Priority versus priorities

The other day I was working with a client who asked me to help her map out priorities.  Most of my clients ask for help prioritizing.  They want to know how to allocate best their time so that they can accomplish some tasks.  For me, you can only have one real priority, and it should be specific.  If you’re a job seeker, your priority should be to find employment that utilizes your skills and offers appropriate compensation.  If you’re an athlete, your priority might be to lead your team to a winning season.  

I'm not saying that we can only put our energy towards one thing in life, but there should be a singular focus.  That objective can change over the years, but by spreading ourselves thin, we accomplish nothing.  I see this pattern in struggling businesses.  The company has a small team, but they’ve got big dreams.  They burn the midnight oil to accomplish a set of goals, only to find that they weren’t able to compete with larger organizations who had the bandwidth to outwork them.  Smaller companies tend to beat bigger companies when they focus on a single priority that separates them from the pack.  Individuals are much the same.  

Examine your life.  What is your priority?  If you knew that you only had one year left to leave an indelible mark on society, what would you do?  Maybe you don’t have an answer yet.  That’s okay; you can spend some time thinking about what you want.  Those of you who do know how you’d spend that last year shouldn’t waste a moment.  Write your priority down in a place where you’ll see it daily.  Remind yourself of its importance, and build habits around the priority.  You’ll take occasional breaks from this mission, but it should account for the majority of your time.