The art of prioritizing

‘The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities’ – as said by Stephen Covey, an American educator and speaker well known for his bestseller 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Your mind is a maze that creates multiple options for utilizing every minute of yours.

For instance, a period of 30 minutes in your schedule can be used for a run, social interaction, project work, sleep, social media scrolling and many other activities. How to determine the perfect time-activity combination? Now that’s what we call the art of prioritizing. What understanding do you need to prioritize well? Here are some underlying factors –

Peace in sight

Quite often you experience that despite a long busy day, you feel incomplete. You feel a sense of lack. That is because work that gives you peace of mind, work that matters to you did not get the required attention and your day was consumed by other commitments that were of lesser importance. You should clearly identify activities that enhance your sense of self and make sure that you give them top priority.

Work-energy match

Energy is infinite but the levels vary during the day. Develop the habit of matching work to energy levels. Understand yourself and know at what time of the day your energy is at its peak and schedule intellectually and physically demanding tasks for that time. Leave the tendency to set everything in order before you start with the important stuff (more applicable to working women). Prioritize by your energies and you will find at the end of the day you will be a happily busy person.

Master the mind switch

Mind shuffle is when you switch from one task to other, each one requiring a different perspective and a different format of working. For instance, you are in an important meeting that needs presentation skills and immediately after the meet you have a get together that requires social skills. Prioritizing involves doing away with certain commitments to maintain a healthy mind switch. Trying to take up everything every day creates an illusionary sense of accomplishment. If you master the art of scheduling your priorities you lead a genuinely resourceful day.

Keep your mind light

Some activities take up a lot of space in your mind. Logically you know that it is no big deal but it lingers in the back of your mind till you do it. For example, activities that are not urgent but important like – Updating yourself about the latest innovation in your sector, evaluating the ideal extra- curricular option for your child, getting that small repair work done and much more.

The way to tackle this is either get the work done or know that it will get done and release precious mental space. Don’t let these activities clutter your to-do day after day. Don’t let it give you a feeling of you being a perpetual procrastinator by repeating it to yourself and others over and over again. Know that currently it is not your priority and thinking about it won’t help.

Each one of us has the same 24 hours. Yet there is vast difference in where we are in life. Where does the difference lie? The difference is not due to the family, or the position, or the society. It is due to an innate sense of prioritizing your day, ensuring that you put your time and energy to the best possible use.

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