3 Keys to Prioritising

Each of know that in order to achieve anything with the limited resources that we are faced with, there is a need to prioritise.   It is always important to know that we can’t do everything or make everyone happy.  We need to choose which comes first or the best way to balance all that is important.  The balance that we achieve will be based on how we define what is important and therefore how we prioritise them in light of the parameters or resources before us.

We constantly need to prioritise:

  • What resources to use and not use
  • Who comes first
  • When does it happen
  • How it takes place

And so on.

And in all that we are limited by:

  • Energy:  How much energy do we have?  How much energy do we need to expand to achieve a goal?  Personally I think that energy is more important than time.  The reason for that is, energy helps with focus and concentration.  If we are able to perform a certain complex task when our energy level is high, we will most probably get  it done with better quality as compared to when our energy level is low.  Imagine doing complex problem solving when you are tired.  I doubt that the result will be a great solution.   Therefore it is important to know when in the day your energy level is at it’s peak, and do the complex and tough task then.
  • Time:  Time is well discussed and every one of us know the limitation of time.  However, time is only useful if we use it smartly.  If we are able to prioritise time wisely e.g spend the most time on the key or big things, then we are able to utilise it fully.  If we spend all our time on the small and menial ones, we will feel busy but probably not be able to accomplish anything of significance.
  • Skills:  Each of us has skills or strengths that we are blessed with.  Trying to accomplish something that you are not strong in, will take a lot of energy and time.  All of which may not necessarily give you great results.  It is best to acknowledge what you are good at and get help on areas that you are not good at.  Get help from someone whose strength is in a certain area to  help you and as a team accomplish great results.  With limited energy and time, prioritise areas where you are great in and focus on that.
  • Pride:  There is a certain limiting factor with pride.  Each of us having the desire or fantasy to believe that we can do it all and make it on our own.  The reality is very different.  Each of us are dependent on someone to help us be better. It is because each of us has our weaknesses that will hinder our goal of perfection.  No one has all the skills and strengths and without any weaknesses.  Once we recognise that we can’t achieve greatness on our own, pride takes a different place.  We are all meant to work in a team environment which means different people with different skills level and together will provide great results when each is working based on his/her strengths.

The 3 keys to prioritising are :

  1.  Know the “Highs”:  You will need to know the following:
      • Love:  What do you love doing?  Who do you love?  Knowing what you enjoy and are passionate in doing gives you purpose.  Know who you love or who you are working for gives you satisfaction.
      • Energy:  Focus and attention span.  Know when you are the most alert, when your mind is most creative and attentive, when is your physical energy the highest and how to increase that level.  Understanding your energy level will help you to know when in the day to perform complex and routine task.  Schedule your task accordingly.
      • Strengths and Talents:  Uncover what you are really good at.  Your skills will come out clearly when you can do something effortless and with great enjoyment.  Focus on areas that you are good at and make it even better.  If you have no talent in drawing, you can put the effort and maybe be an average artist, but wouldn’t it better to spend the time to be great singer if singing is where your talent lies.

2.  Control vs. Influence:   Know when it is something that you are directly responsible for or am in control of vs. on an area that you are hoping to influence through people.  You will need to influence others to do their job or perform their role, you can even hold them accountable but you can’t truly control what and how they do it.  As each are different, the what and how is really up to the individual, all we should focus on is the result once everyone performs their role to accomplish a task.  Don’t sweat the stuff that you can’t control.

3.  Focus on the Big Picture:  Be clear on the goal.  What is the vision?  There can be many different strategies and action plans to achieve a goal.  There will be disappointments, challenges and even rejections and we should expect that.  No action plan will be 100% successful.  It is therefore critical to know what the big picture is.  By focusing on the big picture, the challenges along the way are just experiences and learnings that you gain to know what not to do.  There are still a lots of opportunities and new ways to try out.  As they say, look at the forest and not just the leaves.

Work with what you have and not what you wish you had.  There is a reason each of us has energy, time and skills.  We can increase our energy level through exercise and of course caffeine.  We can improve our skills by developing it through training and applications.  We can even maximise time by doing the important and critical task.  Each of those resources can be enhanced and improved further through conscious effort.  You can only do that once you are able to prioritise what you want to improve and achieve.


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