Executives should prioritize if they want to be effective. Keeping this in my mind, I wrote to my notebook screen and mobile phone screen three upto five most important projects I should allocate my time. In this manner, it is easy to resist urgent but non-important problems and keep focusing instead of drifting.
Here is an excerpt from Richard Rumelt’s brilliant book “Good Strategy/Bad Strategy” that is related to this idea:
In 1890, there was a cocktail party in Pittsburgh. Andrew Carnegie, who was a leading figure in American steel industry was also attending to the party where he was introduced to Frederick Taylor, the man who invented scientific management and at that time he was becoming famous for organizing work. “Youngman,” said Carnegie, loooking doubtfully at the consultant, “if you can tell me something about management that is worth hearing, I will send you a check for ten thousand dollars.” (ten thousand dollars was a great money in 1890). Conversation stopped as the people nearby turned to hear what Taylor would say. “Mr. Carnegie,” Taylorsaid, “I would advise you to make a list of the ten most important things you can do. And then, start doing number one.” And, the story goes, a week later Taylor received a check for ten thousand dollars.