You Can't Improve Everything At Once Tackle Issues One At A Time In Priority Sequence

As a business consultant, I frequently observed organizations failing in the achievement of the practical objective of fixing a number of very pressing problems. One of the reasons for these failures was they identified a list of things to do that was much, much too large. Attempting to fix them all at once results in most of the projects petering out due to a lack of needed resources. Only the highly critical items get handled. The resources spent on the unfinished projects are for the most part wasted, and would be better applied to completing one of the other tems.

Often new problems arise faster than they can fix the old ones, and the list grows longer so the situation gets worse over time rather than better, even though substantial sums are being spent. After failing to solve a problem, it is often very difficult to launch a second attempt because of the lack of problem-solving credibility from the prior performance.

Personal lives are like that too. You may conclude that you are not reading enough books, you want to learn a language, learn to play an instrument, improve your swimming ability, shape up your body, exercise more, rebuild your car, and on and on. Some things are almost always more important than others. The most effective way to make real progress is to rank your projects in order of importance, and tackle them one at a time. When the one at the top of the list is complete, cross it off and move to the next one.

Also to keep the process dynamic, periodically examine the list and re-rank the items, if the priorities have changed.

©  2002 John D. Toellner, All Rights Reserved