What can you accomplish in a month? According to science, that’s all it takes to start forming a new habit, and good habits lead to good results. Our Monthly Challenge aims to help you create the right habits – physically and mentally – to make significant strides toward your best, healthiest self.
“I was going to do it, but I just didn’t have time …”
It’s a pretty safe assumption you’ve heard this line before. But, honestly, you’ve probably heard it a lot! You might even use it quite often yourself.
Here’s the thing about this line, though … it’s total BS! Ninety-nine times out of 100, it’s an excuse.
Sorry if that offends you, but it’s true. And you know why? Because if it was all that important to you and if you managed your time better, you would’ve done it.
Look, we’re all busy. Some more than others, sure, but busy is relative. Some people always manage to get things done, while others rely on the above line like a crutch.
How do the productive ones do this? They prioritize things.
Prioritization may sound like corporate jargon, but it’s necessary to complete everything that needs to be done. With so many things to clutter up your focus, prioritization allows you to give your attention to the most important and urgent tasks so you can complete them, leaving lower-priority tasks for later.
So, how do you prioritize things? Well, the biggest thing is being honest with what’s most important to you.
On any given day, you might have work, paying bills, grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning the house, taking the kids to soccer practice, doing a favor for a friend, calling your mom, or dozens of other things. And if you threw all of those together in a bowl, it’d look like an overwhelming mess with no clear place to start or finish. And with no place to start, it’s easy to get sidetracked, never start at all and blame your “lack of time” as to why you didn’t get anything done.
Yet, by prioritizing the most important ones, say paying the bills, cleaning the house, getting the kids to practice, and the big work project, you can ensure you get those knocked out. In addition, this eases anxiety about everything you have to do, as you’ll feel more in control while worrying far less about the other tasks (sorry, mom).
Do you know what prioritization also helps with? Wasting time!
It’s truly alarming how much time we waste on different things every day. Yet, with items prioritized, it doesn’t allow you to dawdle. You have to get those things done. Plus, prioritizing means you’ve already deemed it more important, and it’s remarkable how we tend to get essential things done regardless of how much time we have to do them.
Think about it. When you REALLY want to do something, you’ll move heaven and earth to do it. And that’s the power of prioritizing.
The challenge: Set 3 priorities every day (and follow through)
So, you’ve got a to-do list a mile long? How do you begin prioritizing the different tasks?
Again, honesty is a big thing, but we want you to look beyond the routine stuff for this challenge. Of course, you could “prioritize” brushing your teeth, as it is essential, but shouldn’t that already be a non-negotiable? Hopefully…?
No, for this, we want you to wake up every day and prioritize three things that will empower you and that, when accomplished, you can look back at the end of that day and say, “damn, it was a successful day!”
Maybe that’s prioritizing working out? Or spending an hour playing with your kids? Or tackling that yard project you’ve been putting off? Or finally, booking that vacation? Think beyond the daily routine and look for things that will make you feel good and accomplished. Those are the things we should prioritize in life compared.
Ultimately, what we prioritize in our daily lives shapes who we are as individuals. For example, if we spend most of our day scrolling on social media or gossiping with friends, we unintentionally prioritize them by default. But if we intentionally prioritize various tasks daily, you’ll suddenly feel more in control, more productive, and have more time to enjoy your life.
Sean Ostruszka is an active creator. A national-award winning writer for numerous industries, Ostruszka also delves into photography, design, product development and more, while being an avid family man, outdoorsman and fitness enthusiast.