Hi, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right YouTube channel. In life it’s important to prioritize effectively. Everyone makes many choices on a regular basis. Those choices impact every aspect of life including family, work, religious activities, education, etc. Each choice on its own may seem insignificant, but together 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. His emphasis was to categorize your choices as good, better, and best choices.
Let’s dig a little deeper to learn how to prioritize effectively. Think about what activities, tasks, responsibilities, etc. are most important to you and deserve your time. So how do you decide what is “important?” In line with Dallin H. Oaks’s speech, I categorize each activity and decision as the good, better, or best decision.
What is a Good Decision?
There are many good things that one can their spend time on. A first step to prioritize effectively is to identify what is even worth your time.
Dallin H. Oaks 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, I ask if this is something I want to spend time on someday in the future. If the answer is yes but it does nothing to advance my goals now or anytime in the near future it is just a “good” thing that can wait until someday in the future. Today is just not that day and right now is not a good time.”
Is there a Better Choice?
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 could be put off until later without major issues in the present or the near future. They are also things that could be delegated or passed off to someone else.
“Better” things have a direct impact on your goals but they still distract you from the best things. If you spend time on them now, they will move you in the right direction but they will keep you from doing what’s most important right now and slow your progress.
What’s the Best Option
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.
These activities or decisions are better than good and better choices and demand your immediate attention prior to anything else. They can be urgent and/or important.
What are best choices? The best choices have an immediate impact on our overall quality of life now and in the future. The good and better choices, on the other hand, distract us from the goals we have set.
Here’s a Practical Example
You may be nodding your head in agreement, but still wondering how this can be applied from a practical standpoint… Here’s a simple example. Every night when I come home from work, we eat dinner as a family. After dinner is done, a good choice would be to get up from the table and go get my things ready for the next day at work. A better choice would be to go do the dishes. The best choice would be to help the kids get ready for bed and ready for the next day at school.
So why is the third choice the best choice? I look at this in terms of helping my wife and kids. There is only a short window each day that I interact with and help my kids. By helping them right after dinner, I spend time with my children and ease a burden for my wife. Once the kids are in bed, I can lighten my wife’s load by doing the dishes. Then, I can prepare for the next day’s work.
I understand that is a simplistic example, but it illustrates the point of looking at multiple variables and doing the activities that have the greatest positive impact in the moment.
Now to wrap things up… Identifying your good, better, and best choices, allows you to prioritize effectively. By using this categorization method, you will be able to make the best use of your time and have the biggest positive impact. Once you prioritize effectively, you will have much more success reaching your long term goals.
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