Priorities suggest our primary or first concerns. There is no simpler way to put it other than what are the most vital things to us & fulfills our lives? Moreover, how do the things we think of as priorities benefit us? This thought process can be tied together with things like paying bills or doing our taxes. If we pay bills on time, we may retain our resources like electricity or water. If we don’t do taxes, we might be in trouble with the government. But priorities go much further than just specific adult responsibilities. There are some Ways to Set Priorities in Life.
Getting focused & setting priorities can undeniably advance your life. By recognizing the things that matter most to you & taking actions toward your goals that support those meaningful things, you will be more satisfied, feel happier, & make more advancement toward your dreams. Getting your priorities straight can make all the difference if you are trying to improve your life.
Steps to Set Priorities in Life
1. Create Your List
Creating a list of priorities will help you to keep things in perspective. The best thing is maintaining a physical list on pen & paper, but digital lists can also be used. Either way, having a list & looking at it often is extremely helpful.
Moreover, that list should be quite steady. Of course, our priorities can change over time with changing situations. However, some priorities will stay the same, like paying the bills or insurance and doing the taxes. When our external environments & conditions change, our priorities may change, too.
2. Identify Your Values
Often instead of finding our own values, we adhere to the values of our family or culture. Take the time to think about what’s vital to you, what you stand for, and what you believe in.
Avoid focusing on external rewards, like money, status, or others’ approval. Avoid basing your priorities on the expectation of others. If you find your true values, you can stand your ground, no matter what, like skinny Steve Rogers did against the bullies in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011).
3. Take The “Maintain, Improve, Change” Test
One of the effective Ways to Set Priorities in Life is by reflecting on the last few months. Note what you want to maintain, develop or change across the various aspects of your life: relationships, health, finances, career, spirituality & personal life. Then read again what you have written & create particular actions.
For instance, because finding a new job is a top priority, you schedule a meeting each week with colleagues & mentors to network effectively. Spending quality time with your partner is also a priority; you decide to spend 30 minutes together you come home — minimizing the distractions.
Focus on how well you maintain those tasks, if you have room for development or if you can change them for the better.
4. List & Identify Your Daily, Weekly, & Monthly Priorities
It is also an excellent & efficient idea to divide your priorities & goals into daily, weekly, & monthly time frames. Paying your bills can be regarded as a monthly priority while shopping for vegetables can be considered a daily priority (unless you stack your refrigerator with weeks-worth of vegetables & meats).
You only have to worry about paying the bills once a month, but they are significant enough to demand special attention. Other tasks can be weekly priorities. Your weekly priorities may include getting enough rest, ensuring your family has a healthy meal each day, or finding time to call your parents. You should also classify daily priorities to keep you focused & on the right track.
5. Consider Work Priorities
At your workplace, job priorities are placed upon you; you can try answering these questions to set priorities that meet your values and the organization’s vision & goal.
- Why is your role there?
- What are your strengths & how can you use them?
- What are the expectations from you in this company?
- What are your expectations of this position & organization?
It is helpful to have your job description & a list of company goals (typically declared during the meetings) close by. This will help you distinguish if a task aligns with your goals or responsibilities. If it doesn’t, consider if you are suitable for that task.
Sometimes, new priorities come up in the middle of the year. If it happens, talk to your superior about which tasks must be taken care of first & which one can wait.
6. Differentiate Between ‘Urgent’ & ‘Important’
President Eisenhower once said: “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent & the important. The urgent are not important, & the important are never urgent.”
Urgent tasks are frequently related to someone else’s goals or priorities. Important tasks are related to your values & long-term missions. Urgent but unimportant tasks may be a last-minute invite to a party or going shopping with someone else.
The importance of mercilessly avoiding or eliminating urgent but unimportant tasks or allocating them. For example, You’re working on a vital project, so you hire a helper to do the laundry or grocery shopping. You denied attending networking events to focus on a significant project. You can check your inbox four times a day instead of every 15 minutes.
The objective is to be more intentional & caring of your time, rather than being reactive & wasting important mental energy & focus you need to work on the so-called ‘important’ things.”
7. Eliminate Distractions
Once you recognize the things you must focus your energy on, it’s time to eliminate those irritating distractions. It can be too easy to be tempted by something different, attractive, or exhilarating. By finding ways to eradicate those temptations, you can make it easier to focus on your priorities. By staying focused, you increase the possibility of achieving your goals.
8. Be Flexible, your Current Priorities May Change
Just because something is your top priority currently doesn’t mean it will stay like that forever. As we move forward in life, we change & grow. Our priorities change accordingly.
The things that were vital to us when we were 10 were far different from those that mattered to us when we were 25. As you get new experience & perspective, it’s normal to alter your priorities. Be flexible to that change.
Why You Must Clearly Define Your Priorities?
Life can be hard to organize when you haven’t defined priorities. Feeling like you lack focus can be challenging & struggling to know how to spend your time effectively can be stressful.
As you learn to set priorities in your life by following some simple Ways to Set Priorities in Life, you will get a clear picture of your goals & the priorities that are in line with them. When you identify the things that matter most, you will get confidence in your actions & be able to organize your life in more meaningful ways.
Q: What are the Best Ways to Set Priorities in Life?
A: Setting priorities is a process. One needs to identify their values & strengths before doing that.
Q: How to differentiate between urgencies & priorities?
A: Ask yourself if that urgency is aligned with your goals. If not, overlook them. Sometimes urgencies demand prompt action.
Q: Can urgencies become more crucial than priorities?
A: Sometimes, they can be. Suppose one of your friends has met with an accident while you are in the middle of a meeting. That urgency of rushing to your friend becomes the priority then.
Q: I keep losing focus on my priorities, what to do?
A: That is a problem faced by many. Remind yourself about the consequences if you fail to meet the priorities & why you made them priorities in the first place.