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Jim Benson

Lean

How to Prioritize When There Is No Priority

When everything seems equally important, it’s time to start asking questions

Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 13:14

Prioritization is stressful. We find ourselves prematurely making value decisions about what to pull and when (right now!).

Recently a client asked, “How can I prioritize my work when there is no clear priority? Everything seems equally important.”

This is a deeper issue than simply being indifferent to priorities. We are constantly worried (as in stressed) about what the next-best thing is for us to do. If we make the wrong choice, what might the consequences be?

Extreme stress might result when we simply don’t know what is most important. At that point, we must start asking other questions about the work. Is it difficult? Is it going to make me happy? Does it involve other people?

This video digs into those issues. Later, because choice is not a simple topic, we’ll go into other ways to select work. Also, look at the links below this video for more Personal Kanban options.)

Every two weeks our Gold Personal Kanban class members have a one-hour chat about what we’re working on, how they are working with Personal Kanban, and the challenges they are facing. The students as well as Tonianne and I, work to solve those challenges. They are fun, engaging, and helpful conversations.

Want to learn more about Personal Kanban? Come to one of our regular free webinars or check out the Personal Kanban online course at Modus Institute.

First published Aug. 22, 2016, on the personalkanban blog.

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About The Author

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Jim Benson

Jim Benson is the creator and co-author (with Tonianne DeMaria) of the best seller Personal Kanban (Modus Cooperandi Press, 2011) winner of the Shingo Research and Publication Award, 2013. His other books include Why Limit WIP (Modus Cooperandi, 2014), Why Plans Fail (Modus Cooperandi, 2014), and Beyond Agile (Modus Cooperandi Press, 2013). He is a winner of the Shingo Award for Excellence in Lean Thinking, and the Brickell Key Award. Benson and DeMaria teach online at Modus Institute and consult regularly, helping clients in all verticals create working systems. Benson regularly keynotes conferences, focusing on making work rewarding and humane.