Getting your priorities right


Everyone has multiple things to do. We all have different tasks to fulfill and while there are some people who successfully complete all tasks on their list, a large portion of the population are dealing with uncompleted tasks. People have so much to do, that they struggle with how to do everything. Things that may seem important overcome them and they become stuck and don’t know where their focus should be.


Prioritising is the act of determining which things are important, and giving them extra attention. You choose to put certain things on the top of your list because you are trying to meet a deadline, or because you believe that they deserve to be done first. The practice of prioritising is really more than just putting things before or after the other; it is strategically planning your life so that you are able to accomplish more. People have a tendency to procrastinate. People who have no direction go on aimlessly with their lives, without realising what they are doing is wrong.  Prioritising gives your life purpose and direction.

Importance of Prioritising

It is not surprising that many people do not know the important of prioritising the things that they need to do. It is not easy because the mind usually has the tendency to favour tasks that are easier and less complicated. It does not matter if these are important things or useless things; they will choose to do them because they feel comfortable doing so. However, it is necessary for one to realise how important it is to know how to prioritise because it helps keep things organised.

How to Set Your Priorities

Recognising the need to prioritise things will be the first step to actually doing it. But if you really want to learn how to prioritise, it will be helpful if you follow these tips:

Identify your goals.

Take some time to ask yourself what you really want to achieve in life. People who are unable to prioritise usually do not have goals. Take some time to ask yourself what you want to achieve and make sure to take the exact steps that will help you get to where you need to be.

Maintain some balance.

When you are trying to set your priorities, make sure that you are able to maintain some balance in your life. Do not focus so much on one priority. Make sure to give time and attention to the different things in your life that need to be fixed, so that you do not leave any of them neglected.

Measure your strengths and weaknesses.

Aim to fulfill as much as you can but accept that there is a limit to the things that you can do. There are only 24 hours in a day and you should not be too hard on yourself about achieving all your goals for the day. What is important is that you are continuously fulfilling goals.

If you enjoyed this article, feel free to leave me a comment below or you may be interested in The Pathway to Success

10 Comments on Getting your priorities right

  1. Good evening Gaylene,

    How true! I just wonder why days can not have a couple of more hours, you are right, it only has 24. We spend quite some hours sleeping so it ever so important to organize one’s time well and set priorities. It is good to make a plan like that one wastes a lot less with thinking, what comes now?
    I am a person who is quite good at multitasking, my better half is always surprised at that. I can have the tv on as background, be on the computer and still talk on the phone in the hands-free mode. When my better half starts on something he goes into tunnel vision mode and any thing might get him distracted.
    I love the freedom working from home provides, still, I try not to forget there is the world out there like my animals, garden and going out for a meal and see a nice film. One comes back with recharged batteries.
    Thank you for reminding me of putting my priorities in the right sequence, life is short.

    Regards, Taetske

    • Hi Taetske,

      I totally agree, it would be wonderful to have a couple more hours in the day. And I look forward to enjoying the freedom of working from home full-time – it’s coming! Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

  2. Hi Gaylene, your article seems to be aimed more at the macro-goals, e.g. “[W]hat do I want to achieve in life.” However, I think the same type of approach that you have outlined would be affective for micro-goals, i.e. what do I want to achieve TODAY.

    I’ve noticed that prioritisation is easily undermined by the constant never-ending media chatter, whether this be the arrival of an email or a new Facebook post. This recognition has spawned a number of applications e.g. Stay Focusd, Cold Turkey to help deal with this pesky problem.

    • Hi Ian,

      I think the principals of getting your priorities right are the same for both micro and macro goals. The media chatter and social media posts are just distractions. One needs to be disciplined and stay focused on your goal – not an easy thing to do. Thanks for taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated 🙂

  3. OMG,how did you know I needed some guidance on how to prioritize. I have been telling myself to get a planner to write things down in and I have not done so. I will be trying your recommendation. I think the “identifying your goals” will be extremely helpful to me as I believe this is what keeps me from prioritizing correctly. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Tanya,

      I’m pleased you found this article helpful. There will be times where you’re not sure how you’re going to to get everything done, especially if you have a number of different things that require your attention, but consider the consequences of not prioritizing the work done or not meeting a deadline. Anyway, I hope everything works out for you. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. Hi Gaylene, love this post! Before I start the day I make a to do list for that day. I then prioritize which is the most important within that list. The reason, because I know I will not get it all done. The next day I take the items I didn’t complete and put them at the top of the list.

    I also appreciate the “measure your strengths and weaknesses comment. For the weakness I delegate it makes it more attainable to complete my daily tasks.

    This post is well done. Appreciate the effort.

    • Hi Don,

      I use a combination of these strategies depending on how much work I have got on. As you practice being disciplined with your to-do list, you’ll find it gets easier and you’ll be able to adjust your strategies to suit the moment. And hopefully, in time you’ll find prioritizing tasks can be quite satisfying! Thanks for taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated 🙂

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