The Significance Filter

In a world with a billion things that need your attention, today more than ever it’s important that leaders possess the skills to prioritize their work.

I have a tool for you that I use in my office that I want to share with you. I call it: the SIGNIFANCE FILTER.

signifI created this filter because I found out that I was doing things just to do them, without knowing WHY I was doing them or the value that they were creating for my organization.

In fact, right next to my desk I have 3 huge (4 door) filing cabinets filled with stuff. The problem is…I spent hours if not days worrying about filing all of this stuff away.

The next question I asked myself was…how often do I actually consult, review, or need the stuff I am filing? My answer: rarely to never.

So this begs the question…why I am spending all of this valuable time filing if I never need to access this stuff?

This one example led me to start looking at other parts of my life and the behaviors that I had come accustom to just “doing for no reason whatsoever.”

To break patterns and bad habits, I formed the Significance Filter.

The Issue/Project at Hand:
Give your project a name that you can file/organize/find when you need to.

My Ideal Outcome is:
Describe in detail the ideal outcome you hope to achieve by doing the work, project, or task.

It’s Significant Because:
Describe why it’s important that you invest time or energy in this project.

Relevant Background Information:
Explain the “nuts and bolts” of how the project came about, what tools resources are needed to complete it, and important contact information related to the project.

My options are:
What are the choices or decisions at hand?

Help I need from Others:
Is there anyone that you should get advice or knowledge from related to the project before you proceed or make a decision?

Goal/Deadline for Completion:
What milestones, goals and objectives do you have for this project?

By using the Significance Filter, you will find that you are spending your time on only the most important things at hand or like in my example of all of the filing I was doing…

You will now start to throw more away and have much more focus, clarity and happiness in your life and the people that you work with.

Have a great Friday and I hope that you find this tool helpful!

Jason Duff

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