January 22, 2018
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The Power of The "P"s
The Power of The

In today’s age of multi-tasking, long “To-Do” lists, increasing demands for our time, 24-hour/7-day a week access to emails and text messages, along with the urge to respond immediately to each and every one of them, has created an environment where everything has taken on the appearance of being a priority. As a result, many of us feel over-worked, over-stimulated, and exhausted, which does not create a long-term recipe for success and career satisfaction. In some cases, performance begins to suffer, the ability to be innovative and creative is loss, and our personal lives and/or health begin to suffer. There is power in pausing for a moment to evaluate and determine the true priorities and where you can have the greatest impact.

Prioritizing is defined as “a principle that means doing first things first by evaluating a group of items or tasks and ranking them in the order of importance or urgency.” The challenge many of us face is not how to prioritize but how to manage competing priorities. Below are some suggestions:

· Get clarity around the actual deadline(s) and determine if there is any flexibility with moving the deadline of one or more of the projects or assignments.
· Evaluate the impact and/or risk to the department, company, or client and prioritize based on the level of negative impact.
· Ask yourself – What is the best use of my time? Where can I have the greatest impact or results? Which tasks/responsibilities would I like to do, but could be delegated to another team member?
· Create weekly goals and use these to create daily goals.
· Determine what trade-offs you will need to make, personally and/or professionally to meet the deadline? Can you live with these trade-offs?

There is power in pausing. Most of the time an immediate response is not needed to an email that has appeared in our inbox or a request we have received. And, if we gave ourselves time to think about a request and how our response could be interpreted (or misinterpreted), we would allow ourselves time to be more thoughtful. Allowing time to think, process information and consider the outcome you are trying to achieve will yield much better results, and increase the likelihood that your words and actions are interpreted as you intended.

Lastly, the power of being positive can not be underestimated! There is power in having a great attitude, optimistic outlook, and being pleasant to work with. Studies have shown that people with positive attitudes have lower levels of stress, greater resistance to colds, and a longer life span. Thinking positively also has an impact on our feelings and actions – and best of all, it’s contagious! So, the next time you are looking at your long “To-Do” list with competing demands or find yourself engaged in a negative conversation or situation, think about the power you have to bring about the change you want. Start with taking a moment to pause to determine the real priorities, best use of your time, and visualize yourself achieving your goals and becoming a positive change agent!