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Using Neapolitan Slice to Help Balancing Daily Priorities

We all have a lot on our plate - therefore managing daily priorities is key.

Nevertheless, I often see clients struggling between the anticipation of crucial long-term projects and the expedition of urgent tasks piling up as soon as they start their work day (or even before). As you can imagine, short-term wins over long-term more often than they would like to.

One common management tip is to define priority tasks that “have the most impact” (80/20 rule: what are the 20% tasks that would ensure 80% effectiveness). This is clearly helpful, but does not temper the temptation to focus on the (very) short-term.

I wanted to share with you a simple tool that I have tried for myself over the last months, which I nicknamed “Neapolitan slice”. Its principle is to start the day with only three priorities, picked from different times perspectives: immediate future, short-term, mid-/long-term.

The below illustration speaks for itself (click to enlarge).

Neapolitan slice

One could probably argue that there are many more top priorities in today’s/tomorrow’s deadline, and that only what comes on top of the pile matters. That may be right for some days, but if you face such situation every single day, then there must be something wrong: stepping back frequently - even a few minutes- and looking at the future is not only a quality for a leader. It is one of its definitions.

So, even though the tool may be inadequate on certain days, it has the merit to remind that we often must reassess our focus of priorities – every day. Why not try it tomorrow before switching on your computer?

About the author

portraitsmallDavid Colliquet is coach, consultant and trainer in project management. He accompanies project management professionals to develop their leadership, their performance and their intercultural skills.
He is founder of Coda Coach and co-creator of the platform, as well as co-author of “Alice au Pays des Projets” (Alice in Project Land, AFNOR Publishing)

 Credits : Title picture by Annie Spratt on Unsplash