2019 Skill to Improve: Understanding Priorities

When you are job hunting, you will need skills specific to the industry and the position. However, employers are looking for soft or nontechnical skills as well. If you are trying to improve your skill set in 2019, understanding priorities is a smart place to start.

To be successful, you must first identify what is most important. Otherwise, you won’t know where to begin. You may end up wasting time, rushing through your work or missing deadlines. This is where priorities come into play

Here is a basic strategy to help you understand your priorities.

  • Plan Don’t React
    Many of us start out our day with a general idea of what we need to do. Then, we check email, answer phone calls, chat with colleagues, and tackle various other projects that pop up unexpectedly. As a result, the mental list we made at 7 a.m. ends up, once again, uncompleted. Instead of controlling our day, we let our day control us by responding to every distraction.
  • Make a Covey Quadrant
    In his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey introduces a time-management matrix to better organize priorities. To create your own Covey Quadrant, fold a piece of paper in half, and in half again and then unfold. Label the four squares QI, QII, QIII, and QIV. Next, categorize your tasks as follows: Quadrant I is Important and Urgent such as deadlines and emergencies; Quadrant II is Important but Not Urgent such as ongoing projects; Quadrant III is Not Important but Urgent such as meetings; Quadrant IV is Not Important and Not Urgent such as reorganizing your contacts. The trick is to move items from QI to QII (whenever possible) and recognize the time-wasting potential of QIII and QIV.
  • Pick Your Top Three Tasks
    Now that you have a better idea of what your top priorities are, dump the rambling list you create in your head each day. In its place, write down the top three things you need to complete today. Remember, don’t list everything you hope to accomplish, begin with only the top three. Focus on these tasks first and, unless you run into an emergency, push other interruptions aside until later.
  • Set a Time Limit
    Despite your best intentions, procrastination and perfectionism can derail your priority list any day. Especially if a something is difficult, it’s human nature to put it off until later. Set aside blocks of time for each of your three tasks and stick to them. If you find yourself spinning your wheels, move on to the next task and circle back later. Of course, some days will be more productive than others, but at least you will be working toward achieving your goals rather than reorganizing your contacts for the third time this week.

Is Finding a Job One of Your Top Priorities?
If you are looking for work in West Virginia or Georgia, United Talent Staffing Services is here for you! We know companies that are hiring, and we can help you find the right fit. Search our available openings today!

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