March 24, 2008
Whenever I speak about Priorities, I describe it as a Cold War for “A Beautiful Mind”. Almost everyone I know is overwhelmed with work and most of them are unable to decide on their priorities.
I receive over 400 email messages each day (with virtually no Spam, so they are all legitimate). Currently I am a member of two departments; Product Management and the Network Team. I also work on at least 10+ projects under direct management supervision. Each day I attend at least 2 meetings (in-person/conference calls) and I have multiple walk-in corridor one-to-one conversations each time I walk to/from my desk.
In such a varied environment, one of the most difficult choices is to prioritize work and make sure you deliver your work on time without loosing focus of your other priorities.
How do I prioritize my work?
To accomplish any task raw data needs to be filtered so that it becomes information; Information needs to be transformed so that it becomes knowledge. This complex environment of work prioritization involves structuring of data into relevant information by scanning, selecting and justifying data into useful knowledge.
With the idea that there should be a measure to control the work, I use Outlook’s “Calendar” and “Task” options to constantly remind me of meetings and incomplete tasks. I try to answer any questions/emails in a real-time fashion.
These twelve areas are a starter kit to appropriate prioritization in a complex organization. Work prioritization cannot be an afterthought; it is a project which must be resourced.