Your Priorities Are Probably Wrong

I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been diagnosed with a stress-related ulcer. Not fun. I’m now on daily medication for the next few weeks to try ease the symptoms and, if that doesn’t work, I have to go for a scope, which basically involves a doctor shoving a tiny camera down my throat. Imagine my excitement.

Sometimes life will throw something like that at you, to force you to face your priorities (with mine now including stress management). But if I’d paid a little more attention to the problem before it turned into a great big tortuous ulcer that makes me feel like I’ve been impaled and that my spine is in a vice, I could have saved myself a lot of hassle, money, pain, discomfort, and tears. I didn’t have my priorities straight, so my body decided to signpost them in big, neon letters.

I hope you never get to that stage, which is why today’s post is to help you examine your priorities and realise what areas in your life will make the most difference to your overall wellbeing, as well as your productivity. Setting priorities has endless benefits but, basically, it means you’re focusing on what matters. The trouble is in trying to discover what actually matters and what doesn’t.

Finding your priorities.

Before this whole ulcer business, I would have told you that my priorities, after my family, were decluttering the house and growing this site. The problem was that I didn’t really give the reasons enough thought. I know now that decluttering the house was important to me because it would help me feel calmer. Growing the site meant giving me a sense of independence and accomplishment, because I was starting to feel that, being a wife and mother, I was losing my identity as an individual.

In other words, I was doing them to reduce anxiety and regain a sense of control. I wanted to escape the chaos I felt I was living in, both physically and mentally. In short, I wanted to feel less stressed. Bingo! My priorities weren’t necessarily the house and the website — my priorities were regaining a sense of self and reducing stress. If I’d realised that sooner, and focused on that, I may have been able to implement more effective methods, like taking some time off to recharge and rejuvenate rather than throwing myself into decluttering and digital marketing.

Yes, the latter did help somewhat but, by giving them all my attention and not seeing the bigger picture, I was essentially avoiding the root of the problem which, unfortunately, then planted itself in my solar plexus and, like a weed, began to grow and multiply and generally wreak havoc.

So here are some important questions you need to ask yourself to discover your REAL priorities:

  • What’s important to me now?
  • WHY is it important?
  • What can I do to ensure I’m focused on it on a regular basis?
  • What other things could I do to complement that?
  • What problems or issues do I have that constantly frustrate me?
  • How can I resolve them?
  • What gets me down?
  • What revitalises me?
  • How can I bring more of the latter into my life?

You may have to ask yourself “why” more than once. For example, you may say you want to lose weight to fit into your old clothes. But WHY do you want to fit into them? Maybe because you want to have some confidence. Great! How else can you feel confident apart from losing weight?

(Finding your “why” is vital to every area of your life, and it’s something I’ve written about before.)

How to figure out your priorities.

Basically, you get to the root of the issue and, from there, you build back up. Instead of finding ways to lose weight, now you’re finding ways to feel more confident. And guess what? You’re much more likely to get there if you’re implementing a variety of strategies rather than just counting calories.

It also means you cut out all the crap. If you realise that financial security is top of your priorities, all of a sudden the urge to re-arrange the furniture and re-paint the kitchen takes a back seat and that energy is re-directed to finding ways to earn and save more money.

Finding your priorities means focusing your energy where it’s needed most, so you don’t get burnt out doing a whole pile of nothing. How much more effective would you be if you culled the crap and instead implemented a several-pronged strategy for attacking your biggest goal?

The answer is: shitloads.

Find your priorities and then plough through them with laser-like focus and precision.

Even just do it for an hour and see how much more you can accomplish.

{Now if you’ll excuse me, my stress management strategy dictates that I must go eat snacks and watch YouTube videos.}

 

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4 Comments

  1. You’re completely right Laura, sometimes we totally miss the boat on why we want or need to do something. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  2. Love this and great advice, been trying to get in to this mindset for a while now. Kerry xx

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