Do You Suffer From ‘Constantly Changing Priorities’?

Do You Suffer From ‘Constantly Changing Priorities’?

Do you (personally) or your organisation suffer from ‘constantly changing priorities’?

You have a great, well-thought out plan but then something unexpected comes along and suddenly, you find yourself frantically having to re-jig everything – rescheduling projects, flipping resources from one thing to another, working long hours to catch up, breaking bad news to customers and stakeholders.

And all because that unexpected thing happened.

Which you couldn’t have anticipated.

Er, but you knew – didn’t you – that something unexpected was going to happen?

Because it always does, doesn’t it? 

And so you can’t really call it ‘unexpected, can you?

Because – in fact – it was completely expected i.e. you know something was going to happen. (You just didn’t know what.)

So why would you not prepare for it?

Here’s a simple example of doing this for yourself – and which could stop you having to work long hours.

For 5 days, Monday – Friday, keep a record (in hours) of how much time you spent on so-called ‘unexpected’ stuff.

Let’s say it looks something like this:


This means that – on average, based on this small body of evidence – you spend an average of 4 hours per week on ‘unexpected’ stuff.


So now, plan your next week on the basis that each day will have to allow for 4 hours of ‘unexpected’ stuff.

If you did that and you had a week the same as the one above, you would:

  • Find yourself still messed up on Tuesday, but by 6 extra hours rather than 10.
  • Have no problem the other 4 days – they would be like nothing unexpected had happened.

Furthermore, if you continued to keep a record of how much unexpected stuff happened, you could really fine tune that average number. You might also start to notice really useful things like seasonal or monthly trends.

This is doing it for yourself. But can you also see how you could do this for your organisation?