How to Create a Smoother, More Attractive Business by Using Prioritization
As a business owner, when you start looking into making your IT systems run more smoothly in an attempt to improve your operations, it can be really tough to figure out how to prioritize what you are going to tackle first. Whether you are driven by an urge to improve your customer service, reduce your outgoings or, to save valuable time on business-critical tasks that take up more of your attention than you would like them to. It can all become very confusing and time consuming, which is precisely why prioritizing is so important but, where do you start?
Start at the beginning
You don’t have to say anything, and yes, it may sound a bit ‘simple’ but, that is exactly how the matter of prioritization should be dealt with, keep things simple, logical and follow your own instructions. Most tasks are actually reasonably easy to conquer, if they are approached in the right way, usually it’s ‘the mind’ that gets in the way or, overcomplicates something that should be pretty straight forward.
The secret to prioritizing is to make yourself a set of instructions to follow, you may need to make some minor tweaks over time and perhaps some help to set up managed IT services but, once you’ve gotten the initial structure in place, then you can then start to implement your set of prioritizing instructions and, only make changes to any of the steps if, something working. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Below, you will see an example that you could use as a template, if you want;
Put pen to paper – Or pencil if you’d prefer, how you do it doesn’t really matter, but, when prioritizing it’s important to write everything down. Studies show that when a person goes through the process of actually writing down or drawing what’s in their mind, then, they are more likely to retain the information (writing is probably more sensible in this scenario though). Not only that, if it’s written down, then, you can go back to it at any time you like, show others and even present your ideas as part of a new policy or procedure. Click here for information about managed IT services, which are essential for every organization.
Understanding the long-term purpose – Think about the end result, what you hope to achieve, for example, if cybersecurity is important to you then, improved security should be the focus. What will you need in order to make your ideas become a reality? You might not know exactly what it is that you need in order to make your plans work, but that’s fine, you can add or refine as you figure that out.
Bite sized chunks – Once you have a better idea of how you are going to approach each task, you should have a rough idea of how long it is likely to take you. Knowing how long the process will take is important because, then, you can break the different stages down into ‘bite sized chunks. That could be hourly, daily or weekly depending upon the size of the job at hand, ultimately, the idea is to make your efforts more achievable.
Set yourself clear and realistic timeframes – This should be a familiar subject for most business owners, you may or may not realise that, there’s every chance that you are working towards targets and deadlines already if you are providing a service and, or selling products. There may not be any kind of deadline or required time frames however, if you go through the process anyway, it should make things more manageable and help to improve discipline moving forward.
How important is it and when is it needed? – Asking this question will help you to prioritize the steps that require immediate attention based upon how important they are and, when they are anticipated to be complete. Make sure to manage your time so that you can assign a portion of it to tackle the important tasks that aren’t required immediately. It’s better to make progress than to leave them until the last minute, so you might want to assign one of your employees and practice your delegation skills.
Maintaining traction will provide answers – If you find that a particular component of your overall plan is taking up more time and effort than it should because there are things that don’t make sense, don’t worry. Park that one for a moment and proceed to tackle the other parts of your plan, often the answers will come as you progress with the other steps. The most important part is to not get overwhelmed or start to get stressed out. If you feel that way, then, it is definitely time to tackle another piece of your puzzle and come back with a clearer mind.
Finish at the end
Still keeping things simple, procrastination is one of the biggest reasons that IT jobs don’t get done or don’t get done properly. If you don’t start then you won’t ever be able to finish, even if you have the luxury of working at your own pace. Ultimately, you will want to clearly understand what’s important and what’s not, what needs immediate attention and, what doesn’t and, how much will it cost you, or, how much will you save in regards to time and or monies.