Need help to prioritize your work? Try this. Harness the Power of Three.
As you plan for any time period, choose the three action items that when completed will make the most significant impact on moving your goals forward. Plan to work on these three items without interruption as much as possible throughout the period. Use them as you plan for each individual week or day.
Begin with the most important of the three. Block out all other interruptions and distractions. Work until it is completed or until it is on hold for further information or action from another source. Do not get sidetracked from your focus on this one project. When completed, move on to number two.
By doing this you will significantly bring projects to completion faster than a majority of the people around you.
You normally don’t have to look hard for specific performance challenges that ready people can tackle. Sometimes these are low-hanging fruit – challenges so easy that you can expect early wins. Sometimes the most pressing performance gaps are more obvious than easy. Douglas Smith, Taking Charge of Change
Five Days of Action
Today, make a list of the three most important action items you could work on in the upcoming week that will make the biggest difference when completed. Don’t necessarily choose the projects that are crying loudest for your attention but the real priorities that count.
Starting today, work on project number one through to completion. Let everything else but the essentials wait. Finish number one and move on to two and three. Only allow yourself to put the task on hold and move on to the next one if you have to wait for more information or someone else’s input.
You are being very focused and effective. Picture your project or task completed. Stick with it and keep momentum. If it involves others, make sure they are clear about their roles and have taken ownership of completion. Align both people and resources to completion.
Imagine concluding your projects earlier than would normally be expected, which is likely if you are following the power of three. By following this approach you are freeing up space for your mind to work only on what is before you. It’s not cluttered with ‘shoulds’,’got to get at its’, delays and interruptions.
Celebrate wins. Celebration tells your brain, “we did it!” and proves to yourself that future successes in this area are as attainable as this current success.