PRIORITIES; Get Them Right, Set Them Right

 

An important key to having the success you want is knowing how to select, set and utilize priorities.

 

You have so many things vying for your attention in your day-to-day world.  Without priorities, it’s easy to get sucked into activities that end up working against you.  Without priorities it’s easy to lose days, weeks, even years giving your attention – and more importantly, your time – to the wrong things.

 

Having your priorities in order goes way beyond time management skills or finding hacks to increase your productivity.  Having your priorities in order helps you to create the life you want.  Having the life you want is the definition of success.

 

Doesn’t it make sense then to work on your priorities?

 

 

WHY BOTHER

 

Priorities are those things in life you decide to make more important above all else.  Another way to look at it is if you were to place your priorities in a ranking order you would see what you care about or take responsibility for from most to least important.

 

Priorities play a significant role in achieving success because they encompass every aspect of your life.  While you can narrow your focus to just one aspect of life to work on, such as your business or your health, it’s best to consider the big picture first.

 

Once you determine the big ideas, only then should you hone in on the specifics.

 

 

3 TYPES OF PRIORITIES TO KNOW

 

Priorities can be something you’re working towards, like breaking the million-dollar mark in your business.  They can also be something you’re maintaining, like your health.  Likewise, they can be aspirational, like becoming a best-selling author.  Knowing the type of priority you’re dealing with helps put it in perspective and easier to put into practice.

 

I like looking at it in those 3 categories – Achieving, Maintaining, and Aspirational.

 

Achieving typically means you’ll put action strategies in place toward reaching a goal.  You may be in year 5 of your business showing steady growth potential, but you have a ways to go before hitting that million dollar mark.  Continuing to operate the way you have been will not get you there. You need to establish a new course of action to bring the business up to that level.  Developing a plan with strategies will become the priority.

 

Maintaining typically means, you’ve reached an ideal you wish to keep.  Having an optimal fitness level is a great example of this.  You already have an established fitness habit that fits into your week.  In this case, you’re not trying to reach a new level or get to an ideal weight, you’ve already done that.  Maintaining means you now have a set of criteria you follow to ensure you continue to have the benefits you’ve already achieved.  The priority is that your fitness habits become non-negotiable.

 

Aspirational means it’s important to you, you’re going to put measures in place toward getting it.  You may not get there, but if you do, it’s a bonus.  If you don’t, it’s still worth it.  Bestselling author is an honorable credential to have.  I know, I’ve done it twice so far.  It adds a recognizable value to the work you do (if it’s related) and increases the rates you are able to charge for your services.  But even if you don’t get to the end goal, you will have reached a new pinnacle that will add value to both you and your services. As an example, if you were reaching for bestselling author but didn’t make the cut, you will still have a book that you’ve published.  And that’s something worth having.

 

 

3 KEY BENEFITS OF HAVING THE RIGHT PRIORITIES

 

Priorities are chock full of benefits.  In this article, I will highlight just three, but each one carries a lot of weight toward your success.

 

  • Priorities help you to get things done.

    They help you to keep the important things top of mind.  When you know what needs your attention, it’s easier to take the necessary steps to get there.  With your priorities clear, you are more likely to take the necessary action toward achieving them.  By putting first things first, you inevitably make progress toward your goals. 

  • Priorities allow you to focus on the things that matter.

    And step away from the things that don’t.  By making the main thing the main thing, you’re able to apply your attention to the things you want to accomplish for the right reasons.  The ‘what you need to do’ becomes evident.  The ‘what not to do’ also becomes clear, which simplifies your effort without guilt, and without doubting yourself.  This also creates more room for doing the things that truly matter.

  • Priorities keep you on track.

    Do what needs to be done now so you can have the tomorrow you desire.  It’s not always fun.  You sometimes wish you already had what you are working toward, but keeping priorities in perspective reminds you that this step is necessary to get to the next one.  Priorities put your hard work into perspective and put your perspective on the work that needs to get done.

 

 

A FEW CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT YOUR PRIORITIES

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Everything has its season.  In the big picture, there’s a time for establishing a career, having a family, making a contribution, running a business.  It’s different for everyone.  And each one of these seasons has seasons within them.  Your job is to manage the priorities within each major life category as well as making them all work in tandem.  That’s a big task.  Don’t take it lightly.

 

The more clear you are on the priorities, the better equipped you will be to handle them and even thrive with them.  The one warning I will provide here is not to rush through or wish away the season you’re in.  Some of your best memories and biggest growth opportunities are destined to come out of them.

 

DEVOTED TIME

You will have multiple roles operating simultaneously. Parent.  Entrepreneur.  Coach. When it’s time to run your business, run your business.  When it’s time to coach a client, be there with your client.  When it’s time to be a parent, set the business aside.

 

It’s not always easy to set clear boundaries between all the roles you hold, but you can organize your days to optimize each role.  Take an hour over dinner to connect with family. Put your phone on silent when engaging with your client.  Put up the Do Not Disturb sign when placing business calls.  Give your friend your full attention over lunch.

 

SHIFTING PRIORITIES

What’s important today may not be important tomorrow.  Depending on your position in life, certain areas of interest are going to dominate.  Until you reach a level of income to sustain your lifestyle, making money is going to overtake every other priority you have.  When you have a newborn, taking care of raising that child will be a constant source of your attention until the child becomes independent.  As you get older, taking care of your physical (and mental) health becomes a growing concern, particularly if you haven’t paid attention to it before.

 

This is all normal and a healthy part of life.  It’s when you don’t recognize these shifting priorities that you become susceptible to unwarranted anxiety and stress.  Being able to welcome and shift your priorities is a trait of the successful.

 

Be flexible and work with the flow of life.  It’s always more challenging to row upstream.

 

 

 

 

 

In order to set priorities, you need to know what priorities you have.  The difficulty my clients run into is they often haven’t identified the priorities that matter.  They end up working on the wrong things.  Then they end up with the wrong results.  Some work with priorities that don’t serve them.  And yet others are running a race taking them in the opposite direction of their actualized selves.  In other words, they are out of alignment.

 

When you are not in Success Alignment®, you spend your time either spinning your wheels, trying to re-invent the wheel or riding wheels in someone else’s race.

 

When you don’t have your priorities right, you end up wasting a lot of time.

 

If you haven’t identified the right priorities for you, you end up losing a lot of time.

 

When you get into Success Alignment®, your priorities become clear, your strategy becomes evident and you get the life you have always wanted.

 

With the right priorities in place, managing everything you do becomes so much easier.  The mark of a genius is knowing what your priorities are and using them to manage your life.

 

 

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