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Getting your priorities in order

When you're starting a new business, you might have trouble figuring out your priorities. You'll have so much to do that you might not know where or how to start.

In Stephen Covey's book, First Things First, he says that in order to manage your time well "the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." What's the main thing? Is it what's "due" next? Is it what the loudest person is asking you for?  Covey believes a larger mission should drive your priorities: "The first step is to connect with what's most important in your life as a whole. Consider the big picture -- what you care about, what makes the moments in your life meaningful." This is important because it helps you look at your tasks and responsibilities in relationship to your goals, rather than what seems most urgent at the moment.

Many people jump right into projects and work on the small pieces they feel most comfortable doing. If you organise your thoughts this way, you should probably focus on the big picture first. Think of an upside-down triangle. Everything at the top of your list should include the big projects and ideas. As you work your way down, fill in the smaller projects and ideas. By keeping "the main thing the main thing," you'll make sure the most important things get done.
 

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