Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Priorities (A Work-Related Post)

“Instead of saying “I don’t have time” try saying “it’s not a priority,” and see how that feels. Often, that’s a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don’t want to. But other things are harder. Try it: “I’m not going to edit your résumé, sweetie, because it’s not a priority.” “I don’t go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.” If these phrases don’t sit well, that’s the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like how we’re spending an hour, we can choose differently.”

This was making the rounds a few months ago and at first blush, I was liking this. But the more I thought about it, the more it just didn't make sense to me. If you control every aspect of your life, perfect. You're a single self-made freelancer with clients waiting in line for a bit of your time.

But try telling that to your spouse, your child or your boss.

Sorry, the tried and true "I don't have time..." is the only thing that works. But, that's bringing a problem. Now, bring the solution (or bring them into the solutioneering) "...and I could use your help prioritizing. Here's what I'd propose:"

But yeah, I'm not going to tell you the thing you need me to do is not a priority or else you're not going to come to me in the future to help you or or advise you, and I've lost influence and opportunity.

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