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Prioritize with ‘top three’ list

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Prioritizing your workday is easy when your job consists of a small handful of tasks. But for most of us, dozens of pressing issues jockey for our attention.

Step back and assess what matters most. Treat your time as a finite resource and allocate every hour wisely.

When planning your day, identify the three most important tasks you face. Resist the urge to veer from those three overriding priorities. The impulsive rush to put out fires or get embroiled in extraneous activities can derail your progress.

Leaders often find that they can focus on three big priorities—and no more. Trying to tackle too many dueling responsibilities at once can prove counterproductive.

To reinforce your top three areas of focus, write them in a day-planner that you keep throughout the day. Glancing at your list can remind you to stay on track at all times.

Also, take frequent opportunities to in­­form others what you’re working on.  

To address constant demands for your time, ask yourself two questions whenever someone requests your input or involvement

  1. Is this easy to do or hard to do?
  2. Is this small-impact or big-impact?

For anything that’s both big-impact and easy to do, respond right away. Delegate small-impact and easy to-do items. Evaluate whether the big-impact and hard-to-do chores merit a shuffling of your top three priorities.

— Adapted from “Three Executive Productivity Hacks That Any Leader Can Use,” Scott Eblin,

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