Typically when our workload increases or timelines shorten, we can easily become overwhelmed and stressed.  The ability to prioritize becomes clouded and we run in circles, performing a little bit on each, but never get any single priority complete.

Over the past few years, I’ve spent many weeks with former Navy Seals.    Regardless of the situation, or location, when they go in to survival mode it’s simple:  1) Air, you can only live 3 minutes without it   2) Shelter, you can die of hyperthermia within hours  3) Water, need it within 3 days   4) Food,  typically 10 – 15 days.

Think of how a simple set of rules could be applied to our workload.   Here are some thoughts I’ve effectively used in the past with the foundation that safety is a precondition for everything.   1) Legally required/ethical – Do the stuff that keep us legal   2) Produce the product, ship it, and collect the money,   3) Re-prioritize the rest based on  the value it creates for the customer, company and shareowner.  If it doesn’t pass this step then it shouldn’t be done.

What are your three questions for productivity?