Sorting Out Your Priorities

How big is your to do list? If it is like mine, you have more things to do than you could possibly ever accomplish. In order to not have this drive you crazy, you have to sort out your priorities.
Sorting out your priorities is easier than you think. The reason most people don’t do it is because they don’t want to have to think or make hard choices. So don’t.

Don’t tackle your to do list yet. First figure out what it is you value. Why do you work? Why do you do what you do?  Is it to feed your family? Is it to have fame and fortune?  What is it that is important to you?  And don’t just list your values, prioritize them. Which of the many things you value are more important that others.

If you are like most people, spending time with your family and friends will be more important to you than having a satisfying job or being famous or wealthy. That is assuming being famous and or wealthy are on your list of things you want for yourself. And if you do – ask yourself why – what is it you want to accomplish by being wealthy and famous – that will help you better understand your true motivations and values.

Once you know what is important to you – truly important to you, you are now in a position to tackle your to do list. Those things that contribute to your main priorities are the things you prioritize in your list.  Yes, you have to balance things and work has to be prioritized because without that you can’t feed or clothe or house your family or yourself.

But if you do this, you will find that a lot of your to do list isn’t actually all that important. And being able to deprioritize tasks helps you sort out your priorities.  If something would be nice to get done, but doesn’t really impact anything if it doesn’t get done, deprioritize it.

The nice thing about this is the more you do it, the easier it gets. When you don’t do something and the world doesn’t fall apart, you will gain confidence in your decisions on what to prioritize and what not to.

And if you make a mistake in your prioritizing and it turns out something was really important, go ahead and reprioritize.  Finding balance in life is an active and ongoing process. Your priorities are changing all the time and the demands being placed on you will change to. What shouldn’t change that much – is your underlying values that allow you to prioritize your to do list in the first place.

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