Most people in business are now familiar with the need to prioritise as part of effect time management. We have tons of tasks each day that need to be actioned or addressed. If we don’t place them in a hierarchy of importance, then it can cause inefficiency and lack of professionalism.

There are so many resources available now to help us prioritise our day. Stephen Covey’s priority matrix is one of them. Another is the Your Success Planner that I personally developed in 2017 and use religiously each day.

Stephen Covey has said;

“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities”

I actually quoted this in the month of May in Your Success Planner. But let’s look at what that really means.

If we just prioritise what’s on our task list for the day we can easily end up just putting out fires. But this changes when we start by getting clear on what’s important to us first. This may be our goals, values, dreams, plans. Then prioritising from there.

Yes we still have those urgent matters that need to be attended to. But unless someone is in danger, then it usually can wait at least an hour, while you attend to what’s important first.

We often reach for the fireman’s hat because it’s easier, especially if we’re a talented problem solver. Our goals, dreams and desires however, often involve stepping out of our comfort zone. For instance, we feel uncomfortable doing things that are most important to us and not someone else.

Prioritising what’s important to us brings balance and increases fulfilment

One of the issues I hear frequently from business owners and career professionals is that their lives lack balance. But what is balance really?

A lot of people don’t believe in balance or think it’s impossible. Some laugh because they think it’s like a set of scales that must always stay the same. I’ve also heard clever alternative words being used such as “life blending”. In my opinion and experience it all boils down to the same thing. True balance is experienced when we feel fulfilled. And it’s impossible to feel fulfilled when we’re not giving time to what’s important.

This means we must prioritise what’s most important instead of what seems urgent. Obviously there are occasional exceptions, but this needs to be a general rule.

Making a priority list for our interests and passions is essential

There is more to life than work and business. That’s not to say that passions and interests must be prioritised over work, because we need to earn a living.

What it does mean though is this. If you have passions and interests you’d like to pursue, then importance needs to be placed around them. Making time for things we love outside of work will give us energy and help us maintain motivation. It’s all part of balance and making the most of our time.

By not prioritising these important aspects of life, we can easily get distracted with others needs and wants.

A hierarchy list will limit the distractions

I have clients come to me who have tons of ideas, interests and desires. They want to give everything a go but there’s a huge fear of missing out on one of them. This means they don’t know where to start, so choose nothing. Then end up doing things for others instead, or they feel like they’ve accomplished nothing. This can even be when they’ve ticked a lot off their to do list, but still end the day feeling unfulfilled.

Prioritising what’s important will also help here. Once you are ultra clear on your values the hierarchy list becomes so much easier, because you can see alignment. Also knowing what’s most important to you in your life will bring that clarity too.

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal and time keeps ticking away

It’s true that we all have 24 hours in a day. Of course some of us have more responsibilities than others. What is also true is that some of us take on more responsibility than others. Even when we’d rather not and it just feels like a good idea at the time.

Maybe you have a “Yes” auto pilot too, which can happen when the pattern is ingrained.

You are important and so are your goals, values, dreams, interests and plans. Both for your business or career and your life. The truth is, life won’t wait while you distract yourself and focus on other things instead. Continuing to fill your calendar with things that are urgent, or the needs of others instead of your own wastes your precious time on this planet. The clock keeps ticking and it’s time to prioritise what’s important to you.

Ingrained habits and patterns can really get in the way of us living our best life. If you feel like you’re not making the most of life, you’re not feeling balanced or fulfilled and finding it difficult to tackle it on your own. Working with a good coach can give you the support you need to make those important changes. Book Your Complimentary Connect Call HERE to see if coaching with Deb feels like the best fit for you.