Discovering Your Priorities

You have so much going on and you have lists for it all. You are working and working but the list keeps growing and growing. To add to the overwhelm you may have relationships where another person’s priorities affect your task list. (Insert Panic Attack) How do you balance it all? If you have culled your list and gotten rid of the unnecessary it’s time to look at your priorities. In this post, we will look at different ways to discover your priorities and how to combat the overwhelm.

Are Priorities and Goals the Same Thing?

First, let’s start with a couple of questions.  Are priorities and goals the same thing?  Which do you set first?

Start with your priorities, what really matters to you, and build your goals from there.  Goals are the vehicle for living up to our priorities. If you having trouble deciding what exactly your priorities are, make a list!  Brain dump everything you think is important to you. We are talking general categories here and not tasks.  What sections of your life do you want to focus on?  Now, that you have your list pick the top 10, then the top five, then three, then one.  Now you have your number one priority weighed against everything else you find important.  This is where you want to focus most of your time.  Your other priorities are still important, but should not get the majority of your attention.

After finding your top priorities, it is time to look at where you are actually spending your time. If you have been keeping list you might have a general idea; If not I encourage you over the next week to write down what you are doing. Once you have spent a week cataloging your tasks look at it and determine whether or not you are in alignment.  The feeling of overwhelm often comes when our task list doesn’t align with our priorities.  It may seem hard to eliminate the mundane tasks like laundry and cleaning, but with some out of the box thinking and clever rephrasing, these tasks can become a way to support your top priorities.

One thing about priorities is that you can’t focus on too many things at once. Having 3-5 priorities you are working on is enough to fill up your days. Priorities shift. That is ok and desirable.  It helps keep us balanced. Just because we have the thought and did a little planning doesn’t mean we have to complete it. I don’t encourage anyone to give up on something, but if you have lost your passion and the only one who will be somewhat bummed if it isn’t done is you, shelve that priority for the time being.