When everything is a priority

There was a time when learning css one of my friends told me a clever hack, use the ‘!important’ flag which will override all the other precedences. It was a boon for me when deadline was screaming down at me, for any css issue when I used the priority override and bam the bug was fixed. My joy was short lived, I was creating havoc in the css code and tough debug issues within a few days that I had to revert all the flags I had used and spend time fixing it properly. A big lesson learnt that stays with me, never abuse powerful tools.

I meet some managers who employ this trick in their day to day life. They take pride in answering questions like ‘When do you want this done?’ as ‘YESTERDAY’ and follow with a grin. The communication is limited to only deadlines and urgency, not the intent of what the task or the project is supposed to do. These people are high up in the power chain and use their coercive power to get things done.

What they don’t realise is the amount of things that pile up as priority items and how when everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. There is only so much that can be done with the amount of time and money in hand; with that judicial balance of outcome and effort gives a great returns compared to a series of high priority and urgent tasks that are done for the sake of being done.

I liked what I read at this link https://basecamp.com/books/calm

Great projects and products can get going with sane pace and working style. Don’t misuse the priority tag.

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