It’s All About Prioritising
“The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
– Stephen Covey
I’ve returned from a long refreshing break alive with energy. So many things to write about, so many things to achieve! My to-do list now rivals the Great Wall of China in length.
I’m feeling entrepreneurial (partly, I need to prove to my husband that writing is a serious career before he steals my laptop and lobs it in the swimming pool). The problem is my head is spinning with too many ideas and goals. I want to start the sequel to my book, develop my portfolio, commit to my blog, launch my career as a six-figure copywriter – yes, I’ve read those emails too. And then there’s the real work, the work that supports our family business, the work that allows me to wander this Yellow Brick Road.
On top of all this, there are the family commitments and the people who need me. I promised to spend the day with my daughter (who is also eyeing my laptop with threatening eyes).
How do we achieve all these things? How do we decide what comes first? Each goal feels as important as the next. To add to the dilemma, my stubborn creative side proclaims its right to express freely – whatever and whenever it feels like it. But I understand how the world works. If I want to achieve anything, I have to form some kind of a system. A system that helps me achieve my goals.
Former project manager Alan Henry says, “The goal of your system, whichever you select, is to take away the need for you to waste time deciding what to work on next, even when you have a lot on your plate.”
We lead different lives so we have to form a system that works for us as individuals. I’ve been thinking of ways I could prioritise my own goals. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
- Paid work comes first.
- Stick to client deadlines: Clients refer us to other clients. Schedule work in order of nearest deadline.
- Split up the week: Invoices/paperwork Mondays and Tuesdays, articles Wednesdays, book/blog Thursdays etc.
- Finish what’s already begun: A stack of unfinished projects ain’t going nowhere.
- Create time for unpaid projects that are important: Get up an hour earlier. Sunrise is an inspiring time for writing.
- Keep work to work hours: Don’t break commitments to friends or family members – life is no fun without them!
Today, I put my blog aside as promised and took my daughter to see The Hobbit. We laughed and huddled and ate lollies and, at moments, sunk into our seats cowering. Afterwards we bought Slurpies from the shop and drank them in the pool. All the while, I managed to ignore the silver flash of my laptop as it sat closed on my desk.
Until this evening, as I open it again – guilt free. When my daughter glances this way, she’s lost that threatening look in her eyes. My laptop is safe. For now.
How about you? What are you goals? How do you intend to prioritise them?