting an important and needed policy. Maybe this is why people hire business coaches and other external consultants to help them streamline and get their priorities in line. Additionally, I think if I could prioritize the business when I'm at the business and balancing my checkbook when I'm home, I would also appreciate the boundary between work and home a little better.

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