When Everything is Priority #1

What didn’t you get done last week? Or yesterday? Did you skip your workout? Maybe you didn’t work on your side business. Or perhaps you didn’t spend as much time as you intended with your kids.

Something came up. Work was crazy. You had money on the playoff games on Sunday and you wanted to know if your wallet was going to end up heavier or lighter. Maybe you were going to “just take care of this one thing because it only takes a minute” and it distracted you from the moment you were in.

I did some of that last week.

I’m sure lots of people did.

My laundry didn’t all get done. It wasn’t a priority because I had other things to do and sufficient clean clothes. I got distracted instead of staying present and accidentally hurt someone’s feelings. I skipped my workout because I didn’t feel well.

I was running too fast and multitasking too much and still behind on what seemed like everything. It was tiring and frustrating and I just wanted a nap.

Then I asked myself where my priorities were. I didn’t write more because I didn’t make it a priority. I didn’t exercise because taking care of my long term health wasn’t important enough to me. It was uncomfortable to say, but deep down I knew it was also true.

How to change that script?

I made a list of everything on my plate right now. Work. Planning a wedding. Packing to move. Preparing to sell my house. Writing ideas. Business ideas. Skills I want to learn. All of it got written down.

For everything I wrote I asked myself if it was critical to do right now or if I valued something else on the list more. Now I know my top five things that are important at the moment. If my options are work on one of my top five things or work on something else, top five wins.

That being said I have an appointment to check in with myself in a few months to see where my priorities are again. Some things on the list will drop off for sure and leave room for something else to become a priority.

In the mean time I can now forgive myself for not learning that new skill. It’s not top five for now, but later it might be. For now I’ll do what matters most and leave the rest for when my priorities shift.

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4 thoughts on “When Everything is Priority #1

  1. A story I once heard related to the above (I think it was from Derek Sivers):

    There was a donkey, standing between two buckets. One is filled with hay, the other with water. The donkey looks to the hay, then back to the water. He can’t decide which one to go for.

    Hay, water, hay, water…

    Eventually, the donkey drops dead of both thirst and starvation.

    The point is to not be a donkey. We act as if our time is gonna be up within the next few days, trying to cram everything in and take on board fifty billion different things at once. But if we can just prioritize, pick one thing, do it really well and then move onto the next thing, we might find that we’re a little less stressed, and a little more fulfilled πŸ™‚

    Loving the content – keep up the great work πŸ™‚

    PS – On a somewhat related note, I’m on the hunt for feedback for my new show The HERO Podcast! It’s all about developing healthy habits and creating the life you want to live. You can check it out (and maybe leave a short review if you like) here: http://apple.co/2jVtPQw

  2. Thank you for this! Prioritizing would not only help my time management, but also minimize guilt for not doing “important” things…. Things that just might need to wait a bit!

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