In this blog post I share with you a goal setting strategy that you can use to help you determine and prioritise what the most important thing is to work on when it feels like you want to achieve so much all at once and that you feel like everything is equally important. If you like you can join my free email course where I can help and support you every step of the way.
It can be really tough when it there is so much that you want to do and it feels like there is so much going on inside your head. If you’re anything like me, once I start to focus on one thing another half a dozen other things come up that I also want to do and I become easily distracted. When this happens things can quickly become confusing, overwhelming and stressful and that is when you can run the risk of losing complete focus and can become stuck.
I’m here to share with you a technique that you can use to avoid becoming confused, overwhelmed and stressed when you have many ideas inside your head or when there is many things that you want to achieve. You can join my free email course where I can help and support you every step of the way.
The Benefits of Prioritising
Prioritising tasks and goals is important, especially when at face value, everything seems to be equally important and there are competing demands. Knowing what to work on first can affect your success in achieving the task at hand and achieving your overall outcome.
Not every task or goal is equally important.
Learning and knowing how to prioritise tasks and goals can help to teach you that not everything is as equally important as what they first appear to be. There are things that are super important that need to be done TODAY, and there are other things that, although they are still important, they can be put off for another day. I’ll teach you how to do this further down.
Avoid wasting time and achieve more.
Knowing what to work on first can help you to avoid wasting precious time and increase your ability to achieve more. There is nothing worse than knowing that you have a deadline, but realising that you have been wasting time doing meaningless things such as scrolling on Facebook (I’m guilty!) or watching the latest episode of that must see television show (also guilty!). This is called procrastination and can lead to that last minute panic and can cause unnecessary stress. I’ll teach you how to beat procrastination another time.
Conserves your energy and attention.
As I mentioned in the point above, knowing what to work on first can help you to conserve your energy and maintain your focus and attention on things that really need your focus and attention.
Ensures that deadlines are met.
Learning the skill of determining whether things are as important as what they need to be and prioritising helps you in the planning process and ensures that those important deadlines are met and that you don’t have some serious explaining to do.
Learning How to Prioritise in 7 Easy Steps
Below are the seven steps that you can take to prioritise and decide what you need to work on next. Join my free email course where I can help and support you every step of the way.
1. The Brainstorm
I call this process an ‘action log’, which is basically a brainstorm or a brain dump of all the things that you want to do, all of the ideas in your head and all of the goals that you want to achieve. This is one of my favourite steps to do in the planning process and you can read more about the specific steps here. You’ll find writing everything down helpful as all of those fluffy ideas will become more concrete.
I strongly encourage you to set a time frame for your action log. For example, is this action log a brainstorm of all the things you want to do in the next month, the next 12 months or the next five or ten years. This will help you to put your action log into perspective.
2. Short Term and Long Term
From this list of ideas have a look at what you want to achieve in the short term and what you want to achieve in the long term. It may seem like you need to do everything RIGHT NOW, but honestly, some things need to wait and they can wait.
3. What is important
Take a look at what you want to do in the short term. There might be one thing listed here or there may be several. If there is one thing listed you may like to start this process again and use this same process to break that task, idea or goal down into small, manageable steps. If there is more than one thing listed, you need to determine what is the most important. You can do this by using a high, medium and low importance colour coding or numbering system. By doing this you will begin to have a clearer picture about what needs to be done immediately and what things can be done at another time.
4. What needs doing RIGHT NOW
From here you need to determine what you need to do RIGHT NOW, based on what you considered to be of high importance. When you’re determining what you need to do immediately also consider:
- how long it is going to take to achieve it
- any upcoming deadlines
- and the difficulty.
Often the things that are the most difficult or the hardest to accomplish are the things that we should be doing first.
What do you need to do right now?
5. Write that list in order
By now you should have a list full of scribbles, colour codes and numbers. Its time to take that list and put it in order from what you’ve discovered to be most important that needs to be done urgently to what you discovered to be least important.
Include this list on your vision board, up on your wall or in your bullet journal so it is always visible. You can read more about putting together your own vision board here. Having a constant visual reminder will keep you motivated and will prompt you to actually get things done.
6. Is there anything that anyone else can do?
Often we want to be miracle workers or super women and do everything ourselves, but realistically, having this mindset can reduce your success, cause unnecessary stress or make things take a lot longer than what they need to be. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to pull your resources together and use them to get the job done. Pulling your resources together and asking for help will free up your time to do the things that you want to do and will help you to get to your outcome quicker.
7. One thing at a time
Its time to start working and crossing things off that list. It can be tempting to do bits and pieces of each goal or task, but I would encourage you to spend your time, energy, focus and attention working on one thing at a time. When you begin to cross things off your list you’re going to feel refreshed and motivated. Imagine how empowered you’re going to feel when you realise that you’re one step closer to achieving your dream.
How do you work out what is the most important thing to work on first? Comment below.
Here’s to finding your best you.