The Ninja Credo

Hello my faithful readers,

Productive people know how to prioritize.  Are you one of them?  If you are productive, then you must know not to confuse activity with progress.  It’s not about being busy.  It’s about what you’re busy doing.  Ninjas know how to prioritize – they know what to do when they are have multiple “projects”.

When facing many warriors, subdue the closest attacker first.

Of course, I know nothing about the real world of ninjas, but you get the point.  In the real world of executive coaching, my clients face multiple “attackers” each day.   In our business and personal lives, we are often required to make tough choices regarding what we devote our time to.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Dr. Stephen Covey

The point that Dr. Covey makes is enormously important.  Don’t just start with a list of things to do!  Start with a list of your highest goals, the most important things in your world.  I start with Faith, Love, Family, Fitness, Business, Finances, Personal Development and Fun – the eight “big rocks” of my life.  If a demand doesn’t relate to one of the big rocks, I am devoting NO time to it.

While there are several effective methods for prioritizing a given day or week, I will describe a simple yet effective method that I have used for years:  the CAT method.

Criticality:  How important is this task to my overall goals and purpose?

Actionability:   Do I have the information and resources necessary to complete the task?

Time: How much time will it take?  What is the deadline?  Do I have enough time today to make adequate progress on this task?

On a 1-10 scale, I rate each of the tasks  on each of these characteristics.  I then rearrange the list from highest (30 points) to lowest (3 points) and put them into my schedule in that order.  When I run out of time in my schedule, I stop.  Any task that did not make the cut, simply does not get done.  I am at complete peace with this, because I started with my priorities.   This technique has proven to be enormously valuable in creating a plan to maximize the productivity of a given time period.  Try it and let me know how it works.  If you have a method that works for you, please share a comment below.  However you achieve it, I wish you peace and productivity.

All the best,


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By the way, I don’t charge extra for typos.  They are my gift to you.  :-)

About eddecosta

Business and Executive Coach
This entry was posted in Business Coaching, Just Silly, Leadership, Productivity, Professional-Personal Balance, Self-Mastery, Success. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Ninja Credo

  1. Amy Wells says:

    Thank you for this guideline, I need it! I must work on not being disgusted with myself, for not doing a task that needed to be done, but was not at the top of my list.

    Thank you for thsi post!

  2. Tracy Miller says:

    Found your blog and am now enjoying past entries. Ninja Credo was just my “Windshield Lesson of the day” via my office monitor! Thanks Ed!

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