Updated: Jan 28
Most of us have struggled with balancing priorities at different stages of our lives. It is almost like an expected challenge we need to prepare to face when we entered adulthood. We often find ourselves debating over which activity takes precedence in our daily lives. For example, we have a hard time choosing between work expectations, family responsibilities, personal care like going to the gym, group/social expectations like networking, and spiritual devotion if time allows. It is in our best interest to become proficient in the art of properly managing priorities to achieve our goals.
The first step in mastering this art is to define what are our priorities in life. The meaning will vary from person to person; however, the techniques to manage our priorities tend to be universal and are not bound by language, territories, or any other limitations.
Consider the following recommendations to improve your priority management skills. They are designed in a way that you can relate to with a simple structure and are applicable to any audience.
Ten Tips to Manage Priorities
Create a list. Document what needs to be done, otherwise, run the risk of having too much on your mind.
Categorize To-Dos. Work smart, not hard. Realize that not all the activities on the to-do list are mission-critical. Separate them between Must be done, Can be done, Good to do, Can wait.
Be realistic. Assess what needs to be done and identify what can be done and what needs to be postponed.
Assess the impact. When deciding to take on a task/challenge, visualize how will the current status quo change when the task is completed. Focus on high results endeavors.
Evaluate cost-benefit. Since our time is limited and our pending list of things to do is not, make sure to identify input and output. The outcome must outweigh the efforts. If the overall result is not significantly positive, update the category.
Take ownership. When you decide to complete a task and go after a goal, devote your full attention to the task at hand.
Manage distractions. Be on the lookout for people, places, or things that will attempt to pause your focus. Be prepared to tune them out.
Prepare for the unexpected. Never underestimate the last-minute changes. Instead, plan for your priorities to change mid-stream. When it happens, activate plan B.
Establish checkpoints. Make sure to create periodic pit stops to review progress made towards goals and evaluate if the expectations need to be calibrated.
Celebrate little wins. Step by step you can finish the marathon. Rather than overlooking small successes, celebrate them. Use them as fuel to continue thru the journey.
We should be able to find time to do what is important in our lives. As long as we plan and organize our routine, remove unnecessary baggage, and stay focused, we will reach our destination and enjoy the accomplishments along the way.
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