How To Prioritize (Like a Boss)

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Hey everyone, Kosio Angelov here, founder of High Performance Lifestyle. In today’s training, I want to talk about how do you decide between doing A or doing B? How do you decide if you should be doing any of them to begin with? How do you know what to do, in what order to do it? In other words, we’re going to talk about prioritization.

The Secret To Productivity – Prioritization

Let me give you a secret: the secret to productivity, or at least one of them: you cannot do it all. You don’t have enough time, you don’t have enough energy, you don’t have motivation to do it all.

You need to prioritize. Sounds simple, right? Everybody knows about prioritization, and conventional wisdom says if you need to prioritize, take all your tasks, put them on a piece of paper or in Excel, and then rate them from 1 to 5 – 1 being the lowest priority item, 5 being the highest. Sounds simple, right?

The big question is, how do you decide?

How do you decide what’s a 2? How do you decide what’s a 3? Sometimes it’s easy. If you need to choose between sitting on the couch eating Cheetos or going to the gym in a weight loss environment, it’s obvious. Sitting on the couch is not going to give you that many calories burned; going for a jog is going to, so it’s easy to rate them.

But sometimes it’s not that clear. If you have 1 hour and you’re going to use it for some sort of exercise, do you go jogging? Do you lift some weights? How do you decide which one is going to give you the most value for your time or for your money?

That’s what I want to show you today. I want to show you a little formula that’s going to make it crystal clear. Once you put it to use, you’ll know exactly, do you do this, do you do this – which one is more valuable, which one is going to give you better results, faster results, more results. And that makes prioritization easy.

The Prioritization Formula

What is the prioritization formula? Here it is: O / TS = VPH. Let’s break it down.

“O” stands for “output”, and output can be anything. In a business sense, output is usually money; in a personal sense, if you’re going to the gym, output can be how many calories you burned or how much food you ate. Output is what’s generated in a particular amount of time.

“TS” stands for “time spent”. How much time are you going to spend on that particular task? Is it 1 hour, is it 30 minutes, is it 45 minutes? Usually, you will know. You will know if you need to write a blog post, it’s going to take you on average 2 ½ hours. You’ve done it before, so you can figure out, more or less, how much time you need for that one task.

And finally, “VPH.” This is where the magic happens. VPH is “value per hour”. What is the value that you can get in 1 hour of time?

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you own your own business and you need to decide between calling a prospect and shooting a sales video for your latest product. Let’s say that calling a prospect is going to generate $1,000. You’re a very good salesperson; you’re going to get on the phone and you’re going to sell that prospect your coaching service for $1,000. At the end of the call, your output is $1,000. How much time are you going to spend? Let’s say for argument’s sake it’s going to take you 1 hour. So you have $1,000 / 1 hour; your value per hour is 1,000. Sounds easy, right?

Let’s take the other one. Let’s say that creating that sales video is going to generate $10,000, because that’s a new product you’re going to sell for $500; you’re going to sell many copies over and over and over again. The value of that one video is at least $10,000, so the output is $10,000. Time spent, let’s say it’s another 1 hour. Now you have $10,000 / 1 hour; your value per hour is 10,000.

Now you know exactly what to do. Do you go for the $10,000? Do you go for the $1,000? You know exactly where your time is better spent, so you know to how to prioritize. Instead of calling that client or that prospect back, you’re going to concentrate on your sales video.

And it’s not about the money. You can use this same exact formula in your personal life. Let’s say that you have 1 hour and need to decide between going to the gym or going for a jog.

What is the output? The output in this sense is going to be how many calories you’re going to burn. Let’s say that going to the gym is going to burn 1,000 calories. You know from experience; you can even Google it. It’s going to burn 1,000 calories. That’s your output. Time spent, 1 hour. Your value per hour: 1,000. Let’s say that jogging is going to burn 1,500 calories. Now you know, 1,500 / 1; your value per hour is 1,500.

So which one is better: going to the gym, going for a jog? One is 1,000, the other one is 1,500. Now you know with almost certainty that going for the jog is going to be more valuable. You’re going to get more results in the same amount of time.

But in order for this formula to work, in order for you to maximize the result, there are three considerations that you need to consider, and here they are:

1. Think Long Term

Always think in the long-term. In the business example, it might make more sense at first to call that prospect, because you know you’re going to get $1,000. But when you think long-term, you’re going to realize that making that sales video is going to bring you much more value.

Maybe the 1 hour that you spent that one day to record the sales video is not going to give you an immediate return on your investment, but you know that at the end of 6 months, that one client that you sold would’ve generated $1,000 versus your sales video would’ve generated $10,000. Always think in the long-term.

2. Include All People

Always include all people. What do I mean by that? If you need to clean your house, and you have 1 hour and need to decide between vacuuming your house or dusting, you can use this formula. But let’s say that vacuuming requires two people. You need one person, let’s say your spouse, to move the furniture around, versus dusting, you can do on your own. You have to include the fact that vacuuming is going to take two people. That considerably lowers your value per hour.

In a business sense, if you need more than one person, you need your entire team to be involved in order to record that sales video, your value per hour is going to go down, because you have the same value at the end of the day, but spread out between 2, 5, maybe 10 people. Always include all people that you need in order for that task to be accomplished – whether it’s personal, whether it’s business, doesn’t matter. Always include all people.

3. Guesstimate

The biggest objection that I hear when I present this formula to people is “How do I know? How do I know how many calories I burn while jogging? How do I know how much money I’m going to make when I do this task? How do I know how much dust I’m going to clean out between dusting and vacuuming?”

Give it your best shot. Guesstimate. This is your life, this is your time. If you don’t know the value of what you’re doing, nobody’s going to give it to you. I know it sounds a little harsh, but that’s the reality. Nowadays, you can even Google almost everything. There is probably research done on which activity burns more calories, or is vacuuming going to remove more dust or actual dusting? Probably you can figure out this information from the internet – but if you cannot, give it your best shot. You’re the one that knows.

If this is your business and you’re using this in a business sense, you should know what generates how much money. How much is a sales video going to generate? How much is a sales call going to generate? Give it your best shot. Put some estimation. It might not be an exact number, because that’s not what matters. What matters is, do you do Task A? Do you do Task B? Give both of them some sort of a number, whether it’s money, whether it’s time, whether it’s dust or calories burned – whatever it is. Give it some sort of estimation so you can plug it in the formula and you can use it.

Over To You Now

And that’s it. That is how you decide what’s worth it. Is A worth more than B? Should you be doing A and B to begin with? Plug in this formula every single time you need to decide between one, two, or even more choices.

Prioritization – it’s the absolute key to your productivity and to your success, because there’s no bigger waste of your time than doing the wrong activity. You cannot mess up more than becoming good at doing the wrong activity. This eliminates it. This shows you, do you do this? Do you do this? Which one gives you bigger value per hour?

And I know if you’re not a math person, this might seem a little awkward; it’s a math formula. It’s easy. You’re going to do this, once you do it a couple times, in your head. You’re going to be faced with two choices, 1 or 2. You’re going to plug in this formula in your head. You’re going to figure it out in just a couple of seconds. Once you have this formula, prioritization becomes easy.

Put it to use. Every single time you need to decide between a couple of choices or you need to decide which one is more valuable, plug them into this formula, figure it out, and spend your time where it’s going to matter the most.

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What other prioritization techniques have you used in the past? Share in the comment section below: