Your team has been submitting Check-ins. You're getting valuable insights on how they're spending time at work and how they're doing week after week. Now you're curious about how to get the most out of the Priorities feature. You may be asking yourself, "How are Priorities different than Objectives?" Also, you want to know which tasks should be regularly included as a priority.
When to use Priorities vs Objectives
Objectives are great for larger, longer-term, aspirational goals. They paint the bigger picture of the goal you are trying to achieve, including specific key results that act as your deliverables along the way. We all know that there is a ton of work that goes into each key result. Key results don't always reflect the day to day work involved. Usually a key result will have a whole list of tasks that must be done in order to complete that one deliverable. This list of tasks is full of great candidates for the Priorities section of your Check-in.
Priorities help structure your work week/month. Priorities on your Check-in can be rearranged to display the most important tasks at the top. Priorities can also include the day of the week that you want to get the task done, in the priority field itself. These two ideas allow the Priorities section to double as a task management tool, without the clunkiness of a task management tool.
While science does suggest that having only three priorities per week leads to higher focus (aka "do less, then obsess"), we know that at times there are more than three tasks on our radar. If you have more than three priorities, it may be helpful to put an asterisk or two (**This is priority #1) before your top three priorities, denoting these are the three that you must get done before all the rest.
Use cases for Priorities:
- Weekly routine tasks
- "The fresh start effect” and flexible priorities
- Task management/Daily self-assignments
1️⃣ Weekly routine tasks
Let's say you have a recurring weekly task. You want to use your Check-in as a reminder to complete that task and then show that the task is done. This is a perfect use case for Priorities. From your Check-in, you can mark the priority as complete, use the cycle option to repeat the priority on your next Check-in, and submit. Meaning the priority was completed on the current Check-in and will also appear on the next Check-in. (Notice how "Pull weekly board report and numbers" is a past priority and is also a priority for the next Check-in period.)
2️⃣ The "fresh start effect” and flexible priorities
According to the fresh-start effect, people are more likely to take action towards a goal after temporal landmarks that represent new beginnings. "Examples of landmarks that trigger the fresh-start effect include the start of a new week, month, year, school semester, or birthday."
You can take advantage of the fresh start effect by taking advantage of flexible priorities after your Check-in was initially due and submitted. Let's say your Check-ins are due weekly on Fridays. Fridays are common due days because it allows reporters to look back and celebrate wins for the week. With the fresh-start effect in mind, you would continue to report on Fridays, but would revisit your current Check-in on Monday and add/edit/update priorities for the week.
At this time Check-ins require at least one priority in order for you to submit, but that priority can always be edited or removed after initial check-in submission.
See more information on how to set and edit your priorities in this article.
3️⃣ Task management & daily self-assignments
Priorities can be used to document all the little tasks you have to do/have done during a busy work week. If you are feeling slightly worried that you may forget everything that you need to do or just want to document everything you accomplished during the week- use Priorities!
You can list your priorities day-by-day to make sure you are focusing on only one task per day. "Do less, then obsess" is a saying we are fond of around here. The alternative is seeing a big list, not knowing what to focus on, and then feeling overwhelmed. Organizing your priorities by day is a great way to avoid decision fatigue.
Again, if you have more than three it may be helpful to put an asterisk or two (**This is priority #1) before your top three priorities, denoting these are the three that you must get done before all the rest.
Have a scenario regarding Priorities and need some additional help? Reach out to our Support Team.