Prioritization: Find Your Zone

A modern-day plague of professionals from all walks of life (not only from those in the language industry, but this is perhaps doubly applicable in this business) is having too much stuff to do and not knowing where to start. 

Why, you should start with a nice cup of coffee or tea in the morning, of course. It’s all a matter of prioritization.

In a previous post, we talked about how you can make time zones your friend, to power you through a busy day. Today, let’s talk about the subtle art of learning to prioritize. 

As you know, not every task has been created equal. You can roughly split them up into two groups: the Important ones and Urgent ones. 

If you’re in a bind and cannot figure out whether you should be resolving the translation error that is preventing customers from being able to complete the online purchase process or sorting out the TM which had incorrect terminology introduced 12 months ago, there are a few questions you can ask yourself in order to determine whether a task is urgent or important, (preferably before such problems occur):

  • What are the dependencies?
  • What activities can be run in parallel?
  • What activities need to be done by me?
  • What can be done right now? What needs to wait?
  • What is my back-up plan?
  • Have I communicated the timeline to all stakeholders?

To help you get you out of a tough spot, draw your own prioritization matrix. It could look something like this:

If you’re constantly finding yourself in P1, then something about your company’s workflow or the way you go about your day is definitely not right. 

As a professional, you want to be able to live and thrive in the P2 zone – taking care of important tasks before they become urgent.

What are your experiences? Are you fighting for your dear life in the P1 zone? Or have you mastered the art of getting stuff done before it gets out of hand?

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