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Prioritizing means ranking in order of importance. It’s when you put what you care about the most before anything else.

And we’re all doing it, in any moment of the day, whether we realize it or not.

We prioritize when we choose to do one task instead of another, when we spend our free time watching TV instead of being out with friends, when we sleep one hour more instead of getting up to have a workout.

And as you may guess, our priorities determine the level of success we have in life. It’s what we consider essential and focus on every day that shapes our identity and future.

How to Use Prioritizing to Your Advantage?

1. Analyze your current choices.

Write down all the things you do today and tomorrow. And think of what else you should be doing at that time, or what more you could have done.

That will give you an idea of how well you’re spending your time and how you can double your productivity.

2. Time management.

Using that self-analysis, you can change your approach towards your time and work.

Procrastinating, or choosing easier tasks just to avoid difficult but more important ones, is a step back in your personal development. And every time you do it, you say ‘yes’ to the procrastinator inside you, and make it stronger.

3. Focus on the essential.

But that can always be turned around. You can start being more mindful today by choosing what’s more important.

You need to be ruthless when it comes to your time. We all get 24 hours, but some get nothing done, while others achieve so much in one day.

You can be one of them. You just need to take back control of your time.

How to Focus on What’s Important?

First, you need to define what really matters to you. Here are some things to consider:

  • your goals

We tend to forget what we dream about in the daily round, while overburdened with not so important tasks and worries.

But in the end, we realize we get work done for someone else, we’re not happy, don’t feel productive and accomplished.

That’s because we’ve lost our path and have left our true calling aside, just to indulge in mediocrity, by being the average person that’s doing stuff only because he thinks he has to do it.

But that’s not true.

What’s really important to you is what you’ve always wanted. Your true desires don’t just go away, no! They stay inside of you, always reminding you of who you could have been if you’d started working on the things you believe in.

What to do then?

Make a step-by-step plan for your life goals – the long and the short term.

Break them down into manageable tasks that you can do daily. Make them easy and fast. This way you’ll know what exactly you should do each day to achieve what you want.

And then, every night you can prepare your to-do list for tomorrow. And can include 1-3 tasks connected to your goals. And you’ll put them on top. Simply because they come before everything else.

That’s the real face of prioritization.

  • what makes you happy

In the rush of the day we often forget that we have the right to do only stuff we enjoy.

Do you have such activities in your days? Are you doing what you love, the way you like it?

Because too many people aren’t.

What you can do to change that is start choosing your happiness over things like:

• what others expect you to do and be like;
• what you think you should be doing, but doesn’t make you happy;
• trying to please others;
• temporary pleasures.

And then, you can add some activities and hobbies you actually enjoy. And make time for them daily.

And when you’re asked to do something you’re not sure you should do, you can just ask yourself whether it makes you happy. And act upon the answer.

  • important relationships

Too many of us spend time with the wrong people.

These are:

• those who bring us down;
• people from our past we think we can’t live without but which are no good for us;
• working in a bad environment with people we can’t stand;
• those who are too negative about life and always complain;

Here are 5 types of such people and why we should get rid of them.

This may sound harsh to some, but yes – I think we should eliminate such people from out life.

I’ve seen too many examples of individuals wasting so much time daily trying to please people who just can’t be pleased, who put relationships that are just not worth it before family, who are given work to do by others who are just trying to avoid it.

But there’s no time for that. And there are more meaningful things out there you should be doing, and better people you should be spending your time with.

So choose family over friends, and choose friends over being by yourself.

Choose calling a good old friend instead of trying to impress a new one. If you need to work for his approval is it worth the friendship at all?

Think about stuff like that. Remember the people in your life that have always been there for you, that love you and are actually ready to help you. And give them some of your precious time.

That’s how you focus on what’s important.

Life is too short for things that seem urgent, can be done by someone else, are unproductive and not getting you closer to your goals.

So prioritize – eliminate them and replace them with super productive focused work on tasks that are meaningful and have potential.

So what are you doing about what really matters in your life? What’s prioritizing for you?

See also:

How to use your time wisely by prioritizing your goals?
How to prioritize when everything is important?
4 must-know to-do lists to prioritize tasks