One of my favorite comedians, Steven Wright, said it well:
You can’t HAVE everything. Where would you put it?
It’s that same wisdom that helps us acknowledge this: We can’t DO everything.
If we don’t realize we can’t do everything, we’ll learn soon enough when we try and tackle more than we’re able to handle. If we don’t figure out what our priorities are, someone else will do it for us.
Identifying our priorities will help us stay focused. A lack of priorities will cause us to stay overwhelmed.
Priorities help us say YES to certain things and NO to others.
Since we can’t do everything, we need to know what we can and cannot do. Prioritizing our roles and responsibilities shows what needs to be done right now. It’s difficult to say no to something when we’re unsure what needs to be done at that moment. If we aren’t aware of our priorities, we’ll be tempted to jump on board with projects that sound like fun, but keep us from doing what’s most important.
Priorities require sacrifice.
Whenever we make something a priority, it means we are choosing not to do something else, or at least moving something else farther down on our to-do list. Prioritization is difficult because we must often sacrifice the good for the better, the many for the few, and the short term gain for the long term gain. Consider this when deciding on what’s most important. Simply choosing the easiest tasks as our top priorities may not be the wisest course of action.
Priorities are not equal.
Here’s the principle: If everything is important, than nothing is important. We must choose. We must realize right at the beginning that this is not going to be a fair fight. There’s going to be a winner. There’s only ONE thing that can be our top priority.
Think about it.
Can you name your top three priorities? Right now? In order?
If not, choosing your priorities may be the most important thing you do today!
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