“Good things happen when you get your priorities straight.”—Scott Caan

Prioritizing what you want at work can be confusing when you are stressed. There is nothing worse than sitting at the computer with nothing but a blank page and stare to match.  Figuring out how to organize tasks, projects or responsibilities can become overwhelming when everything seems like a crisis. Organizing what to do first can seem impossible if everything looks important.

The biggest problem when prioritizing can be deciding exactly what you want to do. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true. Knowing exactly what you want, creating a plan and taking action can be much harder than it seems. The key to clarity is learning how to prioritize with razor sharp precision.

Prioritization is necessary to sort through lists and get things done. If you choose tasks of less importance to complete first, it is easy to misjudge time needed for a specific project. Here is a fail-proof plan to achieve your goals quicker:

Decide exactly what you want. Be as specific as possible. Write it out in your journal first. See it, feel it and live your goal with all of your senses. Be clear about your time frame and realistic about your deadline. List all the reasons you can for wanting to achieve your goal. These are necessary to hold onto when you just want to give up.

Create a Plan. Make and outline and break your goal or project down into steps. These are bite-size short term goals that you can do to get the job done. Remember, if your plan gets detoured course correct as quickly as possible and get back on track. The longer you stay in thinking that you have failed, the harder it is to move forward again.

There are several ways to sort through prioritizing projects or tasks. There are a variety of worksheets to help you figure out what tasks are urgent or not to pressing to finish. A great way to organize tasks is using sticky notes. Write the project on a big sticky note. Then use smaller sticky notes to organize the project. You can then move the notes around to clearly see your next step.

Just Do It. Take action on your plan as soon as it’s in place. Thinking about it too much can quickly lead to procrastination. Your subconscious mind has sneaky ways to block you from getting a job done.

Evaluate what parts of your plan can be done by others. Ask if tasks can be outsourced to other people, such as virtual assistants or other free-lance help. Can other office mates, friends or family members pitch in to get the job finished? Remember, you don’t have to do the project by yourself.

Keep as positive as possible when working on your goal or project. Don’t forget to add a mental support system to achieve your goal. Struggling on a project can take a toll on your mindset. Practice meditation, listen to a motivational speaker, write your thoughts in a journal and schedule regular meetings with business friends of like mind can make a huge difference in how quickly a goal can be finished.

26 thoughts on “Prioritize: How to Achieve Your Goals Quicker”

  1. Wonderfully written article, Lisa.  Love what you wrote: "Prioritization is necessary to sort through lists and get things done.''  It is so important! Thank you for sharing such great tips, especially "Create a Plan.''

  2. Goals & setting priorities is sooo important in order to get results. I'm a firm believer of this. I especially like that you mention "Just Do It". Without any action you cannot real your goals – doesn't matter how much you prioritize. Thanks for sharing.  

  3. I have reorganized my whole 2013 a couple times now. My priorities changed a lot in 2012 and it helped me to get clarity this year!

  4. Great plan, Lisa! I've also been listening to Brian Tracy's audio CDs with setting your goals and achieving them: set goals for yourself, make plans to achieve them, and work on your goals every single day.
    Thanks for sharing this post!

    1. Thanks, Delia! Brian has some great information about setting goals and how to achieve them.

  5. Great advice—>"Just Do It. Take action on your plan as soon as it’s in place. Thinking about it too much can quickly lead to procrastination. Your subconscious mind has sneaky ways to block you from getting a job done."

  6. Lisa, I appreciate your including the psychological piece of goal attainment. It just doesn't work when we aren't conscious of the many things that can get us off track – and how to get around them. I tend not to make my action steps "bite-sized" enough, so this was a great reminder that manageable chunks work better. Thanks!

  7. Great points, Lisa. I gotta say this is like the third time just today I've heard "just do it." I thought it was a tired tagline Nike coined years ago, but it just might just be a sign…

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