Introduction: This will be a series about The 12 Most Important Productivity Habits. In each article only one habit will be discussed. This is to simplify reading and productivity. Focusing on one habit at a time allows for an effective practice. At the end of the series there will be a post summarizing all the productivity habits together.
Productivity Habit #11 – Plan and Prioritize.
Priority. It’s about eliminating the unnecessary work and sticking to what matters most.
So how do you prioritize?
By having a clear idea of what your goals are. If you cannot define your goals you are bound to stray away from them.
When you can determine your goals, prioritizing becomes easy. It’s simple; because you know what needs to be done. This eliminates the extras, and saves you a lot of time to work towards your own goals.
Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.
~Dallin H. Oaks
How to plan and prioritize
- Make a list. Write down what you need to do for the upcoming day. Include your goals, projects and what you need to work towards.
- Plan. When you plan keep one thing in mind. Yourself. You are the common factor. Revolve your goals around yourself. If you’re questioning what you need to do is, chances are you can cross that off your plan.
- Prioritize. Once you have a clear plan of what you need to do; you can prioritize. Select which holds the most importance. Which task is of high priority? No two goals can have the same importance. One must hold more significance than the other. If you can do this; you can delegate for yourself and decide on holds priority. This makes it easy to focus on your clear goals and eliminate the extra stuff.
Prioritizing makes you stay on your own track, and not wander aimlessly.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I set out and prioritized one clear goal. Or so I thought I did. It was to write 2000 words for my new book. I fell short. Very short, about 1800 words short. I didn’t say no. One distraction lead to another. I was chatting with friends, immediately responding to social media and soon it was time to go sleep. I ended up writing about 200 words before calling it a long and unproductive night.
We are fluttered with everyday tasks. Whether it’s a friend calling you, responding to e-mails or chatting with friends and so on. Learn to say no and stay on your own track. Stick to your plan. Evaluate each request towards your preference. If you want to do it; then go ahead, otherwise learn to say no. It’s a two letter word. By saying no, you are learning to put yourself first.
There’s no point of over-committing yourself. Say no to what you don’t need to do and stick to your plan.
You’re the number #1 priority. Don’t forget that.
Until next time,