As we continue on our journey of trying to stop responding and start being proactive. Last week we talked in more depth about how values play a part and today we will expand on how setting your priorities can make a huge difference.
This week let’s talk about the same three questions we had last week related to values. Why are they important, how do we set them, and where do they come into play with organization?
Why Priorities are so Important
In a similar realm of values, lay our priorities. Priorities are defined as the things regarded more important than others. Also like values, we can say something is a priority, but our actions dictate that something completely different is actually a priority for us.
When we do not set our priorities, most usually we just let the next most urgent thing take precedence. We constantly end up doing stuff for other people, instead of items we need to get done. Or we focus on the wrong things and the forward progress we hope to make is minimal or non-existent.
If we have our priorities in place we can make better more efficient decisions on where and what to give our time, money, attention and energy to. We can know when to put those urgent (but not necessarily important) tasks on the back burner, or pass them off to someone else who is equally capable or available to handle them.
We can have different priorities for different areas of our lives, as well as over arching priorities for our life in general. It is a great idea to set your priorities for the day, month, year. Deciding what is most important things in your life, business, home, etc can help you better achieve your goals.
Your priorities are your map.
How Do We Set Our Priorities
Generally, when we go about setting our priorities, especially those things for our overarching life, we must look to our value systems. What are they most important ideologies for you, your business, your family, etc?
One of my favorite, although slightly scary and taxing, exercises to assist in this process is all about discovering what exactly is it that you do all day. What are your responsibilities, tasks, and activities that you are a part of every day, week, month, year? Here is a little guide to the process.
Once you have taken the time to truly examine your life and all of the things that keep you busy, you can start evaluating which ones you like or don’t, what is important or not, and which ones take up the majority of your time. The interesting fact that most of us discover is we often end up spending way too much time on the things we do not enjoy or that are not important (or both!). This is a sad realization, but the sooner you can figure it out, the quicker you can change it.
I am pretty sure most of you understand what I mean by things that are fun, but what exactly do I mean by important. When we talk about things that are important, we are basing them off of our values systems. Does this activity take my life, job, home, etc in the direction I am looking to move? If not, why are you spending 10 hours a week on it? If not why do you do it every day? Something can absolutely not be fun, but be vitally important to getting you where you want to go.
There is a-whole-nother system I talk about in our Foundations to Getting Organized Program about what to do with those things, but for now, let’s just consider them a priority. The great thing is that a lot of the time the things that we find fun can be set as a priority.
Knowing what your values are, what your goals are, and who you want and need most in your life help you get there are the beginning steps to understanding and setting your priorities — keeping all of those things and people in mind.
Where do Priorities come into Play with Organization
When we understand our priorities and have consciously set them for our life, day, month, etc. things flow smoother. Like with having our values set in place we can make better, quicker decisions. We can avoid those distractions from other “urgent matters”. We know what issues to push off, delegate, or completely ignore.
For me, making a difference in my community is a huge priority for me. So if someone has a need I can assist with, a question I can answer, or just needs some of my time I am all for giving in any way I can. I do this because I know at the end of the day my helping, giving, sharing, etc could make someone’s day go from awful to great, could put a smile on someone’s face, and could even change the entire direction of someone’s life.
I would love to talk with you if you have any questions about priorities or setting them. Please feel free to share what your priorities are, struggles you have had maintaining them, or anything of the like.