Priorities - Do you complete work in order of importance (aka priorities)?
With a mountain of emails, it is difficult to make sure the most important tasks get done first. You want to keep your clients happy while still removing roadblocks for others.
The word "Urgent" is more important than the word "Important"
This is the order which you should work:
- Urgent emails - emails with "URGENT" in the subject e.g. URGENT - the website is down
- Emails about timesheets or invoicing issues
- Your calendar - keep your calendar up-to-date,so people know where you are
- Your existing clients - e.g. Normal planned client work and client administration (preferably working on a sprint backlog and Daily Scrums)
- Other client work - Ask others if you can help with their client work
- Prospective clients - project management, answering questions and setting up meetings
Internal - all of the following might have their priorities ordered by the Daily Scrum
- Quick Important emails to 0 (emails with an important flag < 1 hour and not something that can go into a release plan)
- Incomplete Sprints. E.g. Normal planned internal work
- Important emails to 0
- Help others get their important emails to 0
- Get your inbox to 0
- Ping others to see if they need help completing their Sprint
- Phew... Done...
- Don't move an important task out of your inbox unless someone else is going to do it right away.
- You can use inbox subfolders to group and prioritize tasks
Also, it's common that priority orders change, but clients don't always mean to, so double check that the client means this.
When someone is asking you to do a new task, and you are still working on some other task, you should ask:
"Are you changing the priority order? Do you want this new task done before the current task I'm working on, which is xxx."
Figure: Confirm with the client "Are you changing the prior order?"