S:0209 Distinction: Prioritize vs. Schedule

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)

 

Most people know how to develop a schedule. There are plenty of seminars, books and products that you can use to schedule your time.

To prioritize is to identify what’s important to you. You do this by determining your values, recognize your needs, acknowledge your fears, look at your “shoulds” and embrace your joys. Prioritizing is like learning to wind surf, difficult at first but, once you know how, really easy to do.

The issue with prioritizing and scheduling is that most people have them collapsed into one activity. They spend their conscious effort developing a schedule and are using the schedule to unconsciously set and deal with priorities.

A useful approach is to develop two lists. First (and continuously) develop a list of what is most important to you, your priorities. Include all areas of your life — faith, family, friends, fitness and finances. Then use that list each time you develop a schedule so that you make sure you’re scheduling your time on things that are most important to you.

It’s been said that when predicting the future we tend to overestimate what’s possible in the short term and underestimate what’s possible in the long term. You may have experienced those errors. You can solve them by having a better idea of your priorities and use that information when you develop your schedule.

 

Copyright 1999 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.