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Learn to prioritise

Sometimes the small things are the big things

Everyone struggles with prioritisation, whether in their work or home life.

We have a staggering inability to be able to rationally look at a number of items on a list & sort them rationally & concisely in order of importance.

True, sometimes it’s hard to distinguish what’s important. Sometimes we don’t know enough about the task before starting. Sometimes we are unsure of the impact.

But a lot of the time, we just fail to distinguish the fact that time does not equal weight of importance.

We tend to fall into a trap of thinking, ‘Well, this task is going to take nearly the whole day, so it must be really important.’ Or ‘There’s this really big task I need to do by the end of the product development cycle. It’s becoming urgent, so I better focus on that.’

In essence, we get distracted by the big, urgent things in front of us, rather than digging through all of the tasks to be done to find the real gems.

And sometimes those gems can be really small. They can take 30 minutes of the entire sprint. But sometimes they have a far greater impact than spending 2 days faffing around with some icon designs.

Maybe it was a call with a mentor that gave you better clarity & guidance?

Maybe it was spending 20 minutes going back to first principles, & questioning why you’re going in a certain direction with your product?

Or maybe it was just a quick team brainstorm that pointed out the inadequacies of your current trajectory?

Stop whilst reading this & write down 3 high-impact tasks you’ve completed in the last month. What was the input (time & effort)? What was the output?

Learn how to stop. How to evaluate. How to prioritise. How to say ‘no’ to the big, unimportant distractions & zero in on the high-value work.

Because, if you don’t, you’ll spend your days busy, stressed, anxious. You’ll spend most of your time creating low-impact work that’s providing no value, that will never come to fruition. And that’s just a waste of everyone’s time.

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