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How to Solve Your Competing Priorities Problem


The first action step for becoming more productive is to write out your vision.

Write out in specific detail what you want your life or business to look like in 5 years.

The clearer you see your vision, the more obvious you will see your priorities.

Priorities are not a matter of right and wrong or good and bad. Priorities are simply a matter of relevant and irrelevant.

The reason people have such a hard time prioritizing is because we live and work in a world with unclear vision.

An unclear vision means there either is no vision or there are too many visions.

If there is no clear vision, then everything is a priority. If there are many visions, then you will bump into having conflicting and competing priorities pulling you in different directions.

Either way, you will have frustration, stress, lack of clarity and feel overwhelmed.

The proper selection of your next most significant priority then is 100% dependent on its context as it relates to the vision.

When you clarify the vision, the sequential set of steps that are needed to make it a reality usually become clear.

But if you don’t have a clear vision, then you may find yourself running in a thousand directions just doing everything that shows up as something you can possibly do.

So if you find yourself struggling to balance competing priorities the answer may not be to just work harder and longer, but to stop, take a breath, and clarify what really matters.

Choose Choice Dominoes

I’ve always promoted that success comes down to the choices we make. But I am just now realizing how strongly the choices we make today influence the choices we make tomorrow.

Good choices beget good choices. I go to bed early, which helps me get up early, which gives me the time to work out and go through my morning reading routine, which puts me in a good mood which helps me get my priorities done during the day, which brings me peace, which allows me to fall asleep without stress. It starts all over.

Bad choices beget more bad choices. I drink too much, then I eat a bunch of junk and stay up super late. I wake up late, feel like crap, can’t get anything done and am annoyed. I spend all my energy trying to survive the day, am too exhausted to work out and say “the heck with it I might as well pig out tonight because this day’s already shot.” Tomorrow I will start with even less energy.

Healthy choices beget healthy choices.
The choice to lie begets more lying.
The choice to be successful begets more opportunities to be successful.

This domino effect applies to everything. It’s not that you can’t make different choices tomorrow from the ones you made today, it’s just easier not to.

The cycle can be reversed at any moment by making different choices but the more we are making choices in one direction the harder it becomes to make choices in a different direction.

I guess the choices I make right now matter to more than just this moment I’m making them for.

Strategic Procrastination

Many of us are pressed by a need to complete everything that comes into our world that is an activity that is potentially worth completing. It’s often an overwhelming pressure that we put on ourselves to try and implement every new idea, attend every party we’re invited to, volunteer every time we’re asked, and answer every single email in our inbox.

Yet the vast majority of activities that we could do actually will forward our progress toward the handful of goals that truly matter to us in our lives.

What if you gave yourself the permission to put off the things that were insignificant and irrelevant to the critical priorities in your life? What if you gave yourself the permission to say no?

I will never invite you to put off doing the things you know you should be doing related to getting to what you want in life – ­that’s called being scared. But I am inviting you to stop doing all of the things that don’t matter – I call it Strategic Procrastination.