Thursday, March 28, 2013

When Life Hands You a Curve Ball - 7 Questions to Prioritize Unplanned Projects and Events

We've discussed goal setting, but what do you do when you are hyper-focused on one goal and life hands you a curve ball.  The theory behind the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator says that some people can easily flex into the new priority (those with a Perceiving Preference) and some can easily stay focused on the original goal (those with a Judging Preference).  In Type Development, we want to learn to utilize the skills under either preference as the situation demands.  But how do you distinguish your preferred response and the response required by the situation?

Ask yourself these questions to help you decide which path to take.

1.  Is the "curve ball" situation time sensitive?
2.  Is the original goal time sensitive?
3.  Do you have to choose one or the other or can you rearrange your timeline to accommodate both in a reasonable manner?
4.  Which one should logically come first?
5.  How will individuals around you be affected if you choose one over the other?
6.  Which of your core values will be served by choosing one over the other?
7.  Which of your core values will be compromised by choosing one over the other?

When you have thought through all the questions, think about how you would prioritize each question. Is it more important to focus on the logical arguments, how those around you are affected, the time sensitivity of the projects, or the core value implications?  It is okay to give one question more weight than another, but really think about why you are giving it more weight and own the fact that you are (don't try to rationalize a values-based decision, admit it is a values-based decision).

How often do you have to juggle competing priorities and intervening life events?  What do you do to keep yourself moving forward on your long-term plan while capitalizing on unexpected opportunities and responding to life's emotional moments?