Why I’m No Longer Trying To Prioritize My Tasks
I’m not really liking priorities at the moment. I feel like prioritizing my tasks and projects is causing more trouble than it’s worth. It’s one more layer of complexity between me and just doing it. Don’t get me wrong, prioritizing does have its uses and we all (need to) do it on a very basic level every day. If customers comes through the door, they have to be the priority over that personal phonecall you’re making (just like in those cheesy training videos).
Here’s an idea. All those prioritizing tips and tricks that self-help and business books and blogs go on about (yep, I’ve done it too) are really covering up a fundamental problem – you’ve got too much to do and/or you’ve not got enough time to do it all.
Whenever I have had a big change in my life, whether it be going to university and having to do a lot of studying, or getting a full time job that took up so many hours each day, people always said that I would have to forget about doing this and that. There would be no more time for going out, enjoying hobbies or playing on my XBox. It was presumed, even expected, that I would have to knuckle down and focus on my studies or work. In other words I’d have to prioritize. Not likely!
If you need to do a bunch of things, then they are all important to you at some level otherwise they wouldn’t be on your radar. So why should you have to pick and choose which is more valuable? Which is priority A? Which is low priority? Prioritizing can feel more like sacrificing. It’s the equivalent of deciding whether to drop your son off at football training or drop your daughter off at her piano class. With some juggling of your time and schedule, you can do both.
Right now, I feel like prioritizing is the medicine you take after you’ve caught a bad case of Excessive Workload, or you have the painful symptoms of Lack Of Time. As is typically the case with any answer to what ails people in the 21st century, the focus is on managing the symptoms rather than preventing the problem in the first place.
If you had enough work to fill up your 9-to-5 workday without any overtime, would you need to prioritize? Would it matter which tasks came first? Likewise, if you had twelve uninterrupted hours each day to do all the work you needed to do, would it again matter which order you did it? Would you even have to contemplate which projects were more important than the other?
Yes, I know that things are never that clear and easy, but for now I’m going to focus on using my time more efficiently and trimming my workload of junk, rather than dwelling on what tasks should be high, medium or low…