Why prioritizing by value over urgency is more productive today

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Stephen R. Covey popularized the term “paradigm shift” in the 90s. I love his work. In many ways, he inspired me to do what I do. I value his insight to this very day.

So, I hope he’d forgive me when I suggest a paradigm shift away from another concept he popularized:

  • Let’s stop prioritizing in terms of what is urgent and important.
  • Let’s start prioritizing in terms of what is most VALUABLE.

I know that may go against everything you’ve been taught about prioritization. Stick with me.

We live in an age of endless interruptions and unlimited opportunities. Everything is urgent. Everything feels important.

Urgent/Important prioritization was popularized by Covey and is based on the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. It’s a tool American President Dwight D. Eisenhower developed long before our current era of hyper-connectedness.

As useful as this tool has been, it’s in need of a streamlined system update; a paradigm shift.

Urgent/Important thinking leads to multitasking, or as I call it, switchtasking, because it forces us to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate every prioritization decision we make.

  • The solution: Make all the decisions in ADVANCE, and prioritize tasks based on what is most valuable.
  • The result: you’ll save hours of time every day, you’ll reduce the stress of constant decision-making, and you’ll increase the value of your time.

And it starts with a simple question: of everything you COULD do today, which of those tasks is MOST valuable?

If you want to increase your productivity while working from home, take Dave’s course, “Time Management: Working from Home,” on  LinkedIn Learning at davecrenshaw.com/home.

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