Top Ten Tips for Prioritizing Time and Energy

Recall a time when you felt knee-deep (or neck-deep) in problems you weren’t sure how you’d solve? How did you decide which problem you’d tackle first? Prioritizing time and energy is a daily challenge even for experienced consultants. Try one of these ideas for prioritizing the next time you’re knee- or neck-deep in problems and have to decide which one to take on first.

1. Revisit your plan

Check your project plan or long-term plan, if you have one. This can help you regain your bearings as you recall your overriding goal, even if circumstances have changed since you created it.

2. Allow yourself to dream

If you need inspiration to push over, around, or through problems in your way now, tap into dreams of the things you’d like to create in your work or life. (You do have dreams, even if you haven’t taken them out to look at them in a while.)

3. Follow your energy

Go where your energy is highest. Let it drive you through successful problem-solving. Then use the energy of that success to carry you over, around or through the next problem in the queue.

4. Let logic be your guide

Review relevant facts and data, if you have them, to help point the way to the problem that needs your attention first.

5. Feel your emotions about the situation

Notice how you feel in the situation. What problem keeps you, your customers or team tied up in knots? Solve that problem first. Freeing yourself of that burden will shift your energy in a positive direction.

6. Listen to your intuition

Get quiet. Listen to the very powerful, but sometimes very quiet voice of your intuition. Notice what it’s trying to tell you You may have to get out of your office or normal environs to hear it clearly.

7. Imagine a perfect situation right now

Imagine a problem or situation being resolved instantly. Notice what problem is – poof! – suddenly gone. Take that one on and solve it.

8. Act and decide as if you were someone you admire

Consider how someone you admire goes about prioritizing time and energy. What problem they would solve first?

9. Draw a picture of the problem/s you need to address

Draw a simple picture of the problems you have to address. Notice what problem seems to be most prominent as you create that drawing. Take that problem on first.

10. Do the thing you least want to do

I added a section to my to-do list to address this. It’s the (seriously) “Things I don’t want to do, but must” list. Once I’m honest about how I feel about these tasks it makes me laugh at the folly of putting them off, since I can’t.

Prioritizing time and energy is one of the best ways to get unstuck and get re-inspired. Try these tips and you’ll find the work is often done much sooner than expected, freeing up time, energy and attention for things on your “want-to-do” list.' About Jan Richards

Principal of J. G. Richards Consulting, Jan helps companies improve profitability and revenue as they decrease business complexity and costs. This occurs in many ways, including: streamlining business operations; project management for major change and process improvement teams; coaching leaders of major change programs; creating long-range visions and strategic plans. A WIC Board member, Jan oversees WIC's strategic initiatives and mentoring programs.

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