I’m sure you like me and have many interests. Unfortunately on a typical day if I did everything that I wanted to I would spread myself too thin and I would not be able to achieve anything.
Although I am by no means and expert, I thought it would be beneficial for me both to learn about and write the best way of prioritizing in this blog post. I hope that you find it useful too!
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
In order to know what you need to do you must classify all of your activities into some lists.
Your Core Activities.
The first list that you right down should be the most important things in your life at that moment. Any activity or action that is at the centre of what you want and what you are as a person. Some examples of this could be spending time with your friends, a job promotion, a new business project, reading or travelling to name but a few.
Remember that things that are part of your personal growth plan are also important parts of your ‘Core Must-Haves’ as they will make you the person you want to become. Examples could be including new skills, perhaps learning a language or learning management skills.
These are the activities within your life that deserve your full focus and the most use of your time.
Your Distractions and Clutter
Next write down a list of things that you do to procrastinate. For example, what do you do if you want to put off tidying or bedroom or cleaning the kitchen? Your distractions waste your time and it is really important to realise what they are and stamp them out. For me the three biggest distractions are the television (particularly if there’s sport on the TV), social media and also surfing the Internet in general.
Just for fun, write down now how much time you spent on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Surfing the net and watching a television show that you didn’t know was on before you turned the TV on. I guarantee you’ll be surprised.
In order to help you write out your Distractions and Clutter list try to answer the following?
- What are the activities that you do purely out of habit even though you don’t enjoy them much?
- What are the things you end up doing because you feel you “should,” even though they are not important to you? (Maybe you’ve been brought up to do them, or peer pressure “compels” you do these things.)
Make sure you write down everything on this list and review it from time to time to ensure that you’re not wasting your time.
Your Weekly Plan
Now that you have your activities clearly classified into 3 lists you need to try to fit all of your Core Activities and as many of your indulgences into your weekly plan.
Write down every hour of your week and plan what you can do in the time you have available.
Track and Adjust
Now that you have your weekly plan, follow it as much as you can during a typical week. At the end of the week have a look back at what you actually did and compare it to the plan.
- Evaluate what you did.
- Did you stick closely to your plan?
- Did you get distracted more than you hoped? If so, what was it doing?
- Did you manage to spend less time than you thought on your core activities?
Your answers to these questions will help you understand how to adjust your weekly plan and plan once again for the following week, often with more success.
Also, over time you may discover that items within your Core List or your Indulgences List are no longer important or fulfilling to you. If that’s the case just take them off the list and re-plan your week.
By re-adjusting your core activities you will learn more about yourself, your interests and what motivates you as a person.
Perspective gives us the ability to accurately contrast the large with the small, and the important with the less important. Without it we are lost in a world where all ideas, news, and information look the same. We cannot differentiate, we cannot prioritize, and we cannot make good choices.
This blog post could easily be summarised into a small, simple paragraph:
Spend a bit of time each week thinking about what activities make you the most fulfilled and happy then plan how you can do it in the most effective way!