What’s the first thing a nurse does when faced with multiple patients, each with a host of ailments, all needing immediate attention?
That nurse would triage those patients – that is, prioritize them into three categories: those who are likely to live, regardless of care; those who are unlikely to live, regardless of care; and those for whom prompt care may have a positive impact. This simple method allows them to direct resources where they’ll do most good.
But triaging also has another application.
Triage your work for a more manageable day
If you’re getting bogged down by an ever-increasing load of to-dos, emails and meetings, try triaging them.
Which ones must you do? You might decide that onboarding Joe is your number one priority.
Which hurt your productivity? Perhaps this means dropping your 4:00 p.m. meeting.
Which can you drop or delegate? Maybe someone in HR would be better at delivering your upcoming presentation.
With this triage mentality, you’ll be able to take care of the most pressing matters and maintain your productivity.
For more on time and work management – including why micromanaging hurts business – read our blinks to Doing the Right Things Right, by Laura Stack.