We live in a society with filled with obligations. Obligated to be a great father, a faithful church go-er, a productive worker and so on.
With so many of life’s pressures on us, it’s hard to even have time for ourselves. But you have to take charge of your life.
Because of that, you have to learn to be proactive to life’s challenges by learning to prioritize your life.
Prioritize your life presumes that you already have goals in your life. If you don’t have goals in your life, then prioritizing makes no sense at all.
When you are prioritizing your life, you are basically making a decision about what is important in moving you toward your long term goals and what is not.
Stephen Covey in his best-selling book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, divided all the activities we do on a daily basis into 4 categories:
• Urgent and Important
The Urgency and Importance Matrix
Urgent and ImportantUrgent and important activities are like:
If a large part of your time is devoted to this, you’ll find your life to be stressful and you’ll be experiencing constant burnouts. This is because you’re putting out one fire after another.
Urgent and not importantThese activities are like:
If a large part of your life is on this, you’ll constantly feel out of control, because of all the clutter in your life. You would not think about your long term goals because you’re just fighting the daily battles.
Not urgent and not importantThese activities are like:
If much of your activity is this, be careful. You are obsolete in the organization. You are really not needed and it might just be a matter of time that you would leave your organization.
Not urgent but importantThis is the most important activities above all else mentioned. By spending most of your time on these activities, you’ll find you have a long term focus and your activities are meaningful and matter in the long run.
Prioritizing your life is about getting the right mix of these activities. While you want to focus on the not urgent but important section the most, you must be flexible and be ready for the unexpected events.
Of course, you might feel that many times you have no control over your own life. You feel that it’s not that you don’t want to prioritize; just that everything is pulling you from every direction and you have no control over it at all.
Yes, it can happen too. If you have so many things to do that you can’t even have time for yourself, then it’s time for you to say no.
Many times, we don’t say no because we feel guilty that we have time but we’re not giving it away, but you must know this: Before you can take care of other people, you must learn to take care of yourself.
You have to take charge of your time by learning to say no. It’s not that you’re selfish, but it’s because you’re a leader and that your team needs you to be up and ready. If you burn out, who’s going to take care of your organization or family?
Remember this, never become a victim of your circumstances, but be proactive and be an agent of change wherever you are. You either arrange your schedule around someone's, or someone arranges his schedule around yours.
Articles on Inner Leadership
The most important ingredient in leadership: integrity
Looking on the bright side on life:Optimism
Have a great attitude!
Vision: Having a direction in your life
Articulating your vision: Pointing the way for your team
Learning to put first things first
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