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You Need to Say No More Often to Keep Your Priorities

Keeping Priorities in Focus

Have you ever found yourself torn between one task and another, dropping one thing to do something else, and then finding you’re behind with both? You can avoid this kind of thing if you take steps to set priorities and keep focused. Your first action is to clearly define your goals.

Goals help you avoid getting distracted, and they make you concentrate on your destination. It’s best to make your goals measurable and specific. Next, prioritize your activities. Look at all the tasks in front of you, and decide which is most important.

You should become a planner

It’s good to split them into low-priority, medium-priority, and high-priority tasks. Deal with them in order of importance. Then you want to break projects down into elements that you can complete one at a time. Finally, if you want to keep focused in the long term, you should become a planner.

You might think that’s just not you. Well, in fact, anyone can learn to plan, by developing a few habits. First, plan continuously. As you move through a plan, add to it all the time. Analyze how things are going as you work, and change or alter your plan when you need to.

An action plan for every day

Second, start your day early. Think about how you plan to achieve your goals, and create an action plan for the day. And finally, when you finish your work day, start planning the next. While the things you need to do are fresh in your mind, write them down, so you’ll have something to build on tomorrow. Let’s explore an example. A PR exec has a busy month ahead.

She defines her goals for the month, she has to work on a marketing strategy for a new product, arrange radio interviews for her company’s CEO, and meet with a TV ad agency about a new campaign. Next, she prioritizes her activities. The marketing strategy is very important, so she needs to get on that right away. She can talk to the TV ad agency when she gets a chance. And she delegates the radio interviews to a junior colleague.