Prioritizing is an important skill that helps you decrease stress. However, it can be difficult to learn because it involves imagining and moving around ideas that you might not have experienced.
You have to understand the ideas, recall past experiences, and make a decision. Manipulating all of this can be a major mental task for the brain to handle. It takes a great deal of mental energy or brain power which is why it is best to prioritize when you are refreshed and alert.
While this may sound like a lot of work, the results are worth it. Here are 10 tips to make it easy for you to start practicing prioritizing:
- Be sure your choices reflect your core values.
- Have standards and set boundaries – take breaks, establish how long you will work, etc.
- Prioritize as early in the day as possible or the night before if you are refreshed.
- Write down and circle (on paper or a white board) the main and more urgent projects for the day.
- Look at each circle to find patterns, the hardest item, or other criteria important to you.
- Know what is most important and why.
- Look at the outcome you desire – what you really want.
- Can something be delegated?
- Simplify by saying "No" to excess as much as possible.
- Stay focused and committed as you set your priorities for the day.
It is important to write down your main projects (about 3) because it will be easier to compare the items prior to making your decision on what to do first. When you actually see the words, patterns will appear that will help clarify your priorities.
As you practice prioritizing, it will get easier to do. Also, when you spend time in the areas that bring you the results you desire, you will find yourself enjoying more of what you do!
I challenge you to develop this skill and reduce your stress.
Until next time,