When you want to be successful, you have to prioritize. This often means that some things get overlooked and unfortunately, sometimes they are things that you don’t want to overlook. But you have to make sacrifices if you want to achieve your goals and that means deciding what is most important, and working on it first and foremost.
The reason for this is simple: we want too many things. Human beings are famous for wanting too much. It’s like our motto, especially here in America. More, more, more. This is true in the food that we eat, it is true of the things that we buy and it is true of the money that we make.
Of course, it is also true of the things that drive us and the goals that we have, and that’s not a bad thing.
The problem is, when you have too many things that you want to accomplish, you aren’t going to have time for them all, and unless you prioritize, you are probably going to end up doing the things that are the most fun rather than the things that are the most important.
Let’s look at an example of this. Meet Richard. Richard is trying to make a list of the things that he wants to accomplish over the next five years. Here is what he has written down.
• Learn 5 new languages (1 per year) – Spanish, German, American Sign Language, French and Italian
• Learn how to play musical instruments like a pro – first guitar and then piano
• Learn how to do my own taxes and keep track of business taxes
• Start my own business – some kind of retail store that is unique and fills a need
• Volunteer more – do some church work, homeless shelters, give to charity
• Become more organized so that I never miss appointments and always know where stuff is
• Lose 50 pounds and get in shape like I was when I was in my 30’s
We’ll stop here because you probably get the idea. Richard wants to do so many things, but accomplishing them will take up far too much time. For example, learning a new language in a year will take about 30-45 minutes each and every day. If you added up all of his stuff just from this partial list, half the day would be gone.
That’s why prioritizing is vital. If you cannot choose what is most important and work on it first and most often, you are going to accomplish very little.