If everything is a priority, then nothing is

  • Published
  • By Command Chief Master Sgt. Robert Safley
  • 301st Fighter Wing

The word priority originated from the Latin word 'prior', meaning first. At some point in the 20th century, priority was demoted to its current plural form--priorities--but has rebounded some and is now typically used with top, first, highest, or most-important.


No matter how we use the word, it's hard to delineate our priorities/time with so many expectations vying for a piece.


You need to know your actual priority before making your daily/weekly/monthly schedule. If not, your 'to-do' list will fill with tasks that do not advance your duty section/unit. Do you know your leader's priorities? Do you know the Wing priorities? Do the top items on your 'to-do' list help achieve them?  You must build the habit of blocking out the appropriate amount of time to work on your priority and focus on that to completion.


I'm a huge fan of time management and have used a chart like the following one in my life and organizations. I also like making a daily list of things I need to get done. It helps focus the immediate priority. 

Time management chart


We want to reside in quadrant 2, with our planned/scheduled tasks. 1 is reserved for emergencies and boss taskings. Anything that doesn't help achieve your goals needs to move to quadrant 3 or 4. Print it out and give it a try. It works at home too.


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