How often, looking back, many sigh that there is nothing to remember. This is not about rush jobs or a gray line of everyday life. It is a shame when dreams have remained unfulfilled, and desires – unfulfilled. It’s good to believe in a fairy godmother or a magic wand. But you can make it look like a regular pencil. The correct arrangement of life’s top priorities, examples of how to arrange them and how to understand it, can be seen in all successful people. It all starts with a pencil and a small piece of paper. They will help you concentrate and choose the most significant, outline long-term and near-term goals, find ways to achieve them, because time is irreplaceable, it is our most valuable and limited resource, which we often spend unwisely and ineffectively. That is why it is so important to learn to allocate hours according to importance.
Top Priorities: What Does It Mean?
Priority is the most important thing at the moment, for the solution of which all time and energy is concentrated. Often there is a kind of dispersion between the mass of small, but urgent tasks that take energy, but do not give a practical result. Observing a certain hierarchy will help to distribute them according to the urgency.
There are many directions, the main ones are:
- financial well-being;
- basic needs for food and clothing;
Choosing and prioritizing in life will help to determine which option requires the closest attention today.
Maslow Pyramid to Set Your Top Priorities
This famous table organizes human needs. All our needs are built here in a certain subordination in relation to each other: without satisfying the lower level, it is impossible to move higher.
The relationship between the practical and the spiritual has long been proven. Without meeting basic needs, you cannot go a step further. The system, developed by psychologist Abraham Maslow, clearly shows the possible definition of priorities and goals…. As a basis, he put physiological needs that give strength to move along the road of life. The next requirement is the safety of a person and his loved ones. This is followed by the need for love, which is complemented by the desire for recognition and respect for other members of society. At the top, he placed self-expression as an act of higher creativity. But it is impossible without compliance with the basic requirements, at least in a minimal amount. This distribution must be taken into account, otherwise plans run the risk of remaining in the form of tables and graphs, without having a basis for actual implementation.
It’s Time to Make A Choice & Set Your Top Priorities
How a person’s fate will turn out, whether a dream can become a reality, depends only on himself. The knowledge of what is and how to correctly prioritize in a person’s life, work, affairs and how to learn this opens up scope not only for self-improvement, but also for ordering one’s destiny. For this, whole systems have been developed, they are based on the assertion that each person goes to achieve the goal in his own way and offer models of behavior. It remains only to delve into their operation and choose the option that is closest to the algorithm. Any of them involves several stages of the implementation of the plan. If you feel that some of the life spheres is getting out of control or hindering the next level of development, change your position immediately.
1. The First Step is a Frank Conversation with A Piece of Paper
Everyone has their own priorities in life. Under the pressure of circumstances, they can change places a little, when instead of resting, taking care of the baby is required or a rush at work makes them reduce the time devoted to the family by a certain number of days. This is reality and this is normal. But first, you need to define your personal values and rank them in order of importance. I recommend for a while to put aside the thesis “I should” in relation to others and put forward in the first place “I want”, in relation to yourself.
Now you need to take a pencil and a blank sheet to answer simple questions as honestly as possible.
- What is most important. A short list with a central point is allowed.
- That eats up the bulk of the time. This will be seen better if the daily routine is drawn up in subparagraphs indicating time limits.
- Write down your desires and aspirations with the expected result in 10, 20, 30 years, taking into account all the main aspects of life.
- What conditions are necessary to achieve each goal.
- What prevents the implementation of the plan. Here you have to go through the previous point, but with a minus sign.
- Point out what is non-negotiable and must be followed rigorously, such as parenting.
- List the least important one that can be dispensed with.
- It is permissible to write or sketch information in any form, the main thing is that it is visual and understandable.
2. Step Two – Thoughtful Analysis
For success not in one direction, but taking into account each of them, there will be enough time and effort with a margin. The main thing is to correctly determine and prioritize in life. First, you need to highlight the ultimate goal, and then, as an experienced commander, consider options for achieving it, inspecting the available resources and finding opportunities to replenish the missing.
You can’t act rashly without thinking through every nuance. So you can only destroy what is already there, not one iota advancing towards the desired.
3. The Third is A Plan of Upcoming Actions
When the goal is clear and the starting level is visible, it is time to carefully design the step-by-step progress towards the ideal. You cannot move the rock with your bare hands, but you can crush it into pieces and gradually move it one by one. This is what I recommend for those who have decided to change everything for the better. The global goal should consist of a series of intermediate ones, for which the time is determined and the necessary steps are calculated.
Sometimes you have to meet people who tried to immediately grasp the immensity. As a result, they lost faith in themselves and gave up. It’s hard to work with such clients, but you can help them by going through the preliminary stages with them and jointly planning ways to achieve the goal. As a rule, their second attempt is much more successful.
It is important not to notify others about your plans until their implementation has begun. Empty talk wastes precious energy, turning good endeavors into bragging rights and can seriously hurt.
4. Step Four – Take Action
After careful preparation, it is time to start implementation, and here hesitation is already inappropriate. The reality around will change gradually, in the process it is sometimes necessary to reconsider priorities and this is normal. You need to start with small daily tasks, gradually moving towards the main thing and checking with the developed course. I recommend to be sure to record intermediate successes, comparing the planned with the achieved, adjusting the time frame as necessary. It is important not to delay the implementation of the planned, but also not to allow empty fuss.
In the process of work, one should not succumb to indecision, but it is appropriate to show foresight and once again analyze the motion vector.
5. Step Five – Learn the Art of Juggling
Having understood what it is to set priorities in life and what they are, it becomes much easier to build them in order of importance, moving forward and not losing sight of the main one. Fate brings surprises and you will have to learn how to react to them without losing the main thing. The targets are like crystal balls filled with light. They should not be allowed to fall and break, but sometimes you need to swap them, figuratively speaking, to intercept from one hand to another.
Now, in case of any surprise, a plan of action will be ready, which will allow you to relatively painlessly and quickly move the emphasis, in order to then align the course again and confidently move in the chosen direction. Setting top priorities in work and life will help make the path to the most important goal simple and understandable, dividing it into time intervals, determining the length and amount of effort for each.
At first glance, everything is quite simple, if we take it as an axiom that an important matter is urgent. But then there is a risk of drowning in an avalanche of urgent problems that require immediate solutions. There are proven tools for optimizing efforts.Correct Placement
Effective Methods to Set Your Top Priorities
Each person has his own algorithm, you need to choose a method that resonates with the rhythms of life and then the result from the efforts will increase several times. You can try them in practice or trust your intuition.
1. Eisenhower Matrix
For its implementation, top priorities are distributed according to two criteria – urgency and importance. They are written out according to the principle of a coordinate system, where tasks are lined up obliquely from the upper left corner to the lower right.
The table is clear and allows you to estimate both the overall scale and the number of intermediate stages. Setting top priorities insures against falling out of sight of matters falling into the category of urgent matters. Such a system is not only easy to use, but also disciplines and coordinates.
2. Making Lists
Some do not understand how important the ability to correctly prioritize in work and life is and what this means for the quality implementation of the set goals. Seizing everything at once, they risk everything and let it slip through their fingers like sand. The basic principle of the list is from the most important to the most insignificant. It is advisable to compile 2 lists, focusing on importance and urgency, and then check them for coincidences.
3. Pareto Rule
Another original and effective method is to single out the most necessary cases from 20% and focus on them, leaving the rest to be gradually completed as possible. It turns out that the primary solution of the main problems frees up a lot of time and energy for other activities, accelerating the progress towards the finish line.
4. Descartes Square
In whatever century a person lives, but the knowledge of what are correctly set top priorities will save him internal resources. It is simple, like everything ingenious, it requires concentration, but it gives a very accurate result. Suitable for remote targets for several years or a lifetime. Each is considered from 4 sides, which takes into account:
- consequences of refusal;
- what will disappear or will not happen in the implementation of the plan;
- what can be lost if nothing is done.
- The laboriousness of the process is compensated for by the quick assignment of tasks in order of importance.
5. ABC Method
Eliminates the loss of meaningful matters in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. To implement it, it is enough to distribute all tasks into 3 columns:
- not too much;
- you can do it.
Despite the seeming simplicity, the method works great, with systematic application it disciplines thoughts and trains memory.
6. Olympic Device
A competitive approach is used according to the principle “winner – loser”, where the tasks are deduced by the level of importance by comparison, the one that is recognized as more significant goes the next round, from 1/8 to the final. A harmonious system is being built, which is no longer questioned and is a guide to action. It helps to understand how to prioritize something and achieve a positive outcome.
7. Pairwise Comparison Method
It is similar to the assessment in figure skating, but besides “artistry and technique” there should be 3-4 more criteria, where the significance is determined on a scale of 5 points. Leaders in terms of total number are promoted to the first lines that must be completed. The ideal option would be to overlap in several positions, which means that the goals complement each other and will most effectively move the system towards the end of the process.
8. Mutual Influence
Here you will have to calculate the moves as in a chess game. The point is to find a goal that indirectly affects the fulfillment of others. For example, to get a new position, you need to undergo training, which will increase the respect of others and the competence of a person as an employee. To travel to the courses, you need a certain amount of money, which will encourage you to look for new sources of income, and they will, over time, increase the well-being of the family as a whole. It is convenient to mark dependencies with arrows or any other icons. The one to which the largest number of characters will indicate and becomes the main one at the moment.
9. Contribution to Global Goals
Here the object of the search becomes a task that leads to the satisfaction of a larger number of requests. The method is diametrically opposite to the priority of mutual influence. Also worthy of consideration and fragmentary application.
10. Multivariate Analysis
To implement it, you will have to allocate not just a free minute, but spend a significant amount of time, having finally received a fairly accurate work plan. To do this, everything is written out in a general list, several parameters are set, and ratings from 1 to 5 are put down for each. The more criteria, and the more honest the answer, the more accurate the forecast.
In addition to scientifically based methods, there are quite original ways to prioritize tasks and setting top priorities that are easy to perform correctly. These include:
- the method of a roasted rooster, when it will no longer be possible to postpone;
- a creaking wheel, where the criterion is irritation from unfulfilled;
- target system, assuming the implementation of what caught the eye.
Such methods of action have a short-term effect, but they also have the right to life. The main thing is that they bring results.
The 2-minute rule saves you from accumulating annoying little things. It is used daily. The point is that if the task takes less than 120 seconds, then it is executed immediately and deleted from the list, without slagging the space.
The wealth of methods allows you to choose one or several, starting with simple ones and gradually mastering more complex and effective ones. The management of the time spent will respond to an increase in the effectiveness of work on solving current problems. The proof of the statement is the example of the busiest people. They manage to complete their plans, go in for sports, devote some hours to their favorite pastime and leave the evening to chat with friends.
You may also like to read: How to Stop Accumulating Stuff and Start Acting?
People who do not have the ability to set top priorities find it difficult to immediately navigate the abundance of information, translate theoretical calculations into practical actions. It is often necessary to show direction and help to take the first steps, supporting and encouraging.
I have been working with the problem of lack of time for a long time and help those who are unable to escape from the daily quagmire of small matters. Each person has the strength to achieve a dream, for this it is required to reveal his inner potential.
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