What are you saying 'no' to today? This week? And in your life more generally? Which meetings did you decide not to attend, which product features did you pass on, and which tasks did you decide to throw off your to-do list?
And what are you making space for as a result?
Stephen Covey put this well when he said: “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage pleasantly, smilingly, and non-apologetically – to say no to other things. And the way to do that is by having a bigger yes burning inside.”
It's not easy. Indeed, with increasing noise and countless competing priorities, it can be stressful, overwhelming, and almost impossible to focus on what really matters. And yet it's exactly the decision of when to say 'no', and where to invest your time and resources that will make the difference to... well, everything.
So how can you effectively prioritise? When should you say 'no'?
Here are some models to help. I've chunked them into four main areas to help you prioritise which ones are most relevant for you right now (ironic right?).
Prioritising the big life choices:
- Buffet's Two Lists
Prioritising fast and in multiple contexts:
- Eisenhower Matrix
- Pareto Principle
- Impact Effort Matrix
Prioritising products and requirements
- Kano Model
- MOSCOW Method
- RICE Score
Prioritising for business
- BCG Growth-Share Matrix
- GE McKinsey Nine Box Matrix
Let's get into more detail with each:
That's it for this Playbook. It's a broad overview, covering a range of prioritisation models. Keep an eye out for future Playbooks that will get into alternative combinations and specific areas.
Until then, may you say 'no' when it counts so you can stay sane and make a huge impact as a result!
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