Amazing how that simple turn of phrase can have a tremendous impact, isn’t it? In our world of back-to-back meetings and jam packed personal and professional to-do lists, it’s easy to stay busy. The late Stephen Covey reminds us and asks: are you working on the things that are the most important?
Taking a few minutes each day to set priorities and to become crystal clear on what needs to be accomplished can be tremendously freeing. Knowing that you accomplish what you set out to do each and every day is rewarding and empowering.
And – this becomes a self-fulfilling cycle: I have found that the more intentional I am in setting my priorities, the more I accomplish. Which in turn sets me up to accomplish even more! Pretty compelling, isn’t it?
So – what’s the trick? No trick – just a bit of old-fashioned discipline, and a small block of dedicated time. I schedule the last: 30 minutes of each day as “Planning Time”. This is when I reflect on what I accomplished that day, identify what must happen in the coming days/weeks, and get clear on the top one or two priorities for the next day. Note I say one or two: much more than that becomes unmanageable, and is an opportunity to challenge yourself: what are the REAL priorities? Does your calendar reflect what’s most important to you? If not, make the change: schedule your priorities.
Author and humorist Mark Twain was clear on prioritization: Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. Identify that “frog” in your calendar and get it off your list!