Be More Effective – Week 15: Take Control of YOUR Priorities

business-3190209_1920There are many things that we should or could do. All of them will keep us busy. Few of them will have lasting impact and move us forward.

Focus on the things that matter! Prioritize what needs to get done. Plan your priorities and block time for them.

Write down YOUR priorities and what YOU need to achieve. Really write it down and make a purposeful commitment to yourself. Revisit and update that list every day. It’s a great preparation for the day while you sip your morning coffee.

Pick the 3 to 4 things that you want to achieve in the week and the 1 or 2 things that you will get down for the day. Don’t pick more, focus on what really needs to get done this week and today. Be realistic as to what you actually can get done, given the unplanned distractions that will pull on your attention and time as the day progresses.

As you write down your priorities, make sure to follow these four rules:

1. Be specific. Don’t write down ‘get more organized’, be specific and write down ‘compile a list of the things I need to fix in my backyard’.

2. Make it achievable. Don’t write down ‘declutter the house’. It will probably take a while to achieve that end goal. Be specific about the step you want to achieve today or this week, for example ‘clean up the kitchen’.

3. Block time. If you don’t block time on you calendar, other supposedly urgent things will come along and distract you. With that, your priorities will only be good intentions and when you look back at the end of the week you will be utterly frustrated. Defend that blocked time against other ‘important’ things that try to push over it.

4. Don’t forget to add time for your values. With all the things we HAVE to do, we often forget to take time for the things we WANT to do. Block time for the things that are important to you and that help you live to your values. Add them to your weekly and daily priorities. They are just as much, if not more important than everything else.

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