Monday’s post: How to Prioritize Your Day (Time Management Series: Part 3) covered how to create a To Do list and prioritize it. I want to add some visuals for you to help drive this home.

Here is a basic To Do list:

Break up into categories. Now that you have this list, you need to categorize it. This is very simple; just use the following categories below:

Category 1: AFI of Suspense Driven. This is something that is time-sensitive or something a regulation spells out as a responsibility for your position. These are the things that have to be done to keep the lights on and you out of jail.

Category 2: Local demands. These are the things you do for your boss or for your unit. For example, prepping for the staff meetings or fulfilling local checklists. You won’t go to jail for not doing this, but you might get a stern talking to.

Category 3: Value-Added Items. Here are the things you do to stay ahead of the game or the “over and above” items that are done to care for your team. If you didn’t do these, nothing would happen. However, by doing them you prevent multiple future fires.

The items left over (in white) are clearly not priorities. They are great back burner items that may one day become a priority; however, currently they are time wasters that do not contribute to the team.

(In case you missed it, start with part 1 in the series here.)

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