Have you ever found yourself being busy all day doing stuff that is so unnecessary and then stressing about all the things you haven’t done but were more urgent to be done? I had many of those days where it felt like I was hustling the whole time but not really got anything done in the end. In addition, this totally stressed me out because I then had no time for what I actually wanted to do. However, as this is a very unsatisfying and definitely not productive habit, I figured I had to change my approach. The secret to get over this feeling and make time for what matters is prioritizing. And as this habit changed my life completely I want to share some strategies with you today on how you can prioritize and make time for the important stuff.
Sounds good? Okay, here is what we are covering today:
- What are priorities
- Why it is important to set priorities?
- How to make time for what matters?
- How to stick to your priorities?
Okay let’s get started.
What are priorities?
Priorities are the things we have to do to achieve our goals. They are not necessarily what we want to do, but what takes us forward.
Priorities are not what you set for life, but the simple decision to do this one thing now in this moment, in this phase of your life, with all focus and attention.
You can only have 1-3 priorities for each phase of your life, depending on how connected they are to each other.
For example, it can be a priority to travel and surf and train a lot. That would be two priorities. But for example, you cannot travel and do business development as two priorities at the same time.
Fulfilling the priorities does not always have to be fun. As mentioned above, sometimes you have to bite the bullet to fulfil dreams and achieve goals.
It is also very important that there is a certain time in life for every fulfilment, every goal and every priority. You can’t achieve all your goals at once, one by one.
You can’t give priority to everything you need, you have to be realistic about what you can do in your time and what brings the most fun and revenue.
Why is it important to prioritize?
As mentioned in the introduction, setting priorities is the core of making time for what you like to do while still getting everything done that you have to do to achieve your goals.
Prioritizing, when done the right way can lead you to lasting happiness and great success. Below I pointed how prioritizing can help you become happier.
Create happiness by being present in the moment
Prioritizing your to-dos helps you to really be present in the moment, when doing whatever you have planned out to do. If you don’t plan your must dos you will always have a lot of stuff in your mind and you can never be fully present in what you are doing at any certain moment. This then will lead to you feeling overwhelmed because you can’t get rid of all the thought in your mind.
So, set those priorities to feel more satisfied and present in any moment.
In addition, let’s not forget how awesome it is to be able to enjoy what you are doing that moment and not have to think of all the other stuff you still have to do.
Get stuff done, reach your goals
Setting the right priorities and focusing on them will help you get stuff done quickly and reach your goals fast because you cut down to the essential and only focus on doing those things that really help you achieve your goals. Your priorities should always serve your goals. If a priority doesn’t serve a goal, it’s not a good priority. If you have the wrong or too many priorities you will end up getting nothing done completely.
Focus and do a great job
Another scenario is that you might get stuff done still because you are just good in getting things done but then you might not do an as good job as you’d might be able to do with prioritizing. Having these boundaries will help you to focus on what is important in that moment and you will be able to do it properly.
Be satisfied and have time for that you like
The reason why you are here, and what we all want is to have time for what we want to do, time for what matters. Though if you at the same time have to meet obligations or want to reach some goals you can’t go without prioritizing.
Prioritizing is time saving.
Not feel overwhelmed or stressed out
Also, mentioned above already, having priorities and sticking to them will help you to not feel overwhelmed and stressed out because you already know what is important and what not. Your to-do list will get half as short as it was before. Trust me.
After all this, I guess you are really keen on getting those priorities on the way, right?
Okay, I won’t let you wait longer. Here is my best strategy on setting priorities and making time for what matters.
How to make time for what matters:
If you manage to reduce all obligations to a minimum and spend as less time as possible but still as much as necessary on those tasks you are one of the few lucky ones that mange to get the most out of your time. Then you can proudly pad your shoulders and congratulate yourself for having enough time to do what is really important to you.
And here is how you get exactly that. It is a step-to-step kind of guide so there are a few things you have to do first in order to really be able to prioritize. So, follow these steps and you are sorted.
1. Define your goals
Before prioritizing tasks, you have to define what you want to achieve.
Once you know what you want and who you want to become it is easier to figure out what is important to do and what not.
This then will help you set the right priorities.
2. Define your obligations
Next you have to find out what obligations you have. We all have to do things in order for life to work the way we want it to, so figure out what those things are, that need to be done for your life to run smoothly.
Could be things like washing dishes, doing laundry, going to work, cooking aso.
Write all of them down, even if they are small cause the more obligations you cover the less you get caught off guard.
Just remember, here are meant only those things you must do and can’t give up to someone else.
Gardening isn’t really a point here, you could also hire a gardener to do the work. Bringing your kids to kindergarten however, would still fall in these categories as you are the main responsible person for that even though you could hire a nanny.
Just figure out for yourself what those things are that must be done. But always keep in mind that you can pay someone else to do those things.
3. Find out your values and needs
Even though setting priorities as the main aim to achieve your goals it can at the same time help you to make time for the fun things in your life by spending less time on obligations and more time on those things.
Think about what you need to be happy, satisfied and how you imagine living your life.
4. Make time for what matters
First you need to reduce your obligations to a minimum to save time. That means paying or delegation all tasks you don’t necessarily need to do to other people.
Learning to say no to obligations other people as you to do.
And lastly reducing your habits to a minimum. The more habits and routines you have, even if they are good, the less time and space you have to do the things you must and want to do to achieve your goals and live a happy life.
So, reduce the habits and routines to the essential. Only keep those which are really necessary to keep your life going and help you achieve your goals and live happily.
Set priorities to achieve your goals
After having more time you can prioritize the 1-3 most important things every day, week, month, year, that need your focus in order to achieve your goals.
Having a clear picuture in mind and only focusing on those 1 to 3 tasks you work more effectively and productively and at the same time still have a lot of free time.
5. Stick to them
All you need to do now is stick to your priorities. Avoid doing things that are of less priority first and stick to your high-priority things.
What really helps me here is scheduling and setting reminders.
6. Spend the free time on some fun
Lastly, once you know where your priorities are and what you need to get done to achieve your goals you can spend the rest of the free time either on husteling harder (if that’s what you want) or enjoying life.
Always remember here though, happiness and success in life is all a question of balance between husteling and living. So don’t just hustle and world towards achieving and forget about living.
Also enjoy life and just be. This is equaly important for you to be succesfull.
How to stick to your priorities?
Before you go, I want to give you some more handy tips on how to stick to your priorities as I find this very important.
So here is what I like to do to keep me focused. Of course, it is human and normal to sometime fall of track. Don’t worry, once you realize that, let it go and start focusing again. Nothing bad is going to happen if you get unfocused sometimes.
But those things should help you stay on track.
Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing
The best motivator for staying on track is to remind yourself why you do what you do, or why you set certain things on high-priority. Is it because they are so important to you? Why are they important? Remember that and you will start doing them immediately.
Reflect on your goal setting
If you do goal setting you have to do it proper. That means you have to evaluate and reflect on your progress. I like setting myself weekly, monthly and yearly goals and reflect whenever the deadline occurs. This way I make sure I stay on track and focused on what I have to do to achieve.
Remember you values
Lastly, remind yourself about what is important to you. If you are feeling unfocused and overwhelmed. Take out the list you wrote above and go through your priorities and why you have them.
This makes it easier for you to stay focused.
Finally, let me remind you that It’s okay to come off track. We are all human and we need to struggle in order to grow and be happy. The most important is that once you realise you lost your focus that you find back to it.
If necessary even apply the steps for setting priories again and start over.
It is never too late for a fresh start of a new beginning. All you have to do is take action!
I hope this post was helpful and you now know how to set the right priorities and make time for what is important to you.
If you found this post in any way valuable share it with whoever you think could need it to improve their lives as well.
Lastly, make sure to come back next week for more.