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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Prioritize to Get It Right


Goal setting smoal setting.  You can set all the goals you want, but if you don't get your mind wrangled around the right priorities, you may as well forget about it.

In David Rock's book Your Brain at Work, Dave talks about the pre-frontal cortex and how easily that tiny little stage gets overwhelmed.  The secret to keeping yourself on track is to calm down, slow down and set priorities so that you can actually make progress on the things you really want.

Imagine this scene: you are all hyped about your new goal to stay focused on finishing that _________.
But when you have the time to do something with it, you decide you better check your email just in case...and suddenly that little window of time to get the ________done gets dissipated by drivel.

It's part of what all of us have to deal with in the age of information.  So what to do about it?

1.  Take a moment to remember what your goals are.
2.  Look at the things you need to do.
3.  Prioritize them into the ones that are going to require the most brain power first.
4.  When you have finished doing that priority one first, go check your email : -)


In my world, I'm all about rewards. You want to mess around on the guitar? Draw a picture? Get that client's drawing down first, then you can go do whatever you want.  Before prioritizing, if I got behind on projects, I'd have to claw my way back from distractions to do one small thing.  After prioritzing, I had more time for all the fun things and I didn't feel so weighed down by worry.

Next time you feel overwhelmed, try this.  Make a list of all the things you need to do.  Then figure out which takes the most brain power, put that in the number one spot.  Then go through the rest of the list to see where else in your schedule you can do a few other high priority brain items.  Between sets take time to go running, call someone, or do something different. Taking a short break allows your brain to recharge.

Goal set, go ahead!  But be sure to remember to prioritize so you can get what you really want!

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