Priorities: You hear a lot about this concept. “You need to get your priorities straight.”
What does that even mean? Today, we’re gonna lick priorities once and for all because if you truly understand this concept … well … the sky isn’t the limit.
Why You Need Priorities
The things we focus on are the things we get. Period. Good or bad. When we focus on something, we move towards it, consciously and subconsciously developing behaviors to get there.
This is the power of priorities. It’s taking a stand and saying, “I want this” and giving the time to that thing first, ensuring that if anything is gettin’ done in this crazy life of yours, it’ll be that.
With priorities, you get can what you want. Without them, hopefully it comes together by chance.
What Priorities Are Not
Far too often, people mistake priorities for one of the two following things:
Priorities are everything
You hear this one all the time. “I gotta get in shape, and I gotta get a better job, and I gotta build a house, and I gotta write a book, and I gotta learn Portuguese, and I gotta set the land speed record.”
Whoa, whoa, slow down! First off, fuck yeah, that’s awesome. That level of ambition is what makes the world go ’round. But second off, stop this madness.
If everything is a priority, then nothing is. If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll never build up enough momentum to get any of these things done.
Priorities are exactly one thing
On the flip side, I’ve seen people focus entirely on one single thing at the expense of the rest of their life.
Their relationship, friendships, personal hygiene, you name it — descend into total chaos as they chase their goal. Don’t let your life become a dumpster fire.
How To Get ‘Em Straight
So, back to that crazy old person challenge about “getting your priorities straight.” How in the hell do we do that?
1. Figure out what you want: Be expansive. Now’s the time to determine all the damn things you want to do. Tomorrow. Next year. Before you die. Fill up your life with all the best God damn things. If you can’t think of more than 10 things, then make it a priority to step up your imagination.
2. Now that you got that out of your system, pick TWO things on that list: the very most important thing to you (short- or long-term) and the most important thing on that list that you can accomplish within a month or two. The first one is key because it’s what you want most. The second one is key because it’s important to finish things. The more goals you achieve, the more confidence you build to tackle the bigger stuff.
3. Make a separate list of the things that you have to do. This is the “life” stuff, not the “dream” stuff, but it still needs to get done. Paying your bills, taking care of your home, studying, or whatever it may be. You know better than I do. While you’re chasing your dreams, it may be tempting to forget this list, but if you do, your life becomes unbalanced and slowly implodes. You don’t want to be the guy who gets his dream but has no one to share it with.
4. When you have free time, give it to your priorities first. This is the definition of a priority. You rank it above the other things in your life. Too many times, I’ve seen people who claim to have priorities, but in reality, they give their time to all the other things in their life. Guess what? Then it’s not a priority.
5. Once a week, review both your priorities and your life list. Make sure you’re taking actions towards your biggest goals and that you aren’t lagging behind with your other responsibilities.
6. Keep freakin’ grinding. When you accomplish a goal, celebrate, and then replace it with the next one.