Since I’d place bets that we all have far more to do than is remotely achievable, I strongly believe our success is dependent on our ability to prioritize. Choosing the “right” items to focus on makes the difference between success and failure. The question is – which items are the “right” items? How do you decide?

For example, I often hear from my clients, “I just don’t have time to sit down with my employee to discuss this quarter’s goals”. What does that say about our priorities? Whether we mean for it to convey our employees aren’t important or not, it does exactly that! So what should we evaluate when prioritizing?

  1. Time Sensitivity – How urgent is your item? What happens if you don’t do it immediately? Is it detrimental to your business?
  2. Bottom Line Impact – What impact could your item have on your business? In other words, does it have the potential to result in significant profit? A loyal fan for a key customer? Or is it just an annoying nuisance?
  3. Goodwill Impact – Will your item have a goodwill impact on your business? Will your employees, customers, suppliers, and community think differently about you?
  4. Will It get Worse or Better? – How will your item change if not addressed? Will it get better on its own? Worse? Or stay the same?

  5. Short Term or Long Term – How will your priority affect your business in the short term? Long term? Quarterly sales figures can have a substantial impact on short term stock prices; however, they can be meaningless to long term profitability.