Last Updated on: 13th January 2021, 05:51 am
Most of us don’t have any problems filling our days with things to do, errands to run, and projects to finish. The problem is usually the other way around: we don’t have enough time to do everything we need.
We have tons of responsibilities for your family, friends, and work. We also have our personal hobbies and things that interest us. Then there are the long-term goals and dreams that we keep chasing.
How on earth can we ever manage to balance all of these in a meaningful manner?
Well, that is why you need prioritizing in your life. You need a solid system that helps you to make clear choices in your daily activities.
Making choices and prioritizing things in your life will make you proactive, and it builds your self-esteem. You are not a puppet for the world. You are crafting a life for yourself.
Prioritization is an activity that makes you consider your life in a more general sense. You learn to trust your choices, and making them becomes easier. You are not pushed around by others anymore.
Remeber that you only have 24 hours per day
One thing is common for all of us.
It really doesn’t matter if you are a poor farmer in India or a rich jet lagger in New York. We all have the same amount of hours on any given day. Time is the only resource that we cannot get more of. You can always make more money if you lose some, but you cannot get back the time you lost.
Prioritization will help you to spend those 24 hours the most efficient way. You will get so much more out of life if you allocate your precious hours more deliberately every day.
Allocating your daily hours to work, social relationships, hobbies, and fun time, exercise, and rest will give you a balanced life. You don’t over-do anything. All of those areas are important, but not a single one of them is so important that you should spend most of your time with it.
High vs. Low-value activities
Taking a conscious approach in planning and prioritizing your day will highlight the low value and high-value activities. You start to examine all of your tasks to the output and value they produce.
So what is value?
It depends on your goals and life values what is important to you. Valuable things are usually activities that push you toward your goals and dreams. It is something that relies on your internal values and your overall life goal.
A low-value activity can be something that takes a lot of time but produces only little results. Or it can be a really productive activity, but you are producing results for other people.
Of course, work is something where you produce something for your employer, but you also get some value out of it yourself. At least in monetary value if nothing else.
Examples of high-value activities can be studying or learning a new skill. If your family is important to you (like I hope it is), spending quality time with them is a high-value activity. The high value doesn’t have to relate to money. It should relate to your core values.
Spend 5 minutes and review your last week. See all of your meetings, errands, activities, and tasks that you managed to finish. How many of those would you mark as high-value activities? If you go through your task manager and review your to-do’s and tasks, how many of those really push your own goals forward and help you reach your dreams?
Of course, the reality is that you cannot have your day full of high-value activity. We live in a social setting and a modern society full of low-value activities. We might even enjoy most of them, like scrolling through social media feeds. You shouldn’t feel bad about that.
But it would help if you were cognizant about your time. Make sure that you intentionally allocate time in your calendar for those high-value things. Be deliberate about it.
If you don’t prioritize your time, others will
What happens if you don’t prioritize your time? Because it takes mental effort and time to go through your tasks and to do regular reviews. It is not easy at the beginning, and many give up because of it.
Other people will fill your day with their activities if you are not prioritizing your day. They are more than happy to give you their tasks and errands, so you can help them reach their goals.
And if it is not other people that are filling your day, the media and advertisers will.
Social media and news networks give their service free because you are the product they are selling. The algorithms are developed to maximize your time on their site. The more time you spend staring at your mobile phone screen, the more money they make.
If you are not deliberate about your time, you will lose it, and it will not come back.
How many times have you been disappointed about yourself for starting something out, only to find out that you didn’t continue doing it because other things got your attention? You started a new exercise routine or came up with an exciting business idea, only to realize that you haven’t done anything about it after a couple of months.
If you find this problem familiar, print this sentence somewhere where you can see it every day: “Just think how far you would be today if you would have started a year ago.”.
Well, today is the day for the next year. You can start today only if you actually prioritize things in your life.
Planning is prioritizing
At its core, prioritizing is a planning activity.
You can only prioritize if you know where you are coming from, where you are now, and most importantly, where you want to go in the future. You need to know your goals because you can only prioritize according to what you want to achieve.
Let’s say that you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day.
The first step is to define what you should have time for? List the most important areas or values in your life. Then do an honest review of your past weeks to see how much you have actually allocated to those areas. Then balance your upcoming tasks and projects to have enough time budgeted for important things. Ensure that you leave some slack in your schedule because things don’t usually go like you have planned.
Planning your weeks and months is a great prioritization method. It makes sure that you are intentionally building a life for yourself—a life that you really want to live, instead of living other people’s dreams.
As you can see, prioritizing your time is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you live an intentional life and reach your dreams.
Prioritizing is not always easy or simple; you need to make hard choices about important things. People around you might not always agree with your choices. But it would be best if you lived your life like you want to live it.
It is also important that you have some review routine to examine your past choices and see how they turned out. Not all of your choices are the right ones, and that is completely ok. Everybody makes mistakes. Just make sure that your mistakes are small ones and learn continuously.
Read more about how you can prioritize your goal here: What is the most important step in prioritizing goals? – Urgent and Important