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Prioritization

One of my biggest issues is prioritization.  It’s by no means a unique issue to me or to enterprise video, but it’s a monumental challenge to manage.  Generally I don’t like it when people say “oh, we’re so busy”, especially in a meeting – you should be busy, or why are you here?  But at a certain point you can genuinely get so busy that it can really feel like you’re just not capable of getting it all done.  My task list right now has about a dozen separate projects in various stages of the process, and I admit to feeling overwhelmed by all the work to be completed.

This is a situation where I don’t really have a great solution to offer, certainly nothing a reader couldn’t figure out on their own.  Prioritizing work is by itself a task that has to be one, and one we often ignore while trying to solve the actual work issues.  In fact, however, it’s vital to take an hour out of your schedule to look at the work you’re doing and try and get it and you organized.  I’ve been in situations where steps like this are looked at as a waste of time, and I’ve argued that an hour or two of my time now will save dozens of hours later.  Sometimes those arguments fall on deaf ears, but you still have to try and make the case.

Some priorities are easy – requests from higher up the food chain almost always come first, even if they’re not objectively more important for the organization.  Obviously if you’re in a position to negotiate a deadline it’s a good idea, but my experience shows that’s rarely the case with senior people.  Other priorities can be arranged by the amount of work involved – it can be much more beneficial to crank out a large pile of simple tasks quickly as opposed to finishing off much more complicated work.

In the end it’s just a matter of finding a way to slog through it all.  I’ve asked for the next few weeks to be left alone as much as possible – reduce the number of meetings, don’t take on any new projects, and ignore what can possibly be ignored.  It’s unlikely to work as completely as I’d like, but there’s still a half a chance that I’ll be able to plow through the pile over the next few weeks.  I’m open to other suggestions – how do you prioritize everything you have to do?

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