To be a tech leader, rather than just a manager, you have to set clear priorities. There are two ways to do this and they apply in different situations.
In the past year I’ve been trying to get my system for productivity and organization done. I have read and re-read Getting Things Done and things are slowly coming together. As I mention in a previous post, I’m using ZenDone for the list of next actions and the contexts that I can do those next actions, and I’ve been using Evernote for storing all sorts of notes and more details on the things I have to get done and for organizing projects.
[Update: 17 November 2018. I started to use Todoist in the past year to keep track of project to-dos. What I like is that it can show all TODO items scheduled for today, and it has another view showing all TODO items for the next seven days, so there’s a good agenda view.]
However, I’ve been missing something: a list of priorities for the day. This is different from a list of next actions and from calendar events; you may have to do some chores today but they aren’t a priority, you might have to go to three meetings but only one of those meetings is a priority.
The list of priorities for the day is an idea inspired by the book The One Thing. It proposes that we have to discover the one thing in life that we want to do and align everything around that. Ideally all of your priorities will be related to and aligned with the one thing that gives your life purpose and meaning.