Avoid busyness & prioritize your work
Ask the right questions, prioritization matrices and more
Welcome to another edition of ProductiveGrowth 🌱, weekly stories about productivity, leadership, motivation, and anything else that helps us and our teams grow and be more productive. Plus, industry news on the companies, products, and services that allow us to work less and do more
Good morning, happy to have you back! Ever since I read ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' by Stephen Covey early in my career, the idea of prioritizing a task’s importance vs. urgency has stuck in my mind. But prioritization is easier said than done, especially in corporations where all players' interests come to play.
What your manager asks for might be different from other leaders’ requests or from your own needs. So how do you make the right decision without leaving other projects or objectives unattended?
Hoping to answer that question, I’ve chosen four articles that will help you think about how to better prioritize using different techniques. I believe there’s no right or wrong answer; these are simply different ways to achieve the same result. You should use the one that works best for you.
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Technology was already a big part of our lives, but the pandemic made us more digital than ever. This is why I love Analog so much: it’s a simple, physical and customizable way to stay productive. Described as “a physical companion for your digital tools,” it uses a simple index card system to keep you on track.
📁 Prioritization: A matter of asking the right questions.
This article from Forbes is intended to help prioritize tech projects. But after reading it, I realized it applies to all work areas. The note contains thirteen questions you should ask to define the priority of each of the tasks on your to-do list. This includes: defining the impact, delimiting the timeframe, stating the value-added for the client, prioritizing customer value, and many others.
“If you cannot tie an objective or task back to how it will help achieve an overall goal, it should not be a top priority,” says Kison Patel to Forbes.
💊 The Matrix: understanding the principles behind prioritization.
Prioritization matrices come in different shapes and sizes. These business process analysis tools can help you define the priority of each pending task. Choosing one of them and learning how to use it properly will help you increase time management and value-added to the business. “If you feel that the standard to-do list is no longer cutting it for your productivity, the prioritization matrix is an alternative tool for time management,” states the Blueprint’s Maricel Rivera.
The red pill will allow you to understand this prioritization matrix, the blue one will leave you in blissful ignorance. If you’re ready to understand these matrices, click on the link above.
💼 Seven ways to prioritize work when everything seems like a priority.
In a world where everything seems important, exhaustion and unproductivity are certain. This article from WeWork explains the importance of seeing the big picture before trying to prioritize. Having your goals in mind and listing every single task you do is the only way to make the right prioritization decisions. This article also gives two lessons that I found valuable: 1) Be realistic, understand that you cannot do it all in one day, and set realistic deadlines, and 2) internalize that you will always have something urgent to do. Make sure you leave enough room to fit those urgent tasks in without jeopardizing the final result.
📋 The rule of five: A way to manage your team based on prioritization.
As managers, we need to know what our team is working on, but we don’t necessarily need to be on top of every single task. The rule of five can help managers stay updated on their team's work using a standardized and easy-to-track format. This article from Trello explains how team prioritization of two to three objectives a week is the best way to guarantee success. As the article explains, removing excess tasks will help you and your team achieve expected results.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
5 ways to regain productivity in a hyperconnected world - Set your personal goals and conquer them.
Living in a world ruled by phones and the Internet, we live through them, and we travel from one app to another. Communicating via notifications and reminders. It’s overwhelming and exhausting. Camila shares 5 tips to reconnect with your productive self while being a globalized and hyperconnected individual. Check it out here.
“Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.”― Patti Digh
What is the best way to prioritize your needs vs. others’ requests?
IN THE KNOW
Industry news on the companies, products, and services that allow us to work less and do more.
Sales, IPOs, Bankruptcies, Funding and Industry Gossip
After a turbulent year, HR software startup Greenhouse closed a deal with TPG for a $500 million-worth majority stake.
Omnipresent’s platform to onboard remote employees compliantly in 150 countries raises $15.8M Series A.
Citrix brings its digital work platform to Wrike’s work management solution in $2.25 billion acquisition.
Otter has launched a Chrome extension that will allow groups of co-workers to transcribe Google Meet chats in real time.
Aha! adds new ways to format text to define work with clarity.
Brightidea - New York, US - Account Executive
Slack - Remote, US - Sr. Product Manager, Monetization
Calendly - Remote, California, US - Strategic Partnerships Leader
Feb 2nd (Virtual) - Boost your productivity with Adrienne Herbert, by Penguin Random House
Feb 6th (Virtual) - 48 hours of Bite Sized Mindfulness, by Sabina Vitacca Mindfulness Consultant
Feb 11th (Virtual) - A better way of working together: give one-minute feedback, by KiKa Services
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Edited by: Lauren Maslen.
Love this week's curations about prioritizing tasks. I have a lot to learn about this. Thank you, Steve!