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In ten minutes, ten months, ten years.

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The art to manage priorities

Recently, I was reading in the Bizz magazine,  an interview of Inge Smidts, vice president go to market of the telecom company Telenet. In that interview, she talks among other things about priorities.

Each of us, we have to manage everyday some priorities. My intention in this paper is not to make a presentation or a training about priority management. There are specialists who can handle this kind of subject better than me. You probably already know that most of the time, we are making confusion between urgent and important. What is urgent is not necessarily important, and something important is not necessarily urgent, if you planned it correctly. The notion of priority is a subjective thing because it is linked sometimes to the value we are assigning to things. Another point is to determine which is the perimeter in which we are defining our priorities. It is obvious we spend most of our time to work, and to manage our priorities in our professional life, but each of us, we have a personal life which is the combination of our professional and private life.

Is it always easy to put priorities between private and professional life, to maintain a balance between then when you have high responsibilities ? Here is what Inge Smidts is saying about priorities: “ There are always emergencies, always fires to be extinguished? Nevertheless, you have to know to say “no”, time to time. To do this, I have my rule of “ten minutes, ten months, ten years”. What will be the consequences of one or another choice after ten minutes, ten months en ten years ? Most of the time, the choice between professional and private life is quickly done. For instance, if you are missing the fair of your son, you will still regret it in ten years. At that time, if you say no to the company, it will not have significant long term effects. All the more than to delegate gives the opportunity to people to make improvements. The real key moments are highlighted in red in my agenda. In this case, nobody will not prevent me, for instance, to assist to the school fair of my son.”

This is one of the best priority rule I have ridden until now !

This interview was published in the n° 107 of the belgian business magazine Bizz –


Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

May 5, 2010 at 21:28

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