I have been missing for a couple of weeks. Back to back travel and conferences and deliverables. Not an excuse, an explanation.

You see we do actually have time for what we need to do. As soon as something we call an emergency hits, we clear the decks of anything not related so we can focus on only those things that are critical to addressing the emergency.

The real trick, and one I’m working on, is how to do that when there is no emergency. Sharing and learning with and from you is a priority. Meeting the needs of clients will always by definition come first.

But where do marketing, civic and personal care responsibilities fit? If you are me, not always where they should. I am pretty good at prioritizing things. I just also want to do everything. Here are a few things that work for me. 

Tip 1. Decide what standards matter in what order when you are not under the gun. For me at work, those are usually safety, client service and revenue generation; in that order.

Tip 2. Do big things first, even though smaller things are tempting. If you really do need to clear the decks of small things first, give yourself a time limit. Sometimes it’s easier to do it than add it to a list. AND be sure to block the time the big thing really takes.

Tip 3. Ask what if? This is one of my favorite questions and you’ll see more about it in the next couple of weeks. In this case, I mean asking what happens if something doesn’t get done or doesn’t get done on time. The answer can help prioritize, small consequence waits. Big consequences come first.

What works for you?