Edit ModuleShow Tags

Three priorities a week, max


Published:

As I was getting ready to go to bed in order to wake up in time to make my 6:40 a.m. flight, I was rolling my one remaining priority for the week around in my head. I was thinking to myself, "Two down, one to go." And I realized I have been using a construct of "Three priorities a week, max" for a long time.

Now, I do a lot more than three things a week. But on Monday mornings, as I'm going through my daily information routine, I usually carve out a few minutes to make sure I have my priorities for the week firmly lodged in my brain.

I limit myself to three as I don't think you can have more than three "highest priorities" at any given time. When I start the week, I make a clear mental commitment to get these priorities (or P1′s in Zynga speak) done. Each day when I wake up, I think about what I need to do to get closure on these priorities.

Some weeks I have three, others I have one or two. I always have at least one. And they are always important. Occasionally I can't get one done and it rolls over into the next week, but once something becomes a P1 it stays a P1 until it gets done. And I can never have more than three P1′s. And they should all be able to be completed by the end of the week. But most importantly, they are clearly defined and easily explained (e.g. if you walk up to me and ask me what my P1s are for this week, I should be able to recite them without thinking.)

While I have plenty of things that I'm working on that have a much longer arch than one week, I find this weekly rhythm to be very grounding. I have a clear sense of accomplishment on a weekly basis, I clear the decks of big priorities, and I regularly tackle hard stuff that just needs to get done.

I also have many more than three things that I complete each week, including things that regularly come up that are as important (or even more important) that whatever I've defined as my P1s for that week. But I don't shuffle the priorities around - by having the big ones for the week set at the beginning of the week, I have a clear set to focus on whenever I need to re-ground myself.
One more to go. I've got two days to get it done. And I've got plenty of time on my remaining two plane flights to knock it off.
{pagebreak:Page 1}

Edit Module
Brad Feld

Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for more than 20 years. Prior to co-founding the Boulder-based Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and Intensity Ventures, a company that helped launch and operate software companies. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes widely read and well respected blogs at www.feld.com and www.askthevc.com. He holds bachelor's and master's of science degrees from from MIT. Contact him at brad@feld.com

Get more of our current issue | Subscribe to the magazine | Get our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Finalists from 33 companies gear up to celebrate Top Company Awards

The 2016 ColoradoBiz Top Company event promises a night of entertainment, surprises and guest speakers, including Gov. John Hickenlooper and the 11 winners of the prestigious Top Company Awards.

Avoid implementing new technology the old way

Technology includes far more than servers and networks. Web technology, analytics, mobile strategy and security have changed the landscape for good. Here's what makes for a truly effective IT department.

CEOs: You'd better watch your language

We often get hung up in business because we don’t get on the same page regarding language and definitions. If you’re a surgeon and are told to take out that gelatinous red thing, do you remove the liver, heart or gall bladder? Precision counts.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thanks for contributing to our community-- please keep your comments in good taste and appropriate for our business professional readers.

Add your comment: