Are Your Priorities Really Priorities?


prioritizeIf you are a little bit like me, you have long to-do lists, full of things that you keep on your list forever because there is always something more important to do than dealing with them. But are they really important?

In an article published on LinkedIn, Greg McKeown – author of the New York Times bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, points out that “the word “priority” came into the English language in the 1400s and it was singular. It meant the very first thing. It stayed singular, very sensibly, for the next 500 years! Only in the 1900s did we pluralize the term and start speaking of “priorities.” So, by definition, we should not have so many “very first things” on our to-do lists and yet they tend to be never-ending…

We are constantly bombarded by requests from the external world,too many opportunities and options are continuously offered to us and we are forced to face so many challenges that we need to address in both our personal and professional life, we feel there’s too much to do and too little time and, as a result, we are forced to face an even bigger challenge: overwhelm. We keep pushing the important stuff somewhere, hoping that one day we’ll do it. But that day doesn’t come and time is running out….

The holiday season is just around the corner and this is the time most of us start putting on paper our New Year Resolutions: usually a “looong” list of things we want to accomplish in the new year and – guess what? – usually half of them remain un-accomplished and forgotten.

So if you have an ambitious goal or project that you finally want to commit to but you feel overwhelmed by all the “priorities” on your list, keep reading: I’m going to reveal some secrets that will help you focus on your true priorities and achieve massive progress in your life.


Go to regular (every 90 days) “private retreats”

Get out of your office, turn off your computer and switch off your phone and tablet, even for half day. If you can,try to carve out from your busy schedule, one whole day or a couple of days, it’s even better. This is something most successful entrepreneurs do.It gives them a chance to look at the big picture, ask the important questions and explore where they are, where they would need to be, where they are going to, and how to get there. It is a chance to get away from the busy and often hectic schedule that may lead you to be trapped by trivial and unnecessary things. This is a time for you to reflect on what really matters. Believe me: this will add clarity and perspective to your goals, your vision, your purpose.

Re-connect with your motivation, your big WHY

This is what gives you clarity and focus. By constantly reconnecting to your motivation, you see you goal, your destination and you are able to discern the trivial by what is important. A word of warning: important and urgent have different meanings and often urgent things are not important for accomplishing your goal. Reminding you of your big WHY helps you clearly see what is really important and conducive to where you want to go.

Pretend you have half the time you really have

I’m a separated mum of two teenagers. This means that I have to accommodate their schedules into my already extremely busy one and I don’t have the time that I would like – and would need – to have for myself and my business. So I don’t have to pretend I have half the time: I really DON’T HAVE the time I would love to have. This forced me to be really “clear” about my priorities. So if I know I only have four hours today, what should I get done? Instead of trying to fit eight hours of work into four hours, I try to force myself to think what I would do if I only had two hours. This helps me understand what the things that really matter are.

Declutter your screen 

This is first-hand experience guys! I have to remind and force myself to close all the windows I open on my laptop that keep distracting me: they seem to keep asking for my attention and…. often I give in, I have to admit that! When our computer screen is “cluttered”, we keep looking at our inbox as our priority #1 and, as Greg McKeown says in his article, it becomes “ our to-do list (when really our email mostly consists of other people’s agenda)” and we lose sight of our true priorities.

So I hope these four simple strategies will help you identify your true priorities, set the stage for a special – and prosperous -year and get rid of the overwhelm.

If you have your own strategies to set your true priorities, please share them in the comment section. Many people come here every week for inspiration and advice, so I encourage you to leave your comments below. Your experience and insights may inspire and trigger a meaningful change for someone else.

Thank you for reading, watching and sharing

To your success and prosperity

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