We are living in a world where our focus is constantly pulled in all directions. Not only do we have to try to avoid the distractions of the digital world, we have to balance the never ending to-do list with the number of hours in a day. It’s fair to say, the struggle is real.
Without understanding our priorities it’s hard to focus on the things that are most important to us right now. These are the things that make us feel most fulfilled and reflect our purpose so they are a pretty big deal but often get pushed to the side by more “urgent” matters.
If you’re feeling like you’re constantly spinning your wheels and never achieving your goals, ask yourself, what’s most important to me? Think about the things that really matter to you in your career or your personal life. Are you mixing up what you believe is urgent with what you know is important?
What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important – Dwight Eisenhower
Before he was President of the USA, Dwight Eisenhower served as a general in the army, which was where he was faced with many tough decisions concerning the tasks he had to focus on every day. It was this constant struggle that led him to develop a productivity system that makes organising your tasks simple.
This matrix illustrates the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important and how we often prioritise our time based on the urgent things rather than the things that are important to us.
Sometimes everything on your list will look important but as you practice using this tool you will start to understand how much happier and more fulfilled you’ll be when you focus on the important things.
A 6 Step Guide To Prioritising Your Life
Write down all the goals you want to achieve over the next 3 months. What are the things you truly desire or want to achieve? This might be a really big list so don’t freak out!
Put a star next to the five things that are the most important to you. While you might be feeling torn between multiple goals, really consider what you would most would like to achieve.
Cross off anything you have decided is not a priority. After you highlight what’s most important you may start to realise that there are some items on this list that aren’t as important as other things. While this doesn’t mean you’ll never achieve these goals, it just means they’re not a priority right now.
Circle the most important goal or task for you to do this month. This is the one goal that stands out to you above anything else and you would feel really happy if you could achieve it.
Write down three of the most important tasks you could do to put yourself one step closer to achieving your goal. Breaking down your goal into these actionable steps will help you to actually achieve the goal.
Here’s a challenge for you, do one of these tasks right now! Don’t add it to your to-do list but instead spend some time right now to get it done.
Repeat these steps as you complete each goal on your list and remember to focus on one goal at a time.
TIP: Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend or family member to check-in on you from time to time to see if you’ve remained committed to focusing on the things that are important (rather than what’s urgent).
About the author:
As a marketing consultant embracing the side hustle, Kate works with one-on-one clients to build bespoke marketing an content strategies and thrives off building connections. She's completely obsessed with helping business owners develop strategies to take their business to the next level which she does through free educational content on her YouTube Channel and intimate workshops.