Setting priorities when you are too busy

My wife and I were just talking about how we have been too busy.  I’m not really complaining.  In fact, I think everyone is busy and just because we have 4 kids does not make us busier. Every single one of us has the same hours in the day to accomplish what we need to accomplish.  We have the same days of the week and the same 12 months of the year. So what it really boils down to is setting priorities.

Focus for sanity

For me, I have always been diligent in doing some business planning because it gives me direction and focus.  When it comes to business, I know the opportunities are endless and it would be easy to try to take on too much because of all these perceived opportunities.

One of the ways to find more balance is to stop trying to juggle too many priorities.  Imagine that each priority in your life is a ball and your task is to juggle these balls which is a metaphor for life.

If you only have 1 ball, you can imagine how easy it would be to toss that ball up and down with just one hand.  In fact, after a while you might get bored of doing the same thing over and over again.  With two balls, the task of juggling is still feasible and still probably not too challenging.  Throw three, four, five balls into the mix and it becomes not only interesting but really difficult.

What are your priorities in life?

As my wife and I continue these discussions about how busy we are, I suggested that we spend some time setting priorities.  If we try to juggle too many balls, we may find challenges to finding more balance.

Given all the challenges we have in balancing kids activities, finding time to wor

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k out, still seeing friends and family, spending quality time with each other, and so on and so on, I suggested that we come up with our top three priorities for 2013.  What 3 balls do we want to juggle first.  It does not necessarily mean we have to ignore everything else.  It just means we prioritize our needs and wants.

Have we lost sight of the power of simplification?

We live in a world that is incredibly complex.  More information has lead to information overload.  More choice has lead to more confusion.  We are inundated with thousands of messages every single day.

As life gets busier and more complex, it’s important to remember the power of focus and simplicity to try and regain some sanity.  It’s often the simplest things that give us real joy.  The challenge is filtering through all of the ‘quick fixes’ of the moment that lead us astray of what really matters most and means the most.

Half a dozen things

One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from the late Jim Rohn who said “There are a half a dozen things in anything you do that make 80% of the difference.  Focus your time and energy on those half a dozen things and you can’t help but become more successful.”

Whether the number is 3, 6, 2, or 7, the key lies in setting priorities and thinking about how to simplify so you can get refocused on those things that make most of the difference.

Do you have any thoughts or ideas to share on how to simplify, prioritize and focus?

Written by Jim Yih

Jim Yih is a financial expert, columnist, best selling author and award winning blogger. He is also a Group Pension Consultant for Clearpoint Benefit Solutions.To learn more about Jim, visit www.RetireHappy.ca and JimYih.com.

One Response to Setting priorities when you are too busy

  1. A great way to get things done is to write it down or record it everyday.

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