By RDBA Executive Director, Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
I always enjoy hearing from RDBA members, and in a recent conversation with a corporate dietitian, she mentioned the struggles of work prioritization. Dietitians are wired to check things off a list each day, and in many RD roles, you can accomplish this task. But in retail, it’s simply not possible. You can enter the office in the morning with a clear plan and leave that day having accomplished nothing on your original list due to new prioritizes or challenges that arise.
So what’s the retail RD to do? Work prioritization is crucially important for dietitians in this space as they are meeting the needs of internal and external clients, covering all topics of nutrition, managing teams, and setting strategies for nutrition services and programs.
Work prioritization begins with an assessment of the type of work you’re currently doing. Many times, 80% of the work we do contributes to less than 20% of overall value to the company. It’s urgent, but not always important. It’s easy to tick off the “to do” list, so often it gets prioritized over more valuable work or bigger projects. Consider these four types of work:
As a starting point to strengthening your work prioritization skills, take the next week to keep a log of your workload. Track how long various projects take and assign them to one of the four categories above. Track the number of times you’re interrupted by calls, someone stopping by your desk to socialize, or an email alert. At the end of the week, tally the results and assign percentages to where you are spending your time based on the four categories of work above.
Then come back next week to the RDBA e-newsletter for Part 2 in this series, focused on tips for shifting priorities to important work and focusing on projects that matter to the company and position you as a highly effective contributor.