Some people do not have a plan for the day or week, nor do they assign priorities. The result is shambles, things not done or not done in time, unhappy partners, family members  or clients etc. To have good intentions to do everything will end in disaster. Intentions are good, setting priorities is a lot better!

I’ve recently posted about goal setting and perfection. Both these disciplines come into play when setting the right priorities:

It’s not clever to plan the entire day or week and have every hour filled. If you do this you’ll start to overload and get into a pressure situation. Therefore when you do your “To Do” List, keep as much time as possible open, at least one third of a day should not be filled. Keep unassigned time for family, friends and yourself!

Take your Goals List and break it down into activities, add the dayly recurring activities and then look at the list again:

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this task need to be done immediately, is it urgent?
  • Is this task important?
  • Is this urgent AND important?
  • Is this task NOT important and NOT urgent?

Now order the tasks accordingly:

  • URGENT AND IMPORTANT: Do these tasks first.
  • IMPORTANT: Do these tasks next.

Eliminate the ‘not important’ tasks. They are time wasters and don’t bring you one step towards your goals. The 80 / 20 rules applies here too: Only 20% of all tasks are urgent and important. The other 80% don’t help you reach your goals!

It will take a bit of getting used to not doing everything you have on your initial list. But you’ll get better at this as you learn to select and judge what is really important to you. I can’t and don’t want to give examples here, because every person has his/her own priorities and goals. You’ll make mistakes at occasion, but that’s fine! We all make mistakes. So don’t let these mistakes stop you from making your “To Do” Lis.

Here’s an audiobook that might help you setting your own priorites better:

All of us are looking for practical ways to take control of our lives, whether in our personal relationships, our families, our work, our health, or our future plans. Daily challenges have a way of overwhelming us, making life harder than it needs to be. The good news is that the answers are out there. And they are Easier Than You Think: In the audiobook ‘Easier Than You Think’ Richard Carlson, Ph.D. tells you how to juggle the tasks without dropping the important ones.

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