Schedule your priorities – in advance!

When working with an audience last week, an attendee said, “I keep prioritizing my schedule, yet new items keep showing up. What can I do to make it easier to squeeze the new items into my days?”

This is a typical concern for nearly everyone. If this is a concern for you, my suggestion is this:

Rather than continuing to prioritize your schedules, begin to schedule your priorities (in advance). Weekly schedules are best because you can then be certain that your weekly schedules include personal and professional priorities.

When you schedule priorities in advance (weekly), you’re making commitments to your known priorities by setting aside time to accomplish them. Thus, when new items appear, you can more easily determine the importance of the new items, compared to the importance of the priorities you have scheduled.

If the new items that show up are important to you, schedule them around your already scheduled priorities. If they aren’t as important as the priorities you have scheduled, you can more easily say “no” to them – or perhaps schedule them for a later time — because they conflict with the priorities you’ve already scheduled on your calendar.

Note: If you could see my face right now, you’d see that I am smiling. My smile is here because this week I was asked the question that’s written in the opening line of this post—and I wrote the above four paragraph answer in this blog in 2009. I’m telling you this now because I want you to know that the above answer will help you today—just as it helped people 3 and ½ years ago.

Conclusion: Schedule our priorities in advance (weekly).

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One Response to “Schedule your priorities – in advance!”

  1. I think this is a very important component to time management. Without realizing what I was necessarily doing, I started scheduling out my important meetings and to-do’s a week in advance. This really makes me look at my schedule and see what I’m spending my time on. Are these activities ultimately going to help me reach my goals or are they just busy work? Can I delegate any to someone else. I couldn’t agree more that this is a key to successful time management!

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