You’ve got a million and one things to do, both professionally and personally. Many of them feel urgent, even vital…but are they?
Of course NOT.
That’s why you need to prioritize your tasks, put them into a To-Do list, and work through them in order. If you don’t, you’ll end up going through your To-Do list in an inefficient way or maybe even doing work that only feels urgent , but really shouldn’t be that high on the priority list.
Here’s a few examples:
Example #1: Will the world come to a screeching halt if you don’t make your bed today? Nope. So you may consider that a lower priority as opposed to some of your professional activities like getting to work on time or answering emails from clients.
Example #2: Your friend asks you to do something for them, and they make it sound pretty urgent. Of course it’s urgent… to him. Bottom line; you have your OWN urgent To-Do list to attend to. If you spend all your time helping others with their To-Do lists, you’ll never get yours done. Sometimes it’s difficult to put our own needs in front of others, but you need to.
Some tasks will be fairly easy to prioritize.
Example: If you have kids, then getting them off to school and getting them to their activities will obviously be high on your priority list. This is especially true if you tend to put family ahead of other priorities and goals.
Some task are a little harder to prioritize.
Example: You are faced with two personal goals, but limited time during the day to work on them. Which goal should you tackle first? It’s easier than you think. The key is to first sit down and figure out what you want in life. What goals are most important to you? Go ahead, make a list of everything you want in life and then rank them in order of importance. Once you’ve done that, create plans (blueprints) as to how you’ll achieve those goals.
Whenever you’re trying to figure out how to prioritize a task, ask yourself this question, “Does this task put me a step closer to reaching my goals?”
If not, put the task as a low priority. If it DOES put you a step closer to your goals, then figure out which goal it puts you closer to.
If the task puts you closer to your #1 goal, then that particular task should be a high priority. If the particular task puts you closer to a goal that’s ranked lower on your list, than the priority level should also be lower.
Let me give you a “pretend” example to show you what I mean:
Goals (in order of importance):
#1: Land a part in my local theater production.
#2: Learn to play guitar
#3: Write my memoirs
Overall To Do List (ranked from high priority to low priority):
- Take acting lessons (helps achieve goal #1)
- Audition for suitable roles (helps achieve goal #1)
- Find a good guitar teacher (helps achieve goal #2)
- Start taking weekly guitar lessons (helps achieve goal #2)
- Outline my memoir book (helps achieve goal #3)
- Write my book (helps achieve goal #3)
See how it all becomes clear? Take the time and break overwhelming tasks and goals into a smaller and more manageable format like above. Tap into the Power of Prioritizing and make the most of the time you have.