If we do not determine the “bottlenecks” of our projects, we are going to be running in circles and eventually we are going to finish from where we started. This is when we always seem busy, but at the end of the day we do not see any progress at all.
Being Busy, Does Not Always Mean Productive Work
It seems like there’s always something that’s more important than anything else, and these are the things that determine the speed of your current project completion.
In this article, I am going to show you how to determine your priorities that are associated with your highest outcomes. Often times, it is not an easy thing to do, because for most people everything is a priority. But that’s not the case … the key is to follow the things that slow you down the most, and working on them, in order to get to the desired outcome.
This is like hiking a mountain. The biggest chunks of rocks are your obstacles, if you want to reach the top. As you overcome the biggest rock, you get one step closer to the desired destination.
It turns out that if we want to reach the outcome of our business, we have to determine the biggest rocks and obstacles that are in our way, and working toward overcoming them is going to move things forward.
Should You Care About Priorities?
The answer is simple. You do not have to care about priorities at all, unless you want to get the things moving in the direction you want them to move. If you do not establish priorities, we are hoping to get lucky.
Luck itself is an idea that describes certain events that we can’t explain. If something positive happened that we can’t explain, we say that we got lucky.
You can be lucky anytime you want, as long as you determine the bottlenecks that are preventing you from getting across, and get to the desired destination.
How Does This Work?
Begin with answering those questions on a piece of paper:
1) What’s the most important thing to you? (e.g. family, business, health, relationships with others, inner development)
Determine the order of those values. Which one is #1, #2, #3 … Wrong order of values leads to underachievement and dissatisfaction. Have you ever had a job that you did not like, but because the money was good, you stayed at it? This alone represents misalignment of values.
To make sure your values are aligned, you need to have COURAGE to follow the things you want always wanted to do, even if this means that you have to get some enemies along the way.
People who stood up in their lives get a lot of enemies, but we call them heroes. Because they stood for something they believed. Those are the core values you need to look for within yourself.
2) Determine the things (tasks) that waste most of your time. You have to be honest with yourself. What are the activities you currently have that are INCONSISTENT with your goals? Once you are clear about your values, it becomes much easier to establish your priorities.
3) Separate the urgent from the important. Urgent things have short term consequences, important things have long term consequences.
Example of something urgent: phone calls, unexpected visits, quick trips, unexpected interruptions etc.
Example of something important: creating more videos for your marketing campaigns, creating content, building relationships with other people, etc.
If you mix both the urgent and important, you are not going to get much done.
In order for you to overcome the urgent stuff, schedule your interruptions. If you schedule them, you are always going to have a piece of mind. Always allow yourself longer time for doing IMPORTANT things.
If something would take 3 hours to do it, allow yourself 4 hours. This alone is going to take the pressure off.
4) What’s the future impact of every action you make? Something that has high priority always have higher future impact. This alone is going to show you what’s important and what’s not.
Let’s say for example, you get an email from someone you do not know. What’s the future impact of opening that email? If it is low, then, do not even bother opening it. If you always treat your actions, in terms of determining the impact of future consequences, you are going to determine the biggest bottleneck that has to be done.
The important things are usually the bottlenecks, that slow things down. You want to do them first, no matter how much time this would take. Even if you neglect completely insignificant stuff, you are going to get massive progress along the way.
5) Procrastinate on the low impact activities. If you ask yourself about the future impact certain action is going to take, and if the impact is low or there’s no impact at all. Learn to procrastinate those activities, because they are not going to give you any value.
Busyness is addictive, and it is often determined by the low insignificant things. Remember, being busy does not always mean real work.
6) Formulate a process. As you’ve determined the most important things, now it is the time to plan them out. Formulate a strategy that’s going to set the direction of your work. If you want to get more details on planning your work and formulating a strategy – go here
You’ll find the real secret to planning in Brian Tracy’s Flight Plan. It’s an easy-to-read, practical step-by-step approach in accomplishing your goals and getting the job done.