Gut priority versus difficulty

Sometimes we have a lot on our plate and we just don’t know where we might want to start first. It’s always good to know that we’re making worthwhile investments, but with a laundry list of things to do, where do we start first? It would be foolish to analyze the ROI of every single item and then pick the winner. Most of that time might be wasted because by the time we finish working through one or two of the most urgent items, the ROI of the others is likely to have changed.

Instead of a deep dive into the specifics of the entire list, how about rank all of the items on two factors: a gut feeling of the priority and the difficulty in implementation. These are surrogates for potential value and potential cost. Rank each factor as low, medium or high. Then use the following reference to decide which ones are worth doing:

Gut priority

Eliminate all of the items in red and see how long your list is. That alone may help you decide. If you still have a lot left, start in the upper right corner with highest priority and least effort.

It’s still worth the due diligence to determine what the item is actually worth before proceeding. Your gut reaction could be wrong or incomplete. So take the top item or items and figure that out.