4 Questions To Ask When Choosing Your Priorities

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Do you feel like there's never enough time in the day? Do you find yourself always behind on your to-do list and struggling to choose your priorities correctly? Do your dreams and goals always feel just a little bit out of reach? You're not alone.

I was talking to a friend recently about all the things we need to get done in a day, but that there never seems to be enough time. My friend then proceeded to mention things that they had to do, that I noticed would not help them accomplish the things in life that they said they wanted to. At first, I was thinking of all the ways that they could do better. But then I realized something: I am constantly getting my priorities out of whack, and constantly choosing to prioritize things that don't really matter.

When striving towards our dreams and reaching towards our goals, we have to get our priorities straight. But by golly-gee-whiz, that can be so stinkin' hard sometimes. Like, insanely hard.

But as I thought about this concept (and listened to a very helpful podcast by Kim Anderson), I realized that if we really want to change our lives for the good, and if we really want to reach our goals, then we have to start getting our priorities in order. And to do that, we need to be asking ourselves a few questions to help us determine if we've got our priorities properly in place for the day. So if you want to know what questions to ask yourself to make sure you are prioritizing the right tasks each day, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading!

4 Questions To Ask Yourself When Choosing Your Priorities. Are you prioritizing the right tasks in order to reach your dreams? | #dreams #goals #hustle #priorities

Does This Keep My End Goals In Sight?

What tasks do you have planned out today? Will they help you get at least one step closer to accomplishing your goals and dreams? It probably goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway: If your daily to-do list is divorced from your end goal, you are probably prioritizing the wrong things. Sometimes, you can't help it, and sometimes you have to do things that are separate from your goals. But, if you find that your daily tasks are often separate from your goals and dreams, then something has to change, my friend.

When we choose our priorities based on our goals, we have to be forward-thinking. If our goal is to write a blog post and a newsletter by the end of the day, but we've scheduled everything except writing time, then we can forget about that blog post and newsletter. And in the same way, if we schedule out our writing time, but continually choose watching Netflix, playing Candy Crush, or scrolling Instagram over actually getting those tasks done, then we are not prioritizing things that will help us reach our goals. So we have to ask ourselves: Do we really even want to reach our goals? If the answer is "yes", then we have some serious rearranging of our choices to do. If the answer is "no", then by all means, keep crushing those candies!

Do I Feel Good About Myself When Doing This?

Continuing with the same analogy, when I'm glued to Netflix, I enjoy it thoroughly. And in the moment, it's great. But once I move from just watching something to binging for half the day, I end my TV session feeling bad about myself. No blogging or VA work done, no clean laundry in sight, and a full load's worth of dirty dishes still hanging out in the sink.

At that point, my relaxing session becomes anything but relaxing, because I've piled even more work on my to-do list for the next day. At that point, I no longer feel good about myself, and I've caused more overwhelm than necessary. Prioritizing the wrong things will make us feel this way.

Is This Something That Currently Needs My Attention?

I was listening to Kim Anderson's podcast, Just Keep Blogging, the other day and she was talking about choosing your priorities correctly in order to get a blog where it needs to be. It was serendipitous that this podcast popped up, because I had been thinking about misplaced priorities just 30 minutes prior.

Kim talked about how we have to make trades to get our top priorities accomplished. She gave the illustration that one day she decided to do a deep-clean of the house, but when her husband came home he said "what did you do today?". Kim said she felt like it was obvious that she cleaned, but when she looked around she realized that there were dirty dishes in the sink, the carpet was not vacuumed, and there was still a pile of laundry. She had scrubbed the baseboards and worked hard, but she had chosen things that weren't necessary while the things that were necessary remained in waiting.

I loved this example and it felt so relevant. I do that all the time with my blog, my house work, and probably with a lot of other tasks too.

Does This Help Create A Better Life?

Creating a better life is hard work. But the more we work towards a better life, the more joy we will have in our life. Lounging on the couch and watching Netflix is fun. It's easy and it's relaxing. And it's totally fine to enjoy that. But if we are prioritizing Netflix over the more important tasks that will create a quality life for us, then friends, we are choosing the wrong things.

Prioritizing isn't always fun, and it certainly isn't always easy. I like the cushy, comfy tasks that require little to no thought or effort. But those tasks don't bring lasting joy and they don't help us create a better life.

So next time you find yourself overwhelmed, stuck in a rut, or unable to get things done, try asking yourself these questions and see if maybe you need a priority shift.

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