What you want…


A profile piece in September’s Fast Company about Maelle Gavet, the CEO of Russia’s largest e-commerce company has an interesting quote. She says “‘People keep saying, ‘We need more prioritization.’ I say, ‘Guys, what you want is less work. And that is not going to happen’”.

It reminded me of all the times I’d heard ‘prioritization’ as the solution to overwork at conferences. (The answer, if you haven’t heard it is delegation. Eventually, there’s no one to delegate to but the floor, and so the least important things don’t get done.)

In a growing, thriving organization, or even in a declining one, there will never be less work. If you’re getting less and less work, take it as a hint to work on your resume. There will always be more work than you have time to do. The trick is to work out how to be more effective and how to do what’s essential. And then to DO THAT first. The rest can wait. Sometimes forever.


I think you're channeling Don Wetmore

Probably 10 years ago I ran across this quote by Don Wetmore, a time management consultant: THREE TRUTHS 

There are three truths of Time Management:

1. We all have too much to do.

2. There is never enough time to “get it all done”.

3. There is always time, however, to get the most important things done. 

Therefore, place a high priority on the things you really want to get done.

Based upon his advice, as well as MT's, Druckers, David Allen, and others, I've learned to be vicious and honest when prioritizing.  Wetmore's quote above puts it all in one nice package.





...And regularly clean up the todo list

Agile software management practices also teach us that we should sometimes, in a wave of realism, clean up the backlog. Having a list of things todo that is years long can be very depressing. Embrace the fact that some things will never get done, and remove them altogether.


That reminds me ...

A long time ago and before computers were on every desk I knew a manager who had three trays on his desk; an "in" tray, an "out" tray and a "dying a natural death" tray! This last tray was for those things that would be nice to get done, but really weren't urgent and some day someone would make the decision that they weren't really needed. It kepy his "in" tray looking a lot less full too!

Very good advice from Wendii, GlennR and RWWH (as usual :-) ).