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Unlock your productivity potential by mastering the art of prioritizing work that delivers long-term value and immediate results.

The difference in doing the work you want to do lies in the fact that not all work is equal. One strategy to improve your results is to focus on the most valuable work. This is especially true when you have the opportunity to do work that will be valuable both now and in the future. This article is an example, as I will publish it in a day or two, but it will be seen later when someone searches for something like "How to identify your priorities."

It is easy to identify a person who hasn’t identified their priorities. Instead of trying to prioritize, they clean their desk, allowing them to feel as if they are doing something. In truth, they’ve procrastinated for half an hour, at which point they will have to start over deciding what to do with their time. Not knowing what is the best use of their time, they turn to the internet and social media.

Optimal Work Valuation for Future Benefits

If the work is something that will provide dividends in the future, this work is likely to be more important than work that isn’t going to be valuable in the future. To be fair, you may have to do some work that is going to have a shorter lifespan. This work is important but not urgent. It’s the kind of work that is proactive.

Maximizing Impact: Prioritizing High-Result Work

Some work will impact your results or your client’s results. If the impact is critical, this work should take precedence over work that isn’t capable of producing an impact. Much of your work will not impact things, meaning you may want to move it down your priority list, as it has a low impact on results.

Prioritization along the Critical Path

If someone needs you to do something before they can continue their work, this work is often important enough that you do your part, as it is what needs to happen for someone else to take the next step. By doing something other than the work on the critical path, you may cause a project to stall, preventing others downstream from being able to move forward.

Identifying and Supporting Primary Value Creators

You may or may not be the primary value creator. If you are responsible for creating value, the work may move up the priorities. If you are not the primary value creator, then you may hand the work to the person who is better prepared to do the work.

Enhancing Work through Relational Value

There are occasions when a person needs your help with a work project. Even though this work may not check any of the boxes above, you are doing it because of the value of the relationship. Of all the ideas here, this one doesn’t always command the importance it should.

Future You: Building a Legacy through Strategic Work Choices

This is a broader lens through which to look at your work. If you were looking back to today in the future, what should you be doing now to build the better future you want? We often look at the work in front of us, instead of the work that is necessary to create the future we want.

Addressing Urgency in Work: Balancing Immediate Needs with Long-Term Goals

While prioritizing according to the strategies listed here, there are times when you will need to do something urgent because it needs to be done now. You should try to prioritize the work that prevents urgent work. But you may have people in your life that treat everything like a fire drill.

Eliminating Non-Essential Tasks to Enhance Focus and Efficiency

There is a category of work you should not do at all, as it doesn’t move the needle.

To practice what you find above, you will need to spend time looking at your work through these eight categories. Work is much more difficult in the Digital Age, as emails pour into your inbox, followed by chats and texts from the people you work with, your family, and your friends, on top of notifications and other nuisances. You must determine your priorities to be able to cut through the noise and the interruptions. You may find this approach can help you to rank your priorities and your work.

Leaving this article, make a list of the work you are responsible for and start by looking at the highest value work you must do that will be valuable long into the future. Once you identify that work, look for the work with a high impact on your results. The next three categories involve others, starting work on the critical path and work that should go to a person who is the primary value creator. Some work finds you doing work due to the nature of a relationship.

The last few of these categories are about the work that builds your future, and the urgent work that likely means you may have prioritized things before it became urgent. The final work is the work you can avoid, as it doesn’t need to be done at all.


Post by Anthony Iannarino on April 20, 2024

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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