Why It’s So Easy to Forget Priorities

Action Expresses Priorities QuotePriorities are just that – top of the list, most important, MUSTS. Right?

I recently engaged in a workshop by Elle Luna, author of The Crossroads of Should and Must (wonderful book that can be devoured in just a few hours – highly recommend).

This was good timing for me as I have been slacking off on many of my so-called “musts” for months. I even invited two girlfriends who help keep my honest to the workshop so that I would leave with a sense of accountability.

They were there with me. We all heard what she said. So, we can’t pretend that didn’t happen.

I’ve been busy.

Well, hell, we’re all busy. Life is busy.

That’s just it though. When there’s a lot of stuff going on, especially when that stuff is connected to money (ah, the money), it’s easy to forget about (or defer indefinitely to tomorrow) our biggest, most important, most energizing priorities.

It is a fact of life. We orbit around our values, our deepest dreams and wishes, our passions and priorities. Sometimes we are right in line with them, and other times we venture a bit far into outer space.

It can be difficult to muster the discipline to get realigned.

After all, playing with the kids can be done anytime. I can go to the gym tomorrow. Launching a new business idea is a lot of work.

The minutes slip by. The days slip by. If you’re not careful, the years slip by. 

How closely are you orbiting your top priorities?

If you quickly listed those priorities off on one hand, how does your last 24 hours stack up against that list?

Get back into a better orbit:

  1. Drop everything and do something, anything about your highest priority right now. It will give you a big boost to keep going. It might be taking a walk, writing that book intro, or buying a book on Amazon.
  2. Connect with someone who will nudge you back into line when you start to swing out by Pluto (aka: working 80 hours per week). Ask them for the gentle or not-so-gentle nudges. Accountability is an incredible force for progress. If you really want to dive in, hire an experienced coach.
  3. Document those priorities. Use a sharpie and write them on your bathroom mirror or stick a post-it to the coffeemaker. Somewhere you’ll see them daily, preferably before you dig in on all the other stuff that doesn’t even rise to the top 10 on that list.

I’ve been out by Pluto lately (and we all know what happened there).

Pluto for me is nearly always work. It’s easy to get absorbed in projects. I love my clients and I’m great at what I do. Plus, I have a serious love for cash, because I really enjoy home projects, which always seem to cost a lot.

However, my work doesn’t rise to the level of my thumb on that list, which makes it all the more critical to make time and space for higher priorities, like family, health, adventure, writing, and learning.

Here’s to orbiting closer to home.

2 Comments
  1. Hey! Glad to see a new post. Timely for me, as I continue to procrastinate on studying for my CPSM exam, and today will postpone the test once again…

    Prioritization on paper is easy for me. Taking that paper list and turning it into reality is a whole nother ballgame. I like the idea of doing something, anything, on my top priority. Finidng a way to get that activation energy going is key for me.

    1. Thanks for stopping in, DB40! Sorry for my tardy response, my commenting system seems to have gone to sleep on notifications since I haven’t posted in so long.

      As a fellow list maker, I sometimes think these insidious lists actually help me procrastinate. I recently chatted with an entrepreneur whose launching a productivity tool and one key piece of advice rang loud and clear – “Only 3-5, NEVER more than 5, items on your radar at any time.”

      While I have to keep track of everything that needs to be done somewhere, I’ve stopped using it as my daily check-in list. I sit down and, from the top of my head, I write down my top 3 priority tasks and do my best to do those first.

      It’s a challenge!

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