Do you ever feel overwhelmed with things to do? Is it hard to figure out what to do next?
In our culture it is very hard to know when we are supposed to focus on anyone thing because all of life has become a series of double tasking moments. But at some point we are not sure that in our business the most important things are getting done. How can we overcome this feeling of being flooded by unending tasks and yet not fulfilled in what we accomplish?
To prioritize is to put first things first. But how do we determine what are the first things we should do today? Here’s the process in summary.
1. Each day set your first priority to be to find your priorities
2. List the things you need or want to do today
3. Separate the list into two columns
a. Urgent – Must be done today or within a week or there will be serious problems. Put the things that have to be done at the top of this list and this should be organized by the date things are due. Put a number by each item. 1 for most urgent to 10 for least urgent.
b. Not Urgent – Does not have to be done today or within a week without serious problems
4. Now mark each item on the list as;
a. Important – Something I highly value and want to happen in my life. I see this as critical for my success and/or health. This can include spiritual, emotional, social or intellectual activities. If you value it then it is important. List these from 1 for most important and 10 for least important.
b. Not Important – Something that adds little or nothing to your success. Something that is being pushed on you by others but that you have no interest in doing. Of little or no value to you.
5. Now add each item that is has important or urgent by it. The lower the score the higher the priority.
6. Now find a specific time in your day that has not already been committed to by an appointment (which you should determine are priorities before agreeing to have them in your schedule).
Give a reasonable time to each activity. Unless you are willing to commit time you are not really making any activity a priority. Our use of our time tells us what our practical priorities are in our lives.
7. Review your day before you go to bed.
What are you happy you did? What are you sad you invested time into? What needs to be done the next day?
If you follow these seven steps every day then you will never be in doubt to what your priorities are day by day.
You may want to once a year take a day to think about your life plan and the strategic priorities of your life. This “bigger picture” can help us know what should be on our monthly, weekly, and daily list.
Decide now to invest your life in what matters most!
Here are some resources that I have found helpful