Welcome to lesson 2 in Module 3 ‘Time’. This lesson is about prioritization.
In one of the previous lessons - lesson 2 in Module 1, to be exact - we talked about values and priorities. Let’s quickly refresh your memory.
When we talk about priorities in this course I don’t mean it in the way that you might be using it: your day-to-day list of things that are all important, that all need to be done, and that you all try to cram into your day, because they’re all ‘priorities’. What I mean are life priorities. Priorities are not your neverending to-do list, but they are overarching principles that are important in your life.
The difference between your values and your priorities, is this:
Your values are a framework. They serve as your guiding principles and boundaries. Your priorities reinforce those boundaries. When in doubt, priorities help you determine whether something falls within or outside of those boundaries. Priorities help you determine if you want to say yes or no to something. In certain situations priorities can help you determine which of your values to prioritize.
Mind refreshed? Good!
Now, we’re going to put these values and priorities to use through the method of prioritization. Prioritization has become the most effective tool for me to live out my values on a daily basis. Prioritization is nothing more than ranking the options before you according to what is most important to you. And determining what’s most important to you really boils down to your values and priorities.
In this course, we’re going to use this method of prioritization in two ways:
1. To create a daily routine for purposeful productivity based on your priorities, needs, and preferences.
2. To come up with a clear system to determine where a task or option will fall in terms of importance within that routine.
Creating a daily routine for purposeful productivity is the focus of this entire third Module and is something that specifically will be addressed in lesson 5.
So, let’s talk about this second point.
The first step is coming up with a clear system is to rank your values in order of importance. Take the values you defined in Module 1.2, write them down on the worksheet that accompanies this lesson, and then rank your values. I realize they are your values and, in such, they are all important, but really challenge yourself to decide where they fall relative to one another.
As I said before, your values serve as your guiding principles and boundaries. Your priorities reinforce those boundaries. Priorities help you determine if you want to say yes or no to something.
But what if your priorities leave you with a list of 15 things that you’ve said yes to? And by that I don’t mean things you’ve said yes to because you want to win that person’s approval or you feel the need to people please. What I mean is that your priorities leave you with multiple things to do. Or what if you’re working on a big personal or business project and your to-do list is 15 items long?
In that case, the thing to do is to go through this list and - with your values and priorities in mind - number each item in order of importance. Make sure to number the entire list, all items 1 through 15. What this does for you is that you’re intentional about ranking things according to what you value, instead of being a slave to your to-do list and acting based on a sense of false urgency.
If you have trouble ranking your to-dos or if you, in the future, ever feel stuck with prioritizing, ask yourself these questions:
- Does this need to be done today?
- Is it faster to do this now?
- Does this need to be done at all?
- Which items have I been doing for months or years, but are no longer living up to their purpose?
- Can someone else do this?
- Can this be broken into smaller tasks?
- Which of the tasks am I excited about?
That’s it for this lesson. Make sure to complete the worksheet before moving on to lesson 3 in this third Module.