Leadership and Task Prioritization,
Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Every leader has the duty to guide, lead, and manage his team. To do so, a leader must be a good time manager, a good stress manager, a good task manager, and a process oriented person. Managing tasks is one of the many challenges a leader might face. When tasks are accumulated, a leader may lose their capacity to choose which task is more important. This is when task prioritization comes in use.
Task prioritization is a process that helps define which task will go first, second, third,
etc. The following tips are guideline of how to order your tasks by priority, because time is a scarce resource that a leader should optimize to achieve their team’s goals. With only eight hours of work per day, the leader should dispatch the task in hand accordingly to meet the deadlines and avoid burnouts.
The first rule is to keep the results in mind. The leader should do their best to achieve a positive output through a good leading process, so that even if the result or goal is missed, they will not feel regrets about their personal contribution to the goal.
The second rule is the 80:20 rule. Statisticians found that 80% of our output comes from 20% of our input. It is not about the exact number, but the fact that some minor things we do in our life, count for the majority of what we expect.
The third rule is the SMART formula. It will help the leader to organize their tasks. The goals that should come first are the ones that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic and Time bound). Be SMART.
The fourth rule is that the leader should categorize their tasks and update them daily. Some of the good techniques are, but not limited to, organizing with the alphabet, such as A=Most Important, B=Important, C=It is fine, etc, or by colors, such as Red=Urgent, Yellow= Moderate, Green=Unimportant, etc.
The fifth rule is to keep an agenda. Schedule what is important and don’t allow others to change it.
The sixth rule is to set boundaries when they need to be set. It will help the leader to say “no” and to stop pleasing others, because that will push you to miss your deadlines.
The seventh rule is that even if the leader is the one who is in charge of how things are done, but they need to delegate or automate routine or administrative tasks.
And last but not least, the eighth rule. The Leader should always spend time with their family and friends, and maintain their spiritual and fitness needs. A leader should make time in their day for these things, as well.
Mehdi Lasfar, LDI Alumnus