What does it look like to prioritize in a pandemic?

Since March 2020, things have felt a little up in the air. Normalcy, routine, rhythms and life as we know it have all changed. But now that we’re almost nine months into this global pandemic, where do we go from here? How do we prioritize? And how do we arrange our lives accordingly? Whether professionally or personally, prioritizing is critical so let’s take a look on how to get back on track.

Assess the landscape

Most likely, you kicked off 2020 with plans for the year and a few goals in mind. Now that life looks different, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions.

  • Are my goals still realistic and/or applicable?
  • Are these goals what need to be true of my life, my job, my family, etc?
  • How have my priorities shifted?
  • What do I need or want to change?

Take a step back, recognize where you are currently compared to where you thought you would be and assess the outlook.

Adjust accordingly

Once you’ve decided where you are and where you’re going, it’s time to make adjustments. Whether your goals still ring true or you need to start from scratch, it’s critical that your goals align with the vision of your company. Where you physically work and how you communicate with your team has likely changed, but the “why” and core of who you are as a company has remained steadfast even in the midst of the pandemic. Anchoring your team to the vision and your company’s unique value proposition will enable you to adapt and improve while remaining true to your brand.

Create guardrails

With your vision at the forefront, it’s crucial to create guardrails that keep you on track. While we may feel tempted by the “tyranny of the urgent,” it’s crucial to prioritize what projects and priorities are most deserving of your time and attention. And once you’ve established your marching orders, create boundaries that help you stay focused and motivated.

What worked for you prior to the pandemic may not work for you now – and that’s okay. You may need to say “no” to good things in order to say “yes” to great things. Currently, your social media strategy may not be as important as customer retention. The previous focus on events may need to shift to sales. As a leader, it’s critical to clearly define what objectives are important and what you’re going to do (or not do) to achieve them.

Be transparent 

In uncertain times, it’s impossible to be too transparent, too truthful or too visible. With curious minds constantly wondering what’s next, it’s helpful for your entire team to know exactly where you and the business stands. From financials and staffing to sales and remote work schedules, every aspect of work could be a point of anxiety for your employees. Honesty breeds trust, which contributes to a safe work environment. Whether you have clear goals to share or you’re simply communicating “work in progress” updates, every bit of transparency matters. (And for an in depth look at honesty in the workplace, check out this month’s episode of the Make Work Matter Podcast with Founder of Booster, Chris Carneal.)

If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to take a day away from the office (or house) to prioritize – especially with 2021 just around the corner. Walk through these steps and experience heightened collaboration and focus as you align your team towards updated priorities.