Why You Should Never Have More Than One Priority

Katie Sweeney

According to a recent Forbes article, the key to productivity is to never have more than one priority at a time. You should have just one priority—one ultimate goal—and what contributor Kevin Kruse refers to as the MIT, the most important taskto help you achieve that goal. Kruse says to “figure out what is most important to you and what activity will provide the greatest leverage to getting there right now.” Focusing on the MIT will not only make you more productive, but it will also make you happier and more energized.

Kruse uses Olympic gold medalist and goalie of the U.S. women's national soccer team, Briana Scurry, as a perfect example of the MIT philosophy. Leading up to the games, everything Scurry did was a direct result of her focus on winning gold. “About six months before an Olympics, I would relate all the decisions I made to the ultimate vision of winning gold,” Scurry said. “The simple question I would ask several times a day was, Will this activity help me perform better and therefore help us win gold?”

To figure out what your MIT is, ask yourself some goal-oriented questions like What will I be evaluated on during my annual performance review? What would be the thing that would get me promoted if I could accomplish it? Answer those questions, define your big goal, and keep your eye on the prize. Keep the MIT at the top of your to-do list and deal with it first thing in the day when you are most on task. 

Learn more about the relationship between priorities and productivity by reading Getting Organized at Work.

What’s the most important task you are focusing on now?

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