How do you prioritize effectively? In life there are many choices that must be made on a regular basis. There are choices in all aspects of life including family, work, religious activities, education, etc. All the choices alone may seem insignificant, but they lead to the type of person you are as a whole. When making choices it is very important to prioritize effectively so you make the most effective use of your time. A little while back I heard a speech given by Dallin H. Oaks. He spoke about how to prioritize effectively and make correct choices. He spoke about the difference between good, better, and best choices.
To prioritize effectively, it is important to think about what activities, tasks, responsibilities, etc. are most important to you and deserve your time. So how do you decide what is “important?” I use a simple criteria to define what is important and where I spend my time. I define things I can do as good, better, and best.
There are many good things that one can spend time on. A first step to prioritize effectively is to identify what is even worth an ounce of your time. In the speech Dallin H. Oaks gave, he said, “We should begin by recognizing the reality that just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them.” There are so many good things we can do with our time. When I prioritize, a good thing is something that falls under a the thought that, “some day this may be something I will do, but today is not that day and right now is not a good time.”
If we do not prioritize effectively we will spend all our time doing good things, but fail to do the better and best things. When I look at the “better” things I could spend my time on I think of things that help me to progress in the right direction, but they are not worth my immediate attention for a few reasons. “Better” things are things like harder ways of doing things, things that could be put off until later without major issues, or things that could be delegated or passed off to someone else. “Better” things are things that you could spend your time on to help you move in the right direction even though they may not get you there as quickly as you want.
When you prioritize effectively, you do all you can to spend your time on the best things. The best things help you reach your short and long-term goals in the most effective AND efficient way. Some things are better than good and better, and these are the things that should command priority attention. What are best choices? The best choices improve the overall quality of what you do and directly help you reach your short and long-term goals. The good and better choices, on the other hand, distract us from the goals we have set.
Identifying your good, better, and best choices, allows you to prioritize effectively. Each person must determine for themselves what they feel are their good, better, and best choices. Once you prioritize effectively, you will have much more success reaching your long term goals.
What steps have you taken to prioritize effectively? Why is it important to you to prioritize effectively? How do you determine what are your good, better, and best choices? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!