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Clarifying And Prioritising Your Priorities

Clarifying and prioritising priorities is not just about working harder but about working smarter. Leaders who are able to clearly prioritise their priorities are better equipped to handle challenges, achieve their goals and be more successful.


"In a world where everything seems to be moving at breakneck speed, it's important to take a step back and prioritise the things that really matter."- Jack Welch

As a leader, having priorities is essential to achieving success. It allows leaders to focus their energy and resources on the most important tasks, enabling them to be more effective in their roles. However, identifying these priorities can be challenging, especially when leaders are faced with numerous competing demands. Not only that, even after the priorities have been identified, which needs to happen first?

It is not uncommon for leaders to become overwhelmed with the many tasks and responsibilities they have to juggle on a daily basis. That is why it is key for leaders to clarify and prioritise their priorities and ensure that the crucial ones take precedence over the others.

According to a survey by McKinsey, leaders who spend more time on their priorities are more likely to achieve their goals. The survey found that leaders who spent at least 50% of their time on their top priorities were twice as likely to be successful in achieving their goals as those who spent less than 30% of their time on their top priorities.

Leaders need to clarify and prioritise their priorities

"The key is not to prioritise what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities."- Stephen Covey

Leaders are responsible for making decisions that can have a significant impact on their organisation's success. They are expected to lead their team towards achieving the goals and objectives set by the organisation. However, with limited resources and time, it can be challenging for leaders to accomplish everything that needs to be done. This is where having clear priorities comes in.

Clear priorities are essential for leaders because they help leaders understand what is important and what they should focus on. It gives them a sense of direction, purpose, and helps them to align their efforts towards achieving the organisation's objectives. When a leader has clear priorities, they can better manage their time and resources, and make informed decisions. However, if priorities are not clear, leaders may end up wasting time on tasks that are not essential or lose sight of their primary goals. Clarity also enables the leaders to delegate to the right team members to support achievement of the organisation's goals, and it promotes accountability and responsibility.

"People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are."~ Steve Jobs

To clarify and prioritise priorities, leaders should begin by assessing their goals and objectives. This assessment should be benchmarked against the organisation's vision, mission, and values. They should also consider the current situation and identify the critical areas that need their attention. Based on this assessment, they could then create a list of priorities that should be considered, adopted and communicated to their team members.

It is also equally important for leaders to clarify these priorities for themselves. This is because having vague or unclear priorities can be just as detrimental as having no priorities at all. When leaders do not have a clear understanding of their priorities, they can become overwhelmed and easily distracted by competing demands.

To avoid this, leaders need to take the time to clarify their priorities by considering whether the identified priorities are aligned to them and their organisation. This is an important exercise and once this becomes clear, leaders can proceed without qualm to allocate their time, energy, and resources accordingly.  By doing so, leaders can stay focused on what matters most to them and their organisation, and avoid getting side-tracked by distractions or unimportant tasks.

"You cannot overemphasise the importance of clear and concise communication when it comes to effectively prioritising your priorities."- John Kotter

It is essential to communicate priorities clearly to team members. Leaders should ensure that the team understands the priorities and the reasons behind them. This communication should be ongoing and should be integrated into regular meetings and discussions. It is also crucial to provide regular updates on progress towards achieving the priorities and to make adjustments if necessary.


"When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Prioritising your priorities is essential for success."- Brian Tracy


It is easy to get overwhelmed with numerous tasks and responsibilities, leaving leaders with little time to prioritise and focus on what really matters. However, effective leaders know that clarifying and prioritising their priorities is crucial to achieving success. By identifying their key goals and focusing on the vital few first, leaders can achieve greater productivity and efficiency. Clarifying and prioritising priorities is not just about working harder but about working smarter. It is about knowing what to do and when to do it. Leaders who are able to clearly prioritise their priorities are better equipped to handle challenges, achieve their goals and be more successful.


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