Nothing Gets Done When Everything Is Important

Nothing Gets Done When Everything Is Important

“If you don’t zero in a core set of priorities, nothing ever gets done because everything is too important.” Former US national chief information officer Vivek Kundra made that point on his recent trip to Australia. It applies to national IT infrastructure decisions, but it also applies to something as simple as your to-do list.

Picture by Erik Charlton

It’s a point we often make at Lifehacker, but it’s always worth reinforcing: a big part of the point of making a to-do list is working out what actually matters. No one person can do everything. Some tasks can be delegated; some, inevitably, have to go by the wayside. Determining what goes in which category matters much more than simply outlining everything you would get down in a world of unlimited resources. We do not live in that world.


  • At a course for Agile project management last week, this gem was used “When everything is important, nothing is important”.
    It highlighted the consequences of senior managers not deciding priorities. The consequence isn’t that the project team makes up the priorities, it is that other work with more clearly defined priorities would get done instead.

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