If you are juggling a lot of things at once, picking the most important task in the moment can be challenging. Some of my clients came to me because they simply couldn’t figure out what to do first and ended up doing nothing of real importance.
Here is a way of ordering your priorities that can be extremely useful:
Write each current task or project on a separate index card or piece of blank paper. Put the most important task on the left side of an even surface like a table or kitchen counter.
Then select the second most important item and place it to the right of your top priority. Continue this process until all cards are in order of importance. Do this fast – let your subconscious mind take over – so you will not get stuck.
To make sure that all the items are in the proper hierarchy, compare your top task/goal with the one to the right. If you had to choose between those two cards which would be more important? Is your number one priority still your top priority? If not, what does this tell you?
Whichever item you picked first now moves to the number one spot. Then continue on with comparing numbers two and three and so on. Has the order of your goals changed? If so, what can you learn from it?
Perform the exercise as quickly as possible. It sometimes reveals that our conscious goals are not in synch with our deepest wishes. This experience can be disturbing but also liberating. Stick with what comes from deep within because that is where your motivation lies.
Now you are ready to tackle your most important next action. Put the ordered cards in one pile with your number one priority on top and simply pick the first one and do everything you can do regarding this task.
Once you are finished with your top priority, pick the next card in line. If these are tasks for the day, continue working through the line until no item is left undone. Then celebrate your accomplishment.
Didn’t finish all your tasks? Celebrate what you did accomplish and schedule the remaining items for the next day. Always focus on what you did do to break the cycle of negativity that feeds procrastination.