How to Set Priorities

To set priorities is a smart idea. I think we all know this on some level. Knowing what’s important can help us plan and become more proactive instead of reactive. This is ideal, right? I agree, yet for some reason I still tend to get a little slack on this from time-to-time, and when I do, I say the same thing to myself each time – You could’ve prevented this chaos!

This week was one of these times. I was on spring break from my marketing job at the university, and, of course, my desire to watch movies, read books, and take long walks fell to the wayside. Why? Because I allowed other things to take over my loose plans. Before I fell to sleep on my first day off, my to-do list stretched out to almost two pages!

I was responding to everything that came up, jotting each thing down and tackling them one after the other without giving much thought to its importance. I just wanted to get through them. Without realizing, I fell into reactionary mode.

I could’ve handled everything differently. I could’ve made my list as I did, but then instead of tackling everything on it in a crazy, got to get this done mode, I could’ve given the list some careful thought. I could’ve taken more time to consider which items actually fell under the umbrella of my top three priorities in life.

set priorities

Do you know your top three priorities?

I’m going to share mine with you:

  1. Health
  2. Family/friends
  3. Growth and Development

It’s Important to Set Priorities 

Without a road map, it’s easy to get lost. Life is full of things that can derail us. One moment we’re at peace, the next in a state of flux because ten things came at us from different directions, all vying for our time.

When you’ve got set priorities, you’re in control. You’ve got a plan. That being said, if something doesn’t align with these priorities, and they’re not deemed urgent and necessary, I don’t focus on it. It goes to the bottom of my list until I have the time and ability to deal with it.

In a world where people are constantly asking more of us, it’s imperative we have a game plan that empowers us to say no. It’s okay to say no. This is your life. No one else’s. It’s not selfish to put your priorities first. It’s smart!

“May we all live with such intensity, such character, such integrity, and such true freedom.you? What do you want your life to look like? Who is most important?” – Nadia from Staying True

How to Set Priorities 

To figure out what your priorities are, ask yourself some questions:

  • What is the most important thing to me?
  • Who is most important to me?
  • How do I want to spend my time?

I’ve asked myself these questions thousands of times, and I always come back to the same answers – health, family and friendships, and my personal growth and development.

set priortiesWithout any of these, I’m empty. With them, I am free.

I’ve been blessed in my life to be surrounded with opportunity for all three to bloom. Like most people, I’ve taken this for granted on occasion by not honoring them all with the full attention they deserve.

You see, before learning to set priorities, I used to rush through many precious moments in my life just to get another item checked off my to-do list, to write that next chapter, to promote my next book, to get further ahead on my goals. The tasks were always endless. They were always present. I lived assuming I would always have a to-do list that ran on for infinity. For so long, I remained fixated on the cycle of finishing these items only to add new ones, and I did that most times at the expense of health, family and friendships, and personal development.

I learned a lesson a few years back that woke me right up and taught me to value my priorities.

Take the opportunity to analyze what’s important proactively instead of reactively as I had to do. Take some time and really figure out what’s important to you, what’s important in your life, and weed out the things that aren’t. A great question to ask yourself is ‘is this adding value to my life?’ If it’s not, turn your attention to those things and people that do. 

Open up your arms wide to the quiet moments of the day when the gentle whisper of the wind guides you towards peace. Just beyond the rising sun, is the promise of more time to embrace the freedom that alignment of spirit offers those who are aware of its presence. This sweet reminder plays with our senses, tickling us into a frenzy of laughter where sparkling sun rays give way to shining evening stars. With open space, we are able to breathe in sync with the sway of the grass blades and to flirt with the magical sounds of nature singing her songs. Free and light, our priorities lift us far away from the chaos of reactive life and help us float up to the peaceful fold of space that recharges and reignites our spirit.

 

Wishing you the very best,

Suzie Carr, novelist

6 replies
  1. patricia lavit
    patricia lavit says:

    I agree with you Suzie! I personally gives me priority over my professional obligations and urgent but also gives me permission to take time for myself, my family and friends when it seems necessary. One of my priorities for my well being is to go running, walking, playing tennis … and read or write poetry. It is vital to recharge energy and soothe his mind!:)

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