When life gets busy, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of activities and tasks demanding your attention. Unless you have a plan in place, you’ll quickly find your goals derailed, leaving you wondering where all the time went. Use these steps to prioritize and create a clear vision of what you want your life to look like and start scheduling each day around that. You’ll be less stressed, knowing that your daily activities are moving you in the right direction.
Consider Your Core Values and Long Term Goals
One of the most effective things you can do to prioritize your day is to spend some time reflecting on your core values and goals. Maybe your long term goal is to get a promotion at work or to be able to spend more time with your family. Knowing what your goals are is key to prioritizing.
Tony Robbins said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” So, when you clarify your goals and values, it’s easier to see what day-to-day tasks should take precedence. Scheduling time to do this every few months will allow you to stay on course to achieve your goals while staying true to your values.
Begin With the End in Mind
When you crawl into bed at night and reflect on the day, what do you want it to look like? Asking yourself this question will automatically bring to mind the tasks and people most important to you. Write down who or what came to mind and use this list as a reference point. Keep it on hand throughout the day as a reminder of your end-game. Make this practice part of your morning routine and prioritizing your day will become more of a natural habit.
Compare Your To-Do List
When you look at your to-do list, what items most closely align and reflect your values, goals and end-of-day vision? Those are your priorities. Schedule everything around those items and delegate tasks if you need to make more time for the important stuff. There will always be things you have to do that might not align with your vision, and that’s okay, just remember that those things aren’t your priority. Get them done and then redirect your focus.
Review Your Calendar
Take a look at how much time you have to get things done. It’s important to be realistic here and take those unexpected things into consideration. If you don’t have enough time to get everything done, revisit your list of priorities and shore it up even more. If you want to be effective, be ruthless with the things that are truly important to you. Continue to delegate and ask for help when you need it. Remember that you are only human and just like everyone else, you only have 24 hours in a day. It’s up to you to make the most of your time.
Put It All Together
Once you know what your vision is and you have a prioritized to-do list, put it all on the calendar. Block out adequate time for each item. Make sure everything that’s important to you is on there, including things like family time and working out. If you don’t schedule it, you won’t do it. There will always be something that comes up and steals that time away from you. Keep your calendar with you and check it throughout the day.
Ultimately, the way you spend your time is up to you. Tony Robbins talks about taking charge of your life in his book Notes from a Friend: A Quick and Simple Guide to Taking Charge of Your Life. Take control of your life. Prioritize your day and your life by creating clear values, goals and priorities. You’ll see the stress begin to disappear as decision making gets easier each day. Unexpected things won’t derail you like they once did and you’ll move through your day with purpose. It might seem like a process to get there, but it’s more than worth it. Put the time in to prioritize and watch your life flourish.
Feature photo: Danielle MacInnes / Unsplash