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How Do you Judge What is "Important"?

How do you judge what is "important"?

How to judge what is "important"?

We all agree that we should do the most important things first.

But what we cannot agree upon is: HOW to determine what are the "Most important things".

  1. Who should be the judge?
  2. How does the judge make the judgement?
  3. By what standard is "importance" measured?

Let us answer these questions one at a time.

1. Who should judge?

If you are alone, then you should be your own judge.

Each individual should assume personal responsibility for how they use their time. You should strive to be doing the most important things first, so you will make more progress, in less time.

If you are operating within the context of an organisation, then you should continue to make the same personal judgements of how you use your time, but if you are instructed to do something by a person who has organisational authority, then you need to follow the decisions of the Decision Maker.

If you happen to disagree with the decision over priorities, then you should present your case to the decision maker and state your reasons.

It may be that you are able to have the decision changed.

However, if the decision maker understands your reasons; and yet, keeps to their original decision, then you should act in accordance with the original decision.

UNLESS the Decision Maker's original decision is illegal or exposes people to an unnecessary physical danger. In which case, you should refuse to comply.

2. How does the judge make the judgement?

The standard you, or the decision maker should use, to judge importance is by looking at the "Long term consequences of the action, on the organisation as a whole".

The decision maker should think about the long-term consequences: not the short-term consequences.

Short term thinking leads to errors in judgement.

  1. Eating too much is caused by forgetting about the long-term implications of over-eating and focusing on the short-term pleasure of eating.
  2. Spending and not saving, is caused by forgetting about the long-term benefits of saving and focusing on the joy of spending money on nice things.
  3. Alcoholism starts by falling in love with the short-term pleasures of alcohol and dismissing from the mind, the long term painful consequences of too much alcohol.

Wisdom is the result of thinking about the LONG-term implications of any action or decision.

3. By what standard is "importance" measured?

The decision maker should think about the implications on the "organisation as a whole".

  • Do not sacrifice others to satisfy your own selfish good.
  • Do not sacrifice your own needs to help others.

Instead; take a more objective view and look at what would be good for the "system as a whole".

The meaning of "the system as a whole" changes according to the context.

  1. Sometimes it means, the family.
  2. Sometimes it means, the business.
  3. or the country.
  4. or the population of the whole planet.

It depends on the context of the issue in question.

Please do use our FREE Prioritisation tool / app to help you to prioritise your tasks today.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Time Management

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