Is it possible to have multiple priorities at work? The answer is yes, but it’s not always that simple. Each priority has a different meaning and involves multiple tasks, and each task requires good time management. At work, the ability to set priorities is also important, especially when dealing with numerous projects.
The Question Often Asked in an Interview
When interviewing you, employers want to know that you know how important it’s to prioritize. They want to know if you can make decisions quickly and whether or not you’re well organized.
A common interview question goes like this: “How do you handle competing priorities?“
They also want to see how well you prioritize your daily tasks and how you will handle a tight deadline.
Are there things that are more important than others? If so, how do you get those things done first?
Also, employers look for signs of efficiency and effectiveness when it comes to prioritizing. In other words, can this person get multiple things done at once without overextending themselves?
We All Have Multiple Priorities at Work
Everyone has multiple priorities at work. Some are more important than others, and some are more urgent than others.
This can make prioritizing tasks a bit difficult. But as an employee or even a business owner who needs to manage their schedule, it’s an important skill.
There Are Constant Conflicting Priorities in the Workplace
You may think that having multiple priorities is a good thing. But here’s the thing: It’s not always as easy as it seems.
Conflicting Priorities Happen All the Time in the Workplace and Can Affect How Quickly You Complete Your Tasks and How Effectively You Manage Your Time
If your boss asks you to give an important presentation tomorrow and wants to hear your ideas for improving customer service by Friday, which do you focus on first?
You need to prioritize those tasks, so they get done before either deadline passes – and if there are other projects or responsibilities in addition to those two tasks (which is likely the case), then you need to prioritize even more!
This doesn’t have to be complicated at all! Doing too much at once can help prevent burnout by keeping us from getting bored or overwhelmed when the workload gets too heavy.
Employers Want to Know How Organized You Are
Employers also want to know if you’re an organizer. How organized are you? Do you know how to organize your time, projects, and tasks? Do you know how to maintain your energy level throughout the day? Or do you just not care?
Organization Is a Skill That Can Be Learned, Improved, and Mastered
This skill can be used in many different ways: You can make sure your clothes are neatly folded before you go to work; you can store them in the evening so you’ve something to wear in the morning, or you can put on makeup before you go to work, so you don’t look like an army of ants crawled over your face at the same time you slept (okay – maybe only the last point is directly related to prioritization).
If you can cite more than one method for prioritizing, it shows the employer that you’ve dealt with it and that you’ve experienced managing multiple projects.
They Also Want to Know if You’re Efficient at Setting Priorities
If you’re a project manager, you probably have a lot of tasks to do. You’ll need to manage resources and deadlines, coordinate with other teams, and make sure your team members are doing their best.
It’s important to understand that while you may have multiple priorities, they may not always be equally important. That’s why it’s important to prioritize. However, as important as these tasks are, they’re out of proportion to the importance of setting priorities.
It’s One Thing to Have a Lot to Do, but It’s Quite Another to Know Which Tasks Need to Be Done First, Second, and Third
If you aren’t able to prioritize, you’ll be overwhelmed by the tasks that need to be done and won’t be able to complete any of them.
If you want to become an effective project manager (and we assume that’s why you’re reading this article), you need to learn how to prioritize tasks effectively.
Setting Multiple Priorities Doesn’t Mean Multitasking
You may be asking yourself:
- How can I get more things done?
- Shouldn’t multitasking help me do that? – The answer is no – multitasking doesn’t make you more productive. When you’ve multiple priorities and tasks to complete, it’s straightforward to make mistakes trying to switch between them. This can cause you to waste time revising projects or even miss deadlines.
The truth is that multitasking isn’t an effective method for managing your time and energy effectively.
When we try to do multiple things at once, our brains don’t know what to do anymore, making our performance worse than if we focused on just one thing.
However, some employers like to hear that you’re a good multitasker. The best way to answer this question is to size up your employer. Remember that an interview is a two-way street: the employer is assessing you, but you’re also assessing whether the job is a good fit for you.
Prioritizing Tasks by Importance vs. Urgency
When it comes to prioritizing, you need to consider both urgency and importance. Urgency is what needs to be done now. It’s based on process, not the outcome.
Importance is what you need to accomplish your goal. It’s about the outcome, not the process. Some urgencies are naturally “urgent,” while others are unnecessary.
It’s important to understand that your team members have priorities that you give them and to distinguish what’s important for the best outcome and what’s not (e.g., unnecessary urgencies).
Being Able to Set Multiple Deadlines Is Critical to Productivity
If you’ve ever tried to write a paper or work on a project and found yourself staring at a blank piece of paper or a blank browser window for hours, you’re not alone.
There’s a Reason People Have So Much Trouble Getting Things Done
When we don’t have set deadlines, our brains are very good at tricking us into thinking we’re working when we’re not.
Setting multiple deadlines can be a good way to get things done. However, it can also be a good way to procrastinate and feel worse about not completing something.
The reason for this is that the human brain is pretty good at fooling itself into thinking it’s working when it’s not – and if you don’t have a deadline, your brain has more time to convince you that it’s staying productive. But if you know how to set multiple deadlines, you can get things done without fooling yourself into thinking they’re done when they’re not.
Good Project Management Is a Plus
There’s a good chance you’ve never heard of project management. It’s a skill that will come in handy in your life, but it’s not something that comes naturally to everyone. Like any other skill, project management takes time to learn and develop. You can’t just figure it out overnight (if ever).
Project Management Is About Keeping Track of All Aspects of a Project or Task So That It Doesn’t Get Delayed or Lost Along the Way
That means ensuring each step has been accounted for before moving on to the next. It also means making sure that no unnecessary steps are added: Nothing extra is done just because someone doesn’t know they’re doing something wrong – or worse, because someone thinks they know better than everyone else!
Project managers need to keep things running smoothly by making sure everything goes according to plan from start to finish – no matter what obstacles come up along the way.