Learning how to prioritize well is probably one of the most important skills you can develop. It’s something successful people are really good at. It’s something others struggle with.
What’s more important? That phone call? Working on your book? Your next blog post? That meeting? Lunch with a client? Lunch with your spouse?
What about other decisions you have to make? What should you learn? Where should you live? What will your lifestyle look like? Your career? Your relationships?
How do you decide?
Sometimes intuition is enough. Your heart, the spirit, the universe—they somehow already know. But other times you’ll be given the chance, the opportunity to prioritize and work out in your own mind what comes next. There will come a time (or many times in your life) when you’ll be entrusted, empowered to make the decision on your own. Then what will you do? Have you prepared for that?
With every decision (big or small) there’s always something we’re trying to improve, solve, or change. But how do we know when something has changed if we don’t have a metric for it? It’s true that there can be development without measurement, but after a while we grow stagnant and become unsure of our progress. Which ultimately makes us question if we made the right decision in the first place.
Don’t confuse activity with productivity. When performance is measured, performance improves. The same goes with our priorities.
That’s why it’s almost impossible to make intelligent decisions without a list. What metric are you trying to improve? How can you measure it’s impact? Now apply that to other choices you have to make today. Then do the same for other areas of your life.
Do you have a list? If not, maybe that should be your number one priority...