Tag Archives: priorities

Pick and choose the right opportunities

Erich Hartmann shot down 352 planes. He was lucky. He was on the Soviet front in WWII. The Soviet MIGs and Yaks were no match for his plane. “Paule” Rossman taught him how to carefully pick a target and then wait until everything was in his favor before attacking. Hartmann was most proud of the fact that he never lost a wingman, the plane he fought with as a partner. He contented himself with, at most, one victory per flight.  

Hartmann had all the skills of a great pilot and managed to be where he could make the most use of his skills. He also listened to his mentor. At the end of the war he was ordered to move his squadron to the western front and fight the British and Americans. He refused. He disobeyed the order. He felt it was suicide for his entire squadron.

What projects should you accept?

Assignments at work may help your career, mean very little or be useless. One major contribution of a mentor is to help you figure out your priorities. What assignments should you chase after? Which should you accept? Which should you refuse to do? 

Find a mentor or two. Ask the most successful people you know to help you choose your priorities. Successful people get successful by ignoring and refusing unimportant but urgent tasks.

How to say no without being fired

The most important word you may ever learn to say to your boss is, “No.” In work situations you may need to say, “These are the other things I am working on. Which of them shall I drop to get that done?” Don’t forget to use the critical winning phrase, “That is a critical assignment. I’ll have it done in two days if you give it to me.”

Hartmann became the greatest ace of all time by carefully choosing the targets, missions and battles he would fight. He even refused a dangerous order. He risked getting shot for disobeying. If he could pick his priorities in a split second in life and death situations, you can pick your priorities at work.

 Something to do today

List your boss’s priorities at work.

List your priorities at work.

Make a list of the things that will get you a raise or promotion the quickest.

Compare the lists.

Now find a mentor to bounce your ideas off of.

3 reasons to procrastinate in your job search

Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution.  So procrastinate now, don’t put it off. (Ellen DeGeneres)

What to learn from procrastinators

My son and daughter put off doing their summer homework.  When they only had 3 weeks to get it done there were more problems.  They also had band camp taking up 10+ hours a day. After they procrastinated the hard part of summer that long I was telling them…..

“Procrastinating can be a good thing.

“First of all, I hope you procrastinated to get important things done.  If you did, then you used your time wisely. Use this experience to learn to do first things first.  (That is very important for job hunting.)

“Second, you should be letting less important things stay undone now that you are up against a nearby deadline. Learning to NOT do good but less important things is just as important as doing “first things first.”  (Job hunters often do repetitive, less productive, easy tasks. Stop it. You don’t have to do them.)

“Third, your quality should be high now, and you should pay attention to what works and doesn’t work for shortcuts.  Now is when you learn how much research is essential, and what research is just being done to avoid the hard work. Now is when you find out you really can do a quality job in 8 concentrated hours rather than 4 full leisurely days.”  (Job hunters often research a company for hours when all they need to know is that it is in the same industry.  They do heavy research so they can make less phone calls and send less resumes, which is more painful than surfing the internet.)

Think about all the schoolwork, studying, and commercial work you have procrastinated and gotten done at the last minute.  How much time did you save by having your back to the wall?  How many tasks that were more important have you gotten done?  What tasks just disappeared with time?

Now apply those lessons to job hunting.  Give yourself tight deadlines to get tasks done.  Instead of procrastinating, give yourself too little time to get tasks done, then fit them in the time you have given yourself.  Learn from the times you procrastinated.

Something To Do Today

Be your own boss.  Set a goal for how many companies you will call today.  That is a high priority job search activity.  How many resumes will you send out on ads?  How many resumes to companies in your industry or geography?

Learn from your prior procrastination.


Later:                   More procrastination