Prioritizing for Online Income

Setting priorities is a matter of deciding what is very important. In this case, “important” means significant to you. What activities and roles give your life meaning? These are the components of your life where you would like to succeed the most.

Not everything in your life can be a priority. Many important things will compete for attention over your lifetime, but there are not enough hours in anybody’s lifetime to give attention to everything that could potentially be a priority.

Determining your primary priorities is a critical exercise in moving toward more efficient use of your time. Your essential priorities provide a means for making time choices, helping you decide where it is crucial to invest yourself and where you can let go. Daily, you also have to learn to set task priorities. Prioritizing tasks includes two steps: • Recognizing what needs to be done • Deciding on the order in which to do the tasks

How do you determine what work needs to be done?

For the most part, it relates back to your primary priorities. To be efficient in your time use, you have to weed out the work that does not fit with your essential priorities.

Learn to say “no” to jobs that look interesting and may even provide a secure sense of accomplishment but do not fit with your primary priorities.

You also have to be able to separate out the tasks that require busywork that tends to eat away at your time. Many tasks that fill your day may not really need doing at all or could be done less frequently.

Task prioritizing means working on the most significant tasks first, regardless of how tempted you are to less significant tasks out of the way.

Specific Skills using Time Productively

Most of these skills are mental. While it is not necessary to develop all of the skills, each contributes to your ability to direct time usage.
Time sense is the skill of estimating how long a task will take to accomplish.

A good sense of time will help you be more realistic in planning your activities. It helps prevent the frustration of never having quite enough time to accomplish tasks.

To increase your time sense, begin by making mental notes of how long it actually takes to do specific routine tasks like getting ready in the morning, running a load of laundry, or delivering your child across town to baseball practice.

Goal setting is the skill of deciding where you want to be at the end of a specific time. Goal setting gives direction to your morning, your day, your week, and your lifetime. The exercise on deciding your lifetime priorities is a form of goal setting.

Learn to write down your goals

If you are like most people, goals are just wishes until you write them down. Keep goals specific, “weed the flower beds in front of the house” rather than “work on the yard.”

Keep your goals realistic, or you will continually be frustrated by a sense of failure.

Standard shifting is adjusting your standards as circumstances change. Your standards are what you use to judge whether something is good enough, clean enough, pretty enough, done well enough.

Perfectionists have very high, rigid standards, and they have trouble adjusting to the changing demands or circumstances of their life.

Develop the ability to shift standards so you can be satisfied with less than perfect when your time demands are high, instead of feeling as if you are somehow falling short.

Time planning is outlining ahead of time the work you need to be done in a specific period. Sometimes time planning is as simple as writing out a “To Do” list to ease your mind from holding on to too much detail.

At particularly stressful times, the “To Do” list may expand to include a more specific calendar of when tasks will be done. While a detailed time schedule can be too confining to use all of the time, it is an excellent way to take the pressure off at challenging times.

Recognizing Procrastination

This a skill in itself because procrastinators can do an incredible job of hiding their procrastination from themselves. Procrastination is needlessly postponing decisions or actions.

You might disguise the procrastination response with an excuse like waiting for inspiration or needing a large block of time to concentrate with your full attention, or need more information before tackling a project.

It takes skill to differentiate between procrastination excuses and legitimate reasons for delaying a decision or action. Without the ability to recognize when you are, procrastinating, there is little chance of overcoming this immobilizing habit.