Do you have your priorities set straight or do you just live your life from one day to the other, running from place to place and checking off things on your to-do list, but still feeling unsatisfied at the end of the day? Think about it, do you know what you’re running for? What pushes you to do the things that you do? What exactly are you saving money for? Why do you HAVE to do the things that you do? Do you have an answer for all these questions, or does your answer sound like “that is what everybody does and that’s what I have to do”, “that’s the way things go”, etc.?
When you don’t know what your priorities are, everything is chaotic and there’s no way you can end up feeling satisfied because you do things for the sake of doing things or because you have to, and not because you have a certain goal in mind. When you figure out what you want in life and what your priorities are, good things start to happen and everything just falls into place. Even if your goals are hard to reach, having goals and prioritizing them keeps you motivated and focused on what you need to do. How can you motivate yourself to save money or do whatever you need do to if you don’t even know what you’re doing it for?
Having priorities helps you take the clutter out of your life and see things from a different perspective. When a new situation presents itself, analyze its importance and see if it’s aligned with your goals or if accomplishing it will put your priorities on a second place. Don’t ever let your priorities fall back on the second place. They are the most important and they are the ones that will make you feel accomplished and fulfilled at the end of the day. Don’t allow yourself to be dragged in all kings of situations and “emergencies” that make you lose sight of what’s truly important to you. Of course, I’m not talking here of real urgent events or situations that require your attention no matter what, but there are so many things that we qualify as urgent, when in fact nothing serious happens if we postpone them and focus on our goals instead.
Here are a few things you can do to establish your goals and priorities:
1. Think about the things that are important to you.
It doesn’t have to be something big and you don’t have to make a big list of things, two or three are enough. They can be as simple as wanting to spend more time with your family or exercising more. Whatever you feel is important to you and will make you a better person.
2. Make a list with the things you do every day.
Write down all the things that you do in a day and analyze them. How important are they and how do they align with your priorities? Cut down everything that’s not essential and that you can do without so you can make more room for the important stuff. Think about it, do you really need to check your Facebook or e-mail account ten times a day? Can you limit that to once a day and have a specific portion of time that you dedicate to that? Do you really need to watch that TV show every night? People are always busy, but the truth is when you cut out all unnecessary things, you find out you actually have time for the important stuff. As that quote says: “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” Eliminating all the little things that take up your day and having time for the things you love is lo liberating!
3. Organize according to your priorities.
After you’ve established what your priorities are, organize them in order of importance and schedule all your activities around them. As another quote says: “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” If your goal is to exercise more, establish how many times you want to do it a week and when is a practical time for you. Remember to always keep it practical and realistic. Don’t say you’ll exercise every day if you know you won’t be able to do that. Keeping it real will help you stay motivated, as you’ll actually be able to keep up with your schedule.
How about you, how do you organize your priorities?