5 Strategies for Effective Prioritization from Eric Papp
Last week, many Management Concepts colleagues and Department of Defense (DoD) Financial Managers attended the American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) Professional Development Institute (PDI) 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. There was a wealth of information presented through workshops, educational sessions, and mini-courses. Numerous speakers from DoD and industry presented useful information however, one speaker’s message caught our attention — that of Effectiveness Expert, Eric Papp.
Although conversations about robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, and systems modernization were prevalent, the time management and prioritization strategies described by Eric had the potential to initiate transformations for many attendees.
Here are a few of Eric Papp’s strategies:
“The busier we become, the less effectively we prioritize.”
We need to learn how to say no. By resisting overcommitment, we avoid under-delivering and are better able to focus on making a significant impact by going deeper on a few items of importance.
“Give your brain a break.”
You must give yourself some time. Relaxing your mind will help you regenerate, making the time you use to focus on your objectives more productive.
“Prioritization is a process, not a one-time event.”
Plans can (and will) change, but not having a plan can result in chaos. When you prioritize, have an outcome in mind for each item of importance. Then, if the way you achieve that outcome needs to change, you will still meet your objective.
“Not having an information filter system can lead to paralysis by analysis.”
Email, meetings, phone calls, and texts — the volume of information we have coming at us each day can be overwhelming. Take some time to develop a filtering system such as standardizing email subject lines, creating automated rules for your incoming email, and assigning responsibility for specific topics to individuals among your staff. Create an environment that allows you to quickly analyze information so that you can spend your time diving deep for greater impact and effectiveness.
“What would happen if you went to the grocery store every time you thought of something?”
That’s essentially what you are doing if you stop what you are doing every time a new email message hits your inbox. While it may important that you respond, it is probably more important to give the task at hand your full focus, without interruption. Set aside a limited window of time every few hours and use that time (and only that time) to review and respond to email.
Do you have additional time management techniques that you have found useful? We’d love to hear about what you’ve implemented and how it has improved your effectiveness. Many thanks to Eric Papp for his valuable insights at the 2019 ASMC PDI!
Natalie Komitsky is the Content Marketing Manager at Management Concepts and has been creating compelling content that tells a story, communicates an idea, and captivates the reader for more than a decade. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Nonfiction Writing and Editing from George Mason University