How To Master Your Priorities

How to prioritize

When you get a moment, look around your office at your team members or ask your fellow entrepreneurs (or family members) and you’ll find out that majority of them live reactive lives. They show up at work in the morning, check for urgent and necessary tasks and start checking them off of their lists. (It reminds me of Matrix movie where people are completely unaware of what’s happening around them.)

As the days pass by, they fall further behind in their pursue of dreams, aspirations and using their unique talents and strengths.

The problem with living this way is that you will never be able to fulfill your dreams this way. Success doesn’t just happen. YOU make it happen!

Moving from one task to another is mundane, it drains your energy and wastes your potential. Even though you might get stuff done, the real question is whether you are working on the right tasks at the right time.

There are 4 areas that determine how successful your life, business, team, or organization will be.

1. Your focus

Knowing where you are heading and what you are pursuing is the key to creating a successful life.

  • What is your vision for your life?
  • What would make you happy, fulfilled and satisfied?
  • What legacy would you like to leave behind?
  • What aren’t you willing to give up?
  • What type of relationships do you want to have in life?

You’ll arrive exactly where you’re going. So if you’re heading “anywhere”, that’s where you’ll find yourself one day – but there’s not guarantee that you will like it. Knowing where you’re heading helps you plan your trip properly and gives you higher odds to arrive at your desired destination.

Your vision might be foggy when you start working on it, but the more you look at it and walk toward it, it will be getting more clear and appealing. Vision is like horizon. The closer you get, the more you see, yet there’s still more to discover. Yet, it all starts with the first step you take toward it.

2. Your goals

Having a big vision is inspiring, but unless you start taking action today, you’ll never arrive to that destination. Goals help you break your life vision into smaller steps, navigating your path and preventing you from getting derailed.

  • What can you do in the next 90 days that will move you in the desired direction?
  • What changes do you need to make?
  • What goals will help you build a momentum?
  • Who do you need to connect with who can help you speed up the process?

As much as I am a person of focus, I find that setting goals for 12 months in this time and age is almost obstinate. At PLC, we like to set our goals short – for 90 days. This is just enough time to keep us focused, yet it also helps us course-correct during the year when trends in our industry start changing or we start falling behind.

We evaluate our goals on a monthly basis, to ensure they are still aligned with our mission, vision and business priorities.

3. Your strategies

Once you have your goals for the upcoming quarter, it’s important to identify the top strategies.  I like to use prioritization worksheets to get this step done. Instead of running with the first 3 strategies we come up with, our team takes time to evaluate and prioritize the ideas before going down the rabbit hall chasing the wrong idea while wasting precious time, money and resources. We usually look at things like cost, return on investment, speed and ease of implementation, impact on business (e.g. quality improvement).

Taking time to prioritize your strategies helps you create a culture of continuous improvement in your business, organization or department.

4. Your tasks

At the end of the day, your success depends on implementation and this is where majority of mistakes happen. Focusing on the wrong tasks all day long 5 days a week won’t create the results you expect. It will keep you busy, but not really productive. Choose to prioritize your tasks on a daily basis.

  • Is this the best action you can take today?
  • If you could do only 1 thing from you priority list, which one would have the biggest impact?
  • What tasks can you delegate, defer, or delete?

Being intentional about your time will help you create better results faster and with less effort. Which of the above 4 areas is your weakest link? What can you do today to strengthen it? Let me know on social media!

Make today count!

Signature Silvia Pencak

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