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What Really Matters?

Tuesday, March 05, 2019



 There's a little - known saying. "If you have more than 1 priority you have no priority"

On first reading I think that's a bit scary. But it's true. On one level. The idea can be challenging because, well, there's just so much to do!
In the modern world, we want it all - or at least like to have a lot of things 'on the go' at once. Being busy can help us feel productive, important and valued. On the other hand, the outcomes can be patchy - and there's always that nagging feeling that something needs attention. If asked, most of us will say that we multi task effectively - but research show very definitely that it is less efficient than we think.

But seriously. One priority? How can that work?

We all know that our life is made up of many elements, so how do we reconcile them - and still do something really well? The answer begins with perspective. Be clear on what really matters.

For example -Billionaire Jamie Packer was once quoted as saying that he's doing really well in business, but the rest of his life is a disaster.

He's got lots of money but he's miserable because his family life and health are a shambles.

I think this a useful way to establish priorities; - Start with the understanding that some fundamental things are not negotiable. i.e put them beyond priority because they 'go without saying'. These things are family, health and social/spiritual/community values.

For example, looking after your health should be a given. Budgeting a certain amount of time to your health and self- improvement each week isn't a priority, it's an essential.
Similarly, if we don't maintain healthy family and community values anything else will feel shallow and unsatisfying.

It's not simple, but at least it's clear. Look after our physical, mental and spiritual health and THEN establish priorities.

Still confused on what your priorities should be? Here's what the gurus say.

  • “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “You need to make time for your family no matter what happens in your life" ― Matthew Quick, The Silver Linings Playbook
  • "Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important." ― Stephen R. Covey
  • "It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials." ― Bruce Lee
  • To keep your "fundamentals" right, try the simple and effective "HomeworkGrid" 

Have a balanced week.