The thing about priorities

The thing about priorities

April 22, 2014 - 6:18 am

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

Covey is a pretty smart dude.

The secret, though, is figuring out what your priorities are vs. not-priorities or someone else’s priorities.

And then when you throw in personal, professional, family, and community priorities, suddenly it really does seem as if there aren’t enough hours in your day, right?

This is where I’d like to help provide some clarity. These handy questions get to the root of your confusion and help banish your overwhelm. Try them out today!

* Is this a “nice to know” or a “need to know?”
* Are you doing this thing out of obligation?
* Is this the best and highest use of your time?
* If you didn’t “have to” do this, what would you do instead?
* Can someone else start this, keep it going, or finish it?
* Does this activity bring energy into your body (even if it’s uncomfortable and challenging) or does it drain the energy out of your body, making you feel like a mushy, overcooked piece of fettuccini noodle?
* If you suddenly had a free hour, is this how you would spend it?

Another smart dude named Charles Gilkey said, “Remember, if you have too many priorities, it means you really have none.”

Stop and think about that for a second.

If you have too many priorities (because nearly everything is a priority) then you really have none.

It comes down to making choices. Conscious choices about how and where you’ll spend your precious – and limited – time, energy, and money.

You over-stuff your life, your house, your calendar, and your To Do lists. It’s normal, right? Gotta capitalize on every minute. Be productive. Contribute.

Stop doing that.

Choose to be discerning and wildly protective of your time and energy instead.

You have the choice and the brains and the means to get clear on your priorities. And if you don’t know where to start, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking a boss, partner, peer, or even me to help.

The act of choosing priorities that are meaningful to you and your organization can feel like work. The funny thing is, once you’ve chosen, you’ll be way more productive, contribute more meaningfully, and be a helluva lot happier, too!

Make some room,

Angie Mattson

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