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Urgent or Important? How Successful Business Managers Prioritize in an Impatient World

Knowing how to prioritize is one of the primary keys to successful management.

Things move fast these days. So fast it can seem like everything’s needed ASAP. That’s doubly true if you’re trying to manage an organization. But just because everything’s important doesn’t mean everything requires 100% of your attention right now. To succeed in management, you need to know how to prioritize.

Prioritization is the ability to get everything done in a manner that minimizes delay and maximizes revenue. It’s not always easy but, in business management, it’s essential to success. A few of the best tricks to prioritization include:

Urgent or Important? How Successful Business Managers Prioritize in an Impatient World

Using Lists

Whether your organization has a project-management system or not, you need to make sure you have a list of every project and all of its steps. If you don’t know exactly what your team needs to accomplish, you can’t prioritize tasks.

Separating Urgent From Important

Urgent and important are sometimes used interchangeably, but you shouldn’t consider them the same. An urgent task is one that, if not completed that day or within the next few hours, will cause significant problems for the overall project. An important task is one that has a looming deadline but doesn’t need to be completed until that deadline arrives.

Organizing by Value

Each project and each task has a relative value in terms of how essential it is to reaching your goals. For example, if you’re developing a new product, getting the engineering to work right has more immediate value than choosing the color of the product. As such, you should prioritize the engineering and, if time runs tight, spend less time than planned on color selection.

Avoiding a Rush Mentality

When prioritizing and scheduling, you may be tempted to cram as much as possible into a day or given time period. Resist that urge. There are almost always unexpected complications and you want built-in time to handle urgent matters you can’t plan for. Plus, pushing yourself and your employees too hard can lead to inattention and, eventually, burnout, which will hurt the quality of your work, your productivity, and your bottom line.

Knowing When to Say When

Chances are, you can’t get every task checked off your list every day. Some days, you’re going to have to leave a few things unfinished. That’s fine. But make sure you know in advance what can wait until the next day. If you prioritize well, leaving a few things unfinished will not significantly impact your overall ability to reach your goals.

How Else Can You Learn More About Business Management?

Good management takes a lot of knowledge and an ability to develop, test, and implement new ideas. If you want to gain the advanced skills you need to succeed at the highest levels of business management, you should consider earning a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). Designed for experienced working professionals, a DBA can help you gain expert-level business skills, including in management.

If you’re concerned you don’t have time to earn a doctorate in business, online education could be the solution you need. Thanks to modern technology, many of the top DBA programs now offer online learning platforms that give you the freedom to earn your degree from home or anywhere else you have internet access. On top of that, online DBA programs offer flexible scheduling. Instead of having to attend classes at times that may interfere with your other responsibilities, online DBA degrees allow you to choose when in the day you attend class, making it possible to continue working full time while you complete your degree.

The ability to prioritize is a necessary skill for every manager. Through an online DBA, you can learn how to master prioritization and the other skills inherent to successful business management.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Doctor of Business Administration degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,