KOCHI: Entrepreneurs almost always have so many duties and responsibilities to fulfil that it gets very difficult to focus on just one issue. Sometimes website gets a bug, clients gets queries about certain features, sales start dropping and marketing money would be flowing down the drain – all at once. And this is an everyday story of most entrepreneurs. Combatting with a handful team-mates (and sometimes not so experienced team), each major issue gets escalated to the founders themselves. The only way that can give entrepreneurs a breather in such situations is the art of prioritization, ie identifying which tasks are most important and executing them. In today’s article we will cover how to prioritize.
How to Priortise: Make a task list
Unless you know what tasks you have, it will be very difficult to identify the most important ones and urgent ones from those. If you are using Gmail accounts, Google Tasks can come handy. Or else you can use many other software or sticky notes for this purpose. List down all the tasks at hand.
Categorize urgent vs important vs mundane
At first almost everything might sound important and urgent, but there is a thin line and you need to break it down yourself. A task that can be delayed up to 4 hours later is important but not urgent. Pick tasks which require your immediate or urgent attention first. Points (3) and (4) below can help you identify urgent tasks.
Identify dependencies on your decision
If on your decision, a whole lot future framework is dependent, then you cannot delay the decision because unless you decide, the teams further will not be able to execute. But this is not the sufficient condition to categorize a task as urgent.
Identify monetary impact
While wasting human resources is not a good idea, you must also consider the monetary impact. A task involving ten men generating ten thousand ruppes revenue is worse than a similar task generating a lakh revenue. So monetary impact should be a key factor in deciding.
A lot of startup projects don’t have deadlines (unless they are client work). A founder typically decides his own deadlines and hence creates a lot of confusion. But in such a situation, now you can asses points (3) and (4) and decide executing what task can give you results quickly.
Compartmentalize and execute
Now that you have identified urgent tasks, important tasks and not-so-important tasks, start executing urgent tasks, then pick up important ones. For not-so-important one you can delegate to an employee, preferably a Chief of Staff if you have one.
Rajeev Tamhankar is IIT Roorkee Alumnus, has worked at Flipkart and Xiaomi before starting his comic books startup – TBS Planet Comics (www.TBSPlanet.com)