Do you know what priorities look like? Do you struggle to make decisions sometimes? Or do you feel confused while saying yes or no to any request? Or do you find it hard to get things done because everything feels important? Well, if you’ve silently said yes in your head, it means you probably have no clear picture about the priorities of your life.
Your priorities in life literally impact everything, every decision you take or every move you make. It’s your priorities which shape up your actions, decisions, how you spend your time or the type of behavior that you’re willing to tolerate from others. Without clear priorities, it’s quite herculean to manage your time and make progress in different spheres of life.
Once you’re clear about your priorities, you’d be able to move forward easily and accomplish your goals by making better and quicker decisions that guide your life choices. So just in case, if you’re struggling to define your top priorities, this blog post is for you. In this blog post, I’m sharing a quick exercise that will help you to get a clear picture about what’s important and what’s not.
WHAT ARE PRIORITIES?
Well, a priority is an interest, concern or desire that comes before everything.
It’s very normal to get confused with the thought of putting your time and energy into something. And sometimes, we feel like doing almost everything and end up feeling exhausted and unproductive. So, priorities help to focus on that areas of our lives which are important and meaningful to us. They’re usually the goals, activities, practices or relationships where we want to put the genuine efforts and time.
Rather than feeling like everything is significant, priorities help you to choose what to focus first on. When I figured out my top priorities, I realized that I don’t have to do everything. And it ultimately helped me to become more disciplined. Now when I have to say NO for something, I don’t have to think twice because I know what my priorities are at this moment. And also, I have become wiser with my time and energy.
Read this post if you find it hard to say NO.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOALS AND PRIORITIES
A friend once reached out to me and asked how can he identify his goals and priorities.
Well, I believe goals are the tangible milestones that you’re trying to achieve while priorities, on the other hand, are the things you need to say yes or no to in order to reach that goal. Priorities are the little habits which brings you closer to your goal every day.
WHY YOU NEED TO DEFINE IT
Remember, clearly defined priorities help you to set and stick to boundaries.
Well, my goal every single day is to have mental clarity. When I see confusions taking the charge, I get stuck in my head and find it difficult to make decisions. I don’t like to feel the anxiety wondering whether I’m making the right choices or not. I want to be confident about my decisions. Though I used to find it very difficult to say no, but being crystal clear on my priorities has made it easier. And this is why, I think priorities are so important.
PRIORITIES HELP TO
- Get a clear picture that not everything is important.
- Make decision about when to say yes or no to any request.
- Reduce indecision about where to dedicate your time
- Structure your day in a purposeful way.
- Make quick and confident decision
Before I talk about how to define priorities, I want to share a quick exercise to help you define your priorities in case if you’re unsure about what they look like. Here are examples of priorities that you must consider while setting your goals –
- Personal Growth
To get even more clear picture, check out this blog post to set intentional plans for yourself keeping in consideration your priorities.
HOW TO DEFINE PRIORITIES
STEP 1 – SET ASIDE SOME TIME TO DO IT
This is first and the foremost step. Like you actually need to make some time for yourself, say one or two hours and sit with a pen and a piece of paper. Grab a cup of coffee, find a quiet place where your thoughts can flow freely. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
STEP 2 – MAKE A LIST OF YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES
Now that you’re at your comfortable space, write down all the things that you do on regular basis. It can be your work, self-care, wellness, hobbies and every single activity that you make time for. Once you’re done with this, now write down the things that you wish you had time for. Go through the example list above if you’re feeling stuck.
STEP 3 – MAKE A LIST OF THINGS YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR PRIORITIES
If this sounds overwhelming, let me guide you through this. By definition, priorities are all those things that fulfill your personal values. And just in case, if you don’t know what your personal values looks like, I’ve put together a complete guide for year reflection and help you design your life better.
RELATED POST – 24 Journal prompts for year reflection.
NOTE – I want you to be honest with yourself while answering these questions.
STEP 4 – NARROW YOUR LIST TO 3-5
I’m sure you must have a long list at this moment because everything feels so important. But unfortunately, you cannot do it all. So, it’s very important to highlight the most significant priorities from your list. This doesn’t mean rest of the them are not important but you have to accept the fact that it is not realistic that you can do all of them at once. And I personally believe that it’s important to settle the top priorities UNDER 5.
Here are some tips to narrow down your list
- Is this priority plays any role in my long term goals or vision of my life?
- Is this priority really for my happiness or it’s just for my materialistic prosperity?
- Will this priority truly impact my life in a positive way?
- What will my life look like if I choose this priority at top 5?
- Is it really a priority or I’m just feeling like it should be?
STEP 5 – WRITE IT AND REVIEW THEM
Okay, so now that you’ve got the clear picture of your top most priorities, It’s time to write them down. Well I prefer to note my list of priorities on a paper and fix it at the front wall of my workspace so that I can see it often. This helps me to avoid distractions and become wiser with my time and energy.
Keep in mind that priorities keep changing with the different seasons of life. It doesn’t have to be “FOREVER”. Some seasons might call for health to be a priority while other for relationships and then other for work.