Top 5 ways to prioritize
Prioritizing. It’s amazing how one word can seem like the answer and the problem all in one. On one hand prioritizing is the solution to the conundrum of tasks and ideas floating around in our head space. On the other hand, prioritizing is a task all by itself that we have no idea how to tackle. As women, we often tend to be known as incredible multi-taskers and while that is a plus (YAS QUEEN) it can also be incredibly damaging to entrepreneurship and daily productivity if we don’t prioritize effectively. As an actress, singer, writer, and business owner, I wear many hats and often found myself extremely overwhelmed with too much to do, too many thoughts on how to do them, and not even knowing where to begin. I realized the benefits of prioritizing and through trial and error, I discovered ways of how to go about it to accomplish everything I needed to get done. I am happy to share these benefits and helpful tips to creatives just like myself who need a little light seeing through the tunnel between thinking of tasks and completing those tasks.
Knowing the benefits has always helped me in making decisions from life changing ones down to the perfect hair conditioner, so while you may have an idea of how beneficial prioritizing can be, we’re going to lay it all out on the table in true “Top 5” fashion.
Here are the Top 5 Benefits of Prioritizing:
1. Builds Structure
Everything in life needs structure; there is no doubt about that. Companies, buildings, sports, jobs, even nature has structure. Prioritizing is structure for your life’s tasks, goals, aspirations, and dreams. When you prioritize you put things in an order or arrangement that you can follow to accomplish them. In doing so, you structure yourself for success.
2. Meets Deadlines
Deadlines can be a very daunting word. Deadlines are put in place to keep everything flowing in an organized fashion. You have deadlines for work and school, so why not give yourself deadlines for your own personal success? Setting a timeline for yourself and sticking to the deadline is how you stay focused and continue being successful in your own life.
3. Forget Nothing
How many times have you had an “oh crap” moment and you’ve forgotten something you had to do? Guilty! In a world where you’re your own pilot and you’re navigating through responsibilities, tasks, goals, aspirations, and dreams you are liable to forget something; you are only human! However, once you begin prioritizing, forgetting things begins to dwindle. You will find yourself adding things you may have forgotten otherwise. Thus, turning you into an accomplishing-machine.
4. Feel at Peace
There is something to be said about having true peace of mind. As creatively driven- ambitious women, our minds can feel like they are going a mile per minute. There is always something to do and not enough time to do them. Prioritizing changes that because it helps you see that you indeed do have the time to get things done because you are the one creating your own map to do so. As you begin to prioritize, your mind will be at peace being on a schedule you’ve created, subconsciously knowing that you haven’t forgotten anything, and you will free up space in your mind for more creativity.
5. Feel Accomplished
Everyone knows that gold star feeling of accomplishment. Even in the smallest of moments, feeling accomplished is a positive feeling that does wonders for your life. Prioritizing allows you to stay on track with your life. When you complete tasks or accomplish goals, that feeling keeps you driven in a life full of purpose.
Now that you have the benefits of prioritizing, it’s time to look at helpful ways on how to do it. Knowing how beneficial prioritizing can be is great but knowing how to go about it will only set you up for success.
Keeping that “Top 5” list I really dig, here is the Top 5 Ways to Prioritize:
Take out a sheet of paper (any sheet will do) and first identify what you need to prioritize. Do you have ideas? Do you have tasks? Do you have goals? Whatever they are identify them as such and write it big on your piece of paper. For example: IDEAS, or GOALS, or THINGS TO DO. Remember this is the first step to determining what you need to prioritize so don’t think too hard on this. Make it simple and easy.
On that same sheet of paper, it’s time to properly categorize where these ideas are going to go. Are they personal tasks or ideas? Are they business tasks or ideas? Are they tasks or ideas related to school? So underneath your title, write your categories. For example: Underneath the THINGS TO DO title, I might write PERSONAL and BUSINESS. These categories should also be made simple and easy. Don’t overthink these because you’ll need your brain power when it comes to listing and scheduling.
It’s time to list what you need to get done. Now, the easiest way to go about this is just listing what comes to mind. Write down anything you can think of that’s been on your mind to get done under each of your categories. Once you feel you’ve written everything you can think of, decide what needs to be done first, then write small numbers next to each one. I usually just number things by importance, with 1 being the first thing I want to get done, 2 being the next, and so on. Think of it as an upside-down pyramid and the most important thing goes first and everything else follows that model.
You can use whatever way works best for you when it comes to scheduling. For me, I use my Passion Planner which keeps me on track with everything from personal tasks to business goals. You can use any planner, calendar, phone app, or even dry erase board that you work best with. You just need something visual to transfer your prioritized list into something you can keep yourself on track with. When it comes to scheduling, you are first going to identify the timeline you have. How long do you need to get these tasks done? Can they get done in a day, a week, or a month? Once you’ve determined your timeline, you can determine your deadline. According to you, when does this task need to be completed by? Once you have determined this, you can schedule which day you will complete these tasks or see these ideas to fruition. Then, set up your reminders for a day or two in advance to remind you of your deadline. Remember these scheduled tasks and reminders can be written in a planner, on a large calendar, your computer, or even in your smart phone.
5. Complete & Cross Off
ow we’re on the fun part. You’ve scheduled and reminded yourself and now you’ve completed your task or accomplished your goal. Congratulations! Now cross that off, keep it moving, and repeat!
This may seem like a lot of work and I’m not going to sugarcoat the fact that prioritizing is planning and planning does take work but it’s an investment you are making in yourself. Work and school have bosses and professors that expect you to consistently deliver. Remember though, you are the pilot navigating your own life; you are responsible for making sure you deliver for yourself. Entrepreneurs, it is even more imperative that you take charge and take flight in the same way. Let these benefits and tips be a guide for you and not the end all be all. Feel free to be more creative in ways that you feel will help you in the absolute best way possible. Simply use this as a general guideline to help you get some areas of your life planning on track so you can be your most successful self. Good luck and happy priority planning!