Deciding Between Priorities

There is a common question I encounter in my Efficient Librarian presentations that can be best synthesized as this: How do I decided between different priorities?


The default resolution that many people fall to is an attempt to decide which item is most important.  While this can be helpful, adjudicating importance can be too subjective and imprecise.  A better guide to resolving this question was recently presented on the Getting Things Done blog.  In the post, senior coach Kelly Forrister framed a few different factors to consider.

1/ Context is first since it will always be required to do what you want to do. For example, if your computer is required to write an email, but you don’t have it with you, then you can’t take that action. If being @Home is required to mow your lawn, but you’re not home, you can’t take that action.

2/ Time available is also a limitation in that if you don’t have the time to take an action, it won’t matter if it’s high priority or not. If you only have ten minutes, but you need an hour to take an action, that will eliminate some choices.

Read the rest of the factors listed in the post on the Getting Things Done blog.

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