The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
-- Stephen Covey
I am a “too many tabs open kind of gal.” I often find my mind racing, excited and interested in 12 things at a time. I find that I want to have my hands submerged into 12 projects all at once. The downside of this is that while I may look like I am having a wonderful time, I often don’t finish any of them. So, with this in mind, I have decided to scale back my “multitasking personality“ for a bit especially since anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I don’t multitask very well at all! I have some amazing goals in mind for myself and in order to accomplish them, I realize that I need to slow down and pay some respect to each and everyone of them. Does this resonate with any of you?
When we get involved in too many projects the energy we have gets split between all the goals and all the tasks. We simply do not put our best attention toward any of the things we are working on. Ironically, the things that we are interested in pursuing passionately, get worked on with mediocre energy. Unfortunately, we usually see this in the results.
So...maybe you don’t know which one of your projects should be your priority. Years ago, I worked with several people who participated in Stephen Covey‘s program. I remember they would organize their tasks in a table called the Priority Matrix. The table had 4 quadrants. In the top left quadrant, they would list all of the tasks and projects that were urgent and important. In the top right quadrant they would place all of the tasks or projects that were not urgent but important. In the bottom left quadrant they would place all projects and tasks that were urgent but not important. And in the bottom right quadrant they would place all tasks and projects that were not urgent and not important. It was an easier way to identify bigger tasks or projects I would imagine. It worked for many of them.
Now, if you find that you have several projects or tasks that you decide are ALL priorities, you are going to have to make a decision about which one is going to come first. Not every task can be #1. Once you decide which task is going to be your priority, you have to decide when you will work on. You need to create time in your calendar to work on this goal or task. An excellent solution is to create a date with yourself dedicated to your goals. When we put time aside for things, we are more likely to make them happen. We do it for doctor appointments, lunches with family, parent teacher conferences, etc. There’s no reason why we can’t do it to ensure that things that we are passionate about get completed.
Distractions need to be kicked to the curb. So, what are the things that are getting in the way now? Facebook? Television? Filing? Sifting through emails? The box of chocolates sitting next to you you on the nightstand? Maybe it is worth putting all of those things aside so that you can concentrate on this one particular goal. First, make an honest assessment of what your distractions are because once we know what they are we can finally address them.
Hmmm...maybe it’s extra sleep. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that if they get the choice between choosing an extra hour of sleep or concentrating on achieving a goal, even one they’ve been wanting to work on, they will choose the extra hour of sleep. Ok, truth is that we have to make some tough choices. We might just have to step away from the fuzzy blanket and comfy pillow a bit earlier to get a jump on achieving a goal. Maybe you can think about what it would feel like to achieve the goal - yes, the literal feeling you would have in your body when you can finally say - I DID IT!! How will you feel?? Is it worth getting out of bed for?
Whew! Okay, so here we go! I have a goal in mind....do you? I’d love to hear what it is and what your plan is to get there!
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
-- Stephen Covey