Have you ever stared at your to-do list and wondered where you could possibly start or how you’re going to get it all done? Or, do you have lots of things you want to achieve but no idea how you can make it happen on top of everything else?
Don’t fret. With some clever prioritising, you can get on top of it.
There are two levels of prioritisation:
- Goal prioritisation – getting clear on the results you need to focus on right now.
- Action prioritisation – ordering the specific tasks needed to achieve your goals.
To prioritise effectively, complete level 1 before tackling level 2.
Level 1: Setting priory goals
It’s crucial to set goals in order to prioritise because you’ll know where your focus is needed. Without great goals, you could be good at prioritising but risk being aimless and wasting time.
The starting point for setting goals is your vision. What is it you want? What is your mission? If you’re not yet clear on your vision, you’ll find our tips on dreaming and creating your vision helpful to work through first.
When you’re ready, sit down with a notebook and write down all the major things that need to happen to realise your vision. This can be over any timescale you choose. You may have a simple vision that can be achieved within a year or you may have groundbreaking plans that could take ten.
Establish your LIFE Goals™
Each goal needs to lead to a specific result. Try using the LIFE Goals™ approach:
- Loving – Begin by establishing how you want to feel when the goal is achieved. Believe you deserve what’s best for you and the people you care about.
- Intentional – Have your vision board in front of you each time you set a goal. Make sure you know how it will take you closer to where you want to be.
- Focused – Spend time ensuring each goal is simple, clearly defined and has a deadline. Believe you can achieve it right from the very beginning.
- Energising – Set goals that will motivate you. Make them achievable but add just the right amount of stretch so you’ll need to work purposefully toward them.
Balance your goals
When setting goals, it’s important not to be one-dimensional, focusing on just one aspect of your life. This is because focusing on one single thing alone, such as launching a business, can lead to you neglecting critical areas of your life such as your wellbeing and relationships. Balancing your goals is important for enabling you to feel happy and fulfilled.
To achieve balance, set goals across four areas:
Try these tips for setting brilliant, balanced goals that lead to fulfilment.
Choose your timeframe
Set both long-term goals which cover the entire journey to your vision and priority goals which breakdown the key results needed in specific blocks of time. We recommend setting priority goals over a six-month period because it’s long enough to make significant progress but short enough to focus your energies and keep your passion fresh.
With your goals established, you’re now ready to prioritise the actions you need to take.
Level 2: Prioritising your actions
Make prioritising your tasks simple and effective by mapping them onto a Priority Grid™.
The Priority Grid™ takes into consideration both what’s important to get done (for example a deadline your boss has set) and what has high meaning to you (for example building a successful business on the side). It helps you ensure that the tasks that contribute most highly to your priority goals always make it into the top quadrant.
The grid also helps you identify tasks that would be better delegated or deleted, freeing up critical time for the actions that will make the greatest impact on your life. Don’t limit your priority actions just to those that will contribute to your purpose and wealth. Remember to make time for your relationships and wellbeing too.
Why not copy the Priority Grid™ below onto a fresh page of a notebook, sort your tasks into the quadrants and use your Life Planner to design your days around what matters?
It’s so important to know what you want, set goals and design your days around your priorities. Otherwise, the world will encroach on your time and your life could quickly become more busy than it is fulfilling.
When scheduling tasks, be aware of which are ‘Flexi Tasks’ (you can flit between them or multitask) and which are ‘Focus Tasks’ (you need dedicated time to work on them in an undisturbed space). Allocate yourself blocks of time when you need them and don’t be afraid to tell people you’ll be uncontactable during this time.
Time is your greatest asset when it comes to achieving your goals. Treat it like gold.