Prioritize and be effective

Young woman drawing a upward moving graph
Photo: © Warrengoldswain / 123RF Stock Photo

Nearly everyone prioritizes, but they only prioritize things like their work schedule or their vacation tactics! Unfortunately, hardly anyone sits down and prioritizes their lives. When prioritizing our lives, we should ask ourselves, “What’s really important for me?” In answering this question, it becomes clear to us where we should be allocating our time and focal point.

In today’s fast-paced world, people are almost programmed to say “yes”. But saying “yes” when we should be saying “no” can look like a tiny thing. Learning to say “no” pensively, can be the key to prioritizing and being industrious. “A ‘no’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘yes’ merely uttered to please someone, or worse, to avoid trouble,” said Mahatma Gandhi, and we know how his conviction and fervour played out on the world stage. Like getting regular oil changes for our car, prioritizing our life is what allows us to run smoothly.

By focusing on what’s important we can boost the use of our time and trim down our stress levels because we are taking action and completing the things in our life that are more important to us.

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What if we did focus on what candidly matters in our life all the time? What would our life look like if we let go of some of our biggest disruptions, the worthless worries and anxieties that take our attention, and truly put more spotlight on the people and things that are most vital to us?

Here’s an exercise that we can do to take an inventory of where we are in this process and also to get us more in configuration with what really counts.

Spend time with yourself.
At some point of time in our life, we feel that things are getting out of control and nothing is going as per our plans, and we start losing hope. At this point, it becomes important for us to spend time alone; think where we have gone wrong, and about our goal and not get distracted by anything in life.

Make a list of the prime features of your life.
We can either write this list down on paper or make a mental list. These “features” will diverge depending on our life, interests, priorities, etc. Thinking of these things with some priority can be helpful.

Enlist things on which you spend most of your time.
We have to take inventory of our day, and make a list of where we spend most of our time and attention. Grade the list in some way so that we are crystal clear about which activities, convictions and affiliations get our attention distinctively, and how much we dedicate to each of them.

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Shivanand Pandit
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Shivanand Pandit

Shivanand Pandit, based in Goa, is a tax specialist, financial adviser, guest faculty and public speaker. He can be reached at panditgoa@gmail.com