When it comes to determining which tasks are more important at work, it’s good to prioritize them. Not everyone is skilled at narrowing them down, so it can be challenging sometimes. You might have a lot of tasks to complete in a short period of time, but you should focus on a few things. When choosing your top three priorities at work, which ones need more attention? That question will be addressed in this article.
UPDATED: OCTOBER 22, 2022
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Why narrow it down to only three priorities?
If you write out a basic to-do list, you may have a bunch of tasks to get done. Most of the time, they don’t get done at all.
In my own experience, writing giant to-do lists has not worked out well for me. If I’m not focused on a few of them, I’ll end up being all over the place.
Business consultant Jim Collins, author of the book Good to Great, had a famous quote saying, “If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities.” I find that interesting, and it’s something I’ve stuck with for some time.
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If it comes to only a few priorities, it all boils down to three things. Those three factors include putting people first, employee engagement, and time utilization.
Putting people first
The “people first” factor is something a lot of companies should consider as they do business. It can be broken down into two categories:
A lot of companies say that employees (their people) are their most valuable assets. They are essential to the success of the services they provide to other people.
But that does not mean anything if companies don’t look out for their well-being. If employees do not have the right resources, how can they perform at the highest level possible?
So some questions to ask in this case:
- Are they getting the most out of the work they do?
- Do they have the right resources to assist them?
If they’re being prioritized, then they’ll be better equipped to work effectively in a productive work environment.
The customer should be put first and foremost. If that’s not the case, then the quality of service may decline.
So it’s good to always have a “customer first” mentality. Having that mentality will come a long way to providing excellent service.
If you aren’t putting the customer first, then something is wrong. When that happens, the service may be affected, and the quality of the work may decrease as well.
As I mentioned in a previous post, doing meaningful work should be about helping and serving others. If we feel that we’re not serving others first, then the concept of customer service is meaningless.
You know you’re doing the work if you’re engaged at work. It’s important to contribute to the success of any company.
But if that’s not the case, employees may not be getting the most out of their work. Are they actively engaged with the work they do?
Are they being challenged when working on moderate, complex tasks? Is the work they’re performing considered fulfillment?
If the answer is no to these questions, then something needs to change or be re-evaluated. So employers have to communicate with their employees to identify those problems.
What can be addressed more promptly? How can they do things better? Those are a few questions to ask when increasing employee engagement.
The other component of prioritizing work is how well you utilize time. If it’s being used efficiently, are the resources provided helping out companies?
If that’s not the case, then that needs to be reviewed as well. If employees are not doing things that move the needle forward, companies need to take a closer look at that.
If they happen to be tasks that are unproductive, then that’s not good either. Spending time doing unproductive tasks, then resources are not being used properly.
When that happens, time and money are not being spent well-doing things that matter. When companies understand the importance of that, then they can start making meaningful changes at work.
For me, I’m all about prioritizing work that needs to get done soon. If something has to be addressed sooner than later, then it needs attention now.
These three factors can help any type of company determine how they can better use their resources. In other words, how they can make changes to make their processes even better.
“If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities.”Jim Collins (Good to Great and the Social Sectors)
When that happens, the quality of service goes up, and overall productivity may rise as well. Combining the three factors together, makes processes run better and smoothly in any type of work environment.
If you manage a team or run a small company, I wrote a post before about establishing priorities. If you’re a manager, these tips can help you out when it comes to prioritization.
I’ve talked about prioritization a lot in the past. When it comes to making business processes flow better, it can make a difference in how companies operate.
If that’s better employee engagement or putting customers first (always), that will make outcomes better in the future. Without it, then it becomes harder for businesses to grow and scale. If that’s the case, fewer customers and not as much revenue as expected.
The three factors mentioned earlier can come a long way and are useful if businesses execute properly. If they can do that, they’re doing their jobs correctly.
Your Turn: What priorities do you think are important at work?
I would like to get some of your thoughts on this topic. What is important when it comes to prioritizing your work? Besides the three factors mentioned, is there anything you think can be added to the list?
If you don’t think these factors are not useful, what else do you think is important for companies to consider? Is there something else you have in mind that can be added?
Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your responses, and I’ll gladly respond promptly.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.