Priorities That Stop You In Your Tracks: Setting Better Priorities, Part Three

Sometimes, setting priorities is the worst thing that you can do. Setting priorities can hamper your efficiency, your productivity, and your motivation. Setting priorities can even lower your opinion of yourself, and send your confidence running. Of course, this only happens when you’re setting the wrong priorities.

What happens when the wrong priorities take hold?

If you've got the wrong priorities in place, you'll constantly be fighting against the tide of your natural workflow. If you’re setting priorities that don't realistically suit your thinking style, your energy levels, your motivational triggers, or your time management abilities, you’ll hit trouble. In fact, you're likely to hit lots of obstacles on your way to fulfillment that have nothing to do with your goals, simply because of how you're approaching your tasks.

It's almost better to set no priorities at all than to set the wrong ones.

You might not get much done without setting priorities, but at least with no priorities, you'd never feel like you were failing! The truth is that having the wrong priorities can make you feel bad about yourself and your work even when you’re actually being productive, efficient, or even downright amazing. That’s because no matter how much you do, if the priorities you’ve got set up for yourself don’t match your strengths and abilities, you’ll never measure up to your own expectations. Setting priorities that work against instead of for you harms your confidence and your self-image, not to mention your ability to make more money and have more fun.

So, what are the wrong priorities and how can you recognize them?

In almost every case, the wrong priorities are the ones that “someone else” told you that you should set.
That “someone else” might be a peer, or a supervisor. That “someone else” might be a well-meaning family member, or a friend. That “someone else” might be a so-called personal development expert who believes that he or she has all of the answers. That “someone else” could even be you, especially if what you think you want and what you really want are two different things.

What all of these “someone else”s have in common is that they’re not taking into account who you really are, how you really work, how you really think, what really gets your motor running, and what you really want. In short, all of them have advice on setting priorities, but none of them are taking into account what you’ll really do once those priorities are in place!

There’s only one tool that will let you master setting priorities that help you move smoothly towards success instead of setting priorities that leave you fighting un-winnable battles: self-knowledge. I’ll talk more about that in part four, Different People, Different Methods, Different Priorities.

More Posts On Priorities:
The Limousine: Setting Better Priorities, Part One
What Good Priorities Do: Setting Better Priorities, Part Two
Different People, Different Methods, Different Priorities: Setting Better Priorities, Part Four

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