Priority Out of Priority

Everyone’s Dilemma 

Identifying Priority out of Priority: (POP)

I always found it challenging getting up for work in the morning with the feeling of having so much to do that I don’t know where to pick and where to leave. Oftentimes, everything that I do seems like a priority, which makes it tough to figure out where to begin.

First things first! In order to move the ball forward I need to start somewhere. Here are some planning part that I’ve found helpful for me to get ready for immediate execution. 

No Goal can be successfully achieved unless micro level execution is flawless.

  • Pen Down: First thing in the morning, write down everything that needs to get done that day. Once you have everything down, separate the items into urgent vs. non-urgent to determine the top priorities for that day.
  • Valuation: Completing certain tasks will offer more benefit than others. For example, I have a rule that client work comes before internal work. Because client work not getting done have bigger ramifications more often than internal work.  
  • Honesty: When creating your list of priorities, be realistic about your bandwidth. Setting unattainable goals will only cause disappointment down the road.
  • Flexibility: To be able to effectively prioritize, you must be able to deal with changing priorities. Take them as they come and decide if they are urgent or not.
  • Avoid Rabbit Hole: As a perfectionist, this is the one that I struggle with the most. When something is really important, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and end up spending way too much time on a project or task. Strict adherence with the timelines.

Follow the Fundamentals: (FTF)

Three Approaches 

There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. 

Procrastinators – People who put off unpleasant tasks. 

Accomplishers – People who want to taste small victories to get through the day.  

Analyzers- People who want objectivity and love to work objectively most important thing possible at this moment. 

1. Ready for Worst (RFW)

If you are ready for worst then nothing can stop you and the risk taking ability will shoot up like anything- 

Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

2. Big things First (BTF)

I learnt a lot from the “wisdom of the pickle jar

Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no space in it. Why so ?

But if we do the same exercise in a different way, first put the rocks in the jar, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

Similarly, I can say the pickle jar is all the time we have in a day. You can fill it up with various tasks and activities, leaving no room for the big stuff, or we can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

3. Covey Quadrants (CQ)

If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system might be for you. Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

  1. Important and Urgent
  2. Important and Not Urgent
  3. Not Important but Urgent
  4. Not Important and Not Urgent

Know you First (KUF)

It is advisable to spend some time with you and understand yourself figuring out what makes something important to you. For some people all the approaches might work well but for few it’s hard to say what might work best.

Now, let’s do one exercise helping you to experience the learning and make it workable in your day to day life.

Let’s Play

After this exercise you will understand the tool and techniques in a better way by setting up priorities and enhancing self-knowledge. 

You need to know what tasks are like a treat and which ones like harassment, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you lost or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

Couple of things are happening in your office at the same time. Please put a sequence for the same. How would you solve them?

1. The telephone is ringing!

2. The team member is looking for appointment!

3. Customer is waiting you at the reception!

4. You wife is waiting in the cab!

5. You left the purse in the colleagues’ cabin and party is going to over soon!

In which sequence would you solve these problems? Write the order and
check below how your decisions were made.



First write YOUR sequence from 1 to 5 then scroll below and read after!








Every individual point represents something in your life.

On the list you can see which meaning every point has:

1. Telephone represents Work

2. Team members represent Friends

3. Customer represents Money

4. Wife represents Family

5. Party represents happiness

Hi I am Vivek, I have worked with notable employers of Fortune 100 status such as Hewlett Packard India, John Deere India, Parle, and ITC. Has more than 20 years of extensive experience in performance management, leadership development, talent management, employee relationship & engagement, industrial relations, executive coaching & mentoring and strategic human resources. He has practiced and perfected the above skills in textile, FMCG, IT, automobile and agricultural equipment sectors.

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