In my post on Developing a Plan to Get Everything Done I helped Lone Web Analysts create a list of all the immediate and future tasks they’re expected to accomplish. This list can be very long, so let’s talk about how to prioritize. With so much to do you’ll have to figure out a way to determine where to focus first and every step along the way.
The way to approach this will vary depending on your environment:
1. Management has a somewhat clear vision and set of priorities. This means that a lot of the hard work involved in determining where to focus has been done for you. Now all you need to do is make sure the vision and priorities are documented. Next mark the items in your plan that have a direct link to accomplishing the vision/priorities. From there the deadlines and sense of urgency will help you determine which items to focus on first. Be sure to communicate where you plan to focus to make sure you and Management are on the same page. You don’t want to hold off on endeavors that Management is expecting asap!
2. The “Other” Categories. You choose where to focus. How? By making your best guess based on: what’s costing the most money/resources and what seems to be the common recurring concern, issue, pain point. A few ways to approach this:
It can be emotionally draining to try to guess what someone wants, when they don’t know themselves. So find a way to cope with the fact that you will have to take a trial and error approach. I believe your greatest asset will be the resilience you exhibit when you miss the mark. As I’ve said before, deal with the emotions, and stay positive. You can do it!