Your top 3 priorities need to come from you. But what does it mean to get your priorities straight?
Have you ever found yourself continually frustrated at the end of every day, feeling a significant lack of progress?
“If I can just get a few more items checked off my list, then I’ll feel I accomplished something,” you tell yourself for the fifteenth time that day. By 10pm, plenty of boxes got checked, yet it still doesn’t feel like enough, and you’re exhausted. Trying to rest when “not enough” is playing inside your mind is nearly impossible.
So, how do you reach that feeling of accomplishment while having a surplus of time and energy at the end of every day?
Identify your priorities
The key is to create a clear list of your priorities, plan your day according to what’s most important, and then measure your progress against those priorities. I highlight “your,” because it’s entirely too easy to get caught up in society’s definition of accomplishment.
5 Steps to identifying your top priorities
The following 5 steps will help you identify Your top priorities:
- Grab something to take notes with.
- Sit in your favorite, most cozy spot, with your favorite beverage.
- Write at the top of your paper—“Time and energy enhancers.” Write out all the activities and people who fill you with good energy.
- Write at the top of a fresh sheet of paper—“Time and energy suckers.” Write down all the activities and the people who drain your energy.
- Look at both lists and make note of the percentage of time you devote to the activities and people on each list.
Awareness and reflection on a continual basis are the key factors to setting yourself up for new action.
Develop the habit of reflection
Reflecting on your priorities every month (and adjusting where necessary) is a great way to keep your actions in alignment with what matters most. At the end of every day, review your decisions and actions against your priorities—and do this with compassion.
As you come more in alignment with the best and highest use of your time, adjustments may need to be made. By reviewing your day, week, and month, you’ll begin seeing patterns of what works and what doesn’t work, giving you the awareness of what to do less or more of.
Examples of priorities
For example, spiritual wellness is my top priority. Every other area of life must be considered in relation to this top priority.
My second priority is strengthening important relationships in life. By increasing time shared with those who inspire, challenge, encourage and support me, I increase the depth of connection with these treasured friends. These connections stir creativity, courage and progress in the areas that matter most.
Next on the list is sharing what I’m learning, either through keynote speeches, YouTube videos, blogs, books, coaching, or mentoring.
As it turns out, strengthening relationships and sharing often contribute greatly to spiritual wellness. Each area plays into the other, which is helpful for an overall sense of accomplishment.
Rather than concern yourself with what other people deem the most important use of your time, tune inward and ask your higher self for clarity and guidance. By knowing what’s truly important to you, you can begin assessing your results accordingly.
How do you know what your priorities should be?
Try this two-pronged approach to uncovering your priorities:
First, ask yourself what’s most needed in your life right now? Is it a sense of connection to others, training, money, adventure, fun, learning something new, or self-care (think exercise, healthy eating, sunshine, etc)? Once you recognize what’s most needed in the immediate, begin taking miniature steps toward making improvement in that area. Once you’ve made headway in that one area, repeat this step.
Second, ask yourself, “What kind of life would I be leading if I had all the resources I needed?” Let yourself be creative, and allow time for your answers to come. The more know yourself, the easier it will be to answer these questions.
That said, remember, life doesn’t always take you where you think it should. Stay open and curious in each moment by asking, “What am I learning through this experience? What is life teaching me right now? Do I need to reprioritize?”
What it means when you have your priorities straight
Regret, decision-making fatigue and fear of missing out drastically decrease when your priorities are straight.
Self-confidence, courage and inspiration grow when you take an honest look at your life and consciously decide what is most important in your life at this time. You become less reactive and more proactive as challenges arise and new circumstances require more decisions.
Knowing your priorities is the first step in simplifying the decision-making process. The less time and energy you spend making (and often second-guessing) decisions, the more time and energy you have to do what most aligns with your current needs and aspirations.
The better you understand your priorities and make decisions in alignment with those priorities, the greater will be your confidence and courage to keep progressing.
Your journey with priorities and progress
Have you ever found yourself frustrated with a lack of progress, tried something different, and began feeling better? What helped? I’d love to hear your stories. Leave me a comment below or simply send me an email at Misti at Misti Burmeister.com.
Here’s to your greatness,