Prioritizing: The Magic of Focusing on What’s Important

prioritizing focus on what's important

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;
etc.

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

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest

Sharing my adventures in lifestyle design, building an online business, and growing this blog. Join me for weekly updates.

Previous ArticleNext Article

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income