Why it is time to prioritise

In the old days, you turned up at work and your job was laid out for you. You knew what you would have to do for the day, how much of it you would have to do, when you would take your breaks and, every other little detail. It is no longer that way. We now work in the knowledge economy where we are set goals and objectives and we then have to decide every little detail of our work, in order to achieve those goals and objectives. One of the main reasons that there are so many people suffering from stress and failing to enjoy their working life is that they can’t even decide what they should be focusing their energies on; let alone actually get it done. If you are like this, it’s time to prioritise.

Eliminate the waste

Simplify and decullter your life so that you can limit your focus to the things which really matter; allowing you to increase your influence and impact.


To discover effective strategies to simplify and declutter your life , check out 'Scaling Back'.


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Why it’s time to prioritise

time to prioritise mahatma gandhi

If you want to be happier, more successful or more productive, then it’s absolutely essential that you start to prioritise and decide what you really want out of life and what you should be focusing your energies on. We live in a world of endless possibilities. Unlike the generations which went before us, we can travel anywhere and work at just about anything. Not only that, we can work with people on the other side of the world without ever leaving our home. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

It is great to have so many opportunities but it does cause a problem; it simply isn’t possible to do all of the things which we would like to do. That is to say, that you can’t have everything. Or as one old proverb puts it: you can’t chase after two rabbits at once. Unfortunately, too many people refuse to accept this. They end up tired, stressed out and burned out. To add insult to injury, when you chase too many things, you end up getting a little bit of everything but you don’t get all of anything; meaning that the fatigue, stress and burnout is all for nothing.

The number of options available to us may have increased but the amount of time in the day has not. If you want to be successful, you must first determine what success means to you. Once you have done that, you need to prioritise the activities and tasks which are going to help you achieve that success.

Your priorities are demonstrated by the actions you take; not the words you speak.  If it is important, make time for it!

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The problem

time to prioritise johann wolfgang von goethe

Most people cannot commit to one major goal for long enough to see it through to its successful completion. This is evident throughout life. Even with something as simple as reading a book, research has shown that up to 90% of people never read past the first chapter.  How bad is that? There are just so many interesting things competing for their attention and; they lack the willpower and perseverance required to stick to the one goal until they have completed it.

Failing to take the time to prioritise and trying to cram too much stuff into your life will also lead to you setting unrealistic goals where you think that you are going to complete the goal far quicker than is possible. After all, if you are going to do all of the things you want to do this week, you can’t afford to spend more than 1-hour on that 3-week task!

The first thing that you need to do is accept reality. I have already said it but it is worth repeating; you will never be able to do all of the things that you would really like to do. But here is the flip side of that, if you commit yourself to a small number of goals (e.g. 1 for each life area) and see them through, before you take on a new goal, you will complete far more of those things you want to do. It’s common sense – constantly chopping and changing results in you getting nothing done. Completing one goal at a time leads to you getting more stuff done.

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The solution

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Take a look through every area of your life and identify the things which do not add value. Be cruel and remove them from your life swiftly. These may include:

  • People
  • Activities
  • Possessions
  • Anything which consumes your time or energy

Don’t stop until you have looked at everything and performed a full declutter.

Eliminate the waste

Simplify and decullter your life so that you can limit your focus to the things which really matter; allowing you to increase your influence and impact.


To discover effective strategies to simplify and declutter your life , check out 'Scaling Back'.


Scaling Back Ebook PNG