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Prioritising things is something I struggle with a lot. I’m one of these people that always have a few things on the go at once and I want everything I am working on to be done as soon as possible. It makes it so hard to cope sometimes, as I so desperately want to see these tasks completed and it frustrates me so much when they aren’t.
If I prioritise something over another, I just find myself worrying about the thing I am not prioritising. As much as I tell myself that worrying doesn’t get anything done quicker, I still can’t help but worry about things that aren’t being done.
Part of the problem comes from when I set deadlines to complete tasks. A lot of the time these are just deadlines I have made to make sure I do things and don’t put them off, most of the time it doesn’t actually matter to anyone else if I miss my deadline, as it doesn’t affect anyone and no one else knows I was working to a deadline.
It’s like my wife and I have a list of things we want to get done this summer and for each thing we have put a date next to when we want to get it done by. The reason for putting dates next to things was to spread the tasks up evenly throughout the summer and to make sure they get done.
On the list this week have been a lot of gardening tasks to get done but because of the poor weather I haven’t been able to get anywhere near close to finishing them. No one else cares about the garden and it doesn’t affect anyone else, I am just bummed that I won’t complete it in the time I thought I originally would.
I think to prioritise well you have to know that some things are going to have to be put on the back burner for a bit and you have to be comfortable with this. It is impossible to do everything all the time. I have a lot to learn in this area but it is a skill I hope I can master, as I think it will relieve stress and make my life better.
If you set yourself big targets and want to achieve lots of things, then life will always be busy and life will always be about prioritising.
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Due to the many plates that my wife and I balance; a lot of things recently have been put on the backburner. The last few months of our lives have called us to focus on certain areas of our life, but this week we have transitioned in to a new season. With this new season our aim is to catch up on a lot of things that need doing.
Instead of just saying we are going to do this and that over the summer, my wife and I have formalized a list of what needs doing and when we are going to do it by. We then printed the list out and put it up to remind us of what we are doing when.
Get that happy feeling
A lot of things on the list aren’t life changing or imperative to be done (this is why they have been on the backburner) but they are things we want to do and things that once they are done will make us feel happy to know they are done. Like one of the things I want to do is completely remove a hedge from the side of our property, because I have wanted to do this and had the idea to do this for so long I now can’t wait to get started on it. Also by removing it, it is going to save me a lot of time in future years of not having to maintain it.
Finally now my wife and I have time back on our side but just because we do, we don’t want to waste it. It is our aim to keep to our intentional way of living and spend our time intentionally. As a family we love being productive, so having plans and lists really help us live our life, as we want to live it.
Don’t carry it around with you
It is surprising how much putting something off can get to you on the inside. The knowledge that you have so many things you think need doing or want to do can weigh you down so much. Although you may not be thinking about it all the time, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t carrying it around with you.
You may not enjoy actually doing a specific task and that is why you have been putting it off, but to me it is worth doing something you don’t like if the result makes you happy and it lightens your load. So today I implore everyone to do something they have been putting off, trust me it will make you feel so good.
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One thing I am trying to get better at this year is not putting things off. In the past I have been terrible at not putting things in the diary, not passing on information as soon as I got it and not doing things I knew needed doing.
One of our family things this year, in our year of being intentional, is “to not delay and act today.” I have taken this to heart and ran with it. Everything I can get done today, I try to. When things crop up I try to immediately put them in the diary or act upon them depending on what is needed.
Never a perfect time
I don’t know why I behaved like I did before but I know it is a way many people behave. For some reason people like just keeping things in their head and not sharing information with others. Some times people think it is best to hold on to information and break the news at a time they think is best, when in reality for bad news there never is a perfect time.
Putting things off is illogical and irrational. Putting things off gets nothing achieved, adds to your workload and adds to your stress. Putting things off may make you feel like you are in control but in actuality it is a sign of someone who isn’t in control or someone who will become out of control very quickly. People who succeed and get things done are people that don’t put things off.
Removing things from your to do list
Sometimes another good way to avoid putting things off is to not add to your list of things to do unnecessarily. Just look at the things you are putting off, are they necessary things to do or do they matter to you? If not throw them away, scratch them off your mental list and free yourself from them. Don’t add to your stress and imprison yourself with things that don’t matter. Take a step back and just look at what matters and what doesn’t.
Don’t put off sorting your life out. Your life, your happiness and your health should be what is most important to you and I know these are things that I want the most days of in my life, everyday you don’t get it sorted is a day you are robbing yourself of having the best day. Everyone will try and clutter your life so its time you started uncluttering it yourself.
Ever been put off applying for a job because you didn’t have enough experience? Ever been turned down for a job because they didn’t think you had enough experience? Then you will probably be in that frustrating place where nearly all of us find ourselves at some point in life, asking yourself the question “How am I going to get experience if no one will give it to me?” It’s like the ultimate chicken and egg situation in life.
I think so many companies across the world are being very short-term in their thinking with this approach. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always nice and reassuring to hire someone with experience but should the want for experience be put above ability, qualifications and someone’s character?
If I were employing staff I would be looking for people with the right attitude that can prove they can work hard and are teachable. In a company you need people who are going to work well with your current staff, people that are quick at picking things up and people that are willing to go that extra mile for the company. Someone’s experience tells you nothing about their ability to do these things.
If you hire someone based on their experience are they the type of person that thinks they know best? No two companies behave in exactly the same way so is this person with experience going to be able to fit in? Do they see the opportunity in your company as a chance to gain more experience in order to move on to something else? Does this experienced person not want to learn any more and just trade off their current experience? These are all questions you need to be asking yourself when hiring.
The word potential seems to come below experience when it comes to hiring people. A nice way of saying no to people who don’t get jobs always seems to be “you have potential.” The thing is however somebody with potential will always have the chance to achieve more than someone with experience, so if you are looking for long term success as a company you need to start giving more time to those people who truly have a lot of potential.
If you have a job interview for a job that you don’t have the required levels of experience for, remember to sell your potential, your work rate, how teachable you are and how good you are at working with people. Extenuate your positives and hide what companies perceive as negatives, get the focus off what you haven’t got and get it on what you could do for the company.