It’s no easy feat prioritizing these days. E-mail, voicemail, text messages, snail mail, questions from your staff, deadlines, new projects coming in, managing your clients expectations/questions/complaints. AAHHHHH!!!
Oh did I say e-mail? Over 100 emails per day is the norm and enough to make anyone insane.
So what’s the answer, how do you prioritize all of these lines of communication that crash into each other all day, everyday?
Keep a list—jot down all to-dos, all the time.
Check it several times per day. If you keep a list and never refer back to it, why bother writing it down in the first place?
Be realistic about the list. The list could very well be 50+ items long. Do not overwhelm yourself by thinking if you can’t get it all done in two days you’re a failure. Choose the top 3 priorities each day and make them happen.
Sometimes you have to ask people to wait. You’re the leader, you know which projects you can put on hold while you deal with crucial deadlines that must happen on that given day. So do it. Nothing wrong with telling someone you can review their project with them tomorrow, so you can focus on today’s priorities.
I believe successful prioritizers simply have the ability to explain to others that their tasks come after someone else’s in a sophisticated articulate way that doesn’t leave people feeling like second-rate citizens.
Meetings are a necessary evil in our business. Between staff meetings, project planning and review meetings, vendor meetings, and of course client meetings, its any wonder we get real work done at all. But one thing I have learned in almost 25 years in the creative...