The Law of Priorities states that activity is not necessarily accomplishment.
In his book, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, John Maxwell shares the story of why he relocated from San Diego, one of his favorite places on the planet, to Atlanta, a major airline hub.
San Diego is one of John’s favorite places on the planet, but living there was not very productive for him. He had to relocate because leadership has nothing to do comfort and everything to do with progress.
How about you? Will you rather make progress even if you are not comfortable or you’d rather be comfortable even if you are not making progress?
Stop managing time, start obeying the Law of Priorities
A lot of people are taking time management classes but still feel exhausted and can hardly get things done. Your problem might not be with time management, it might be that you are breaking the Law of Priorities.
Moreover, you cannot manage time. You will never get more hours in a day. The only thing you have control over is how you use your time.
To be an effective leader, you must constantly reevaluate your priorities—your schedule, your commitments, your family life, our goals, your values—to determine what is important.
Besides, as you weigh what is important, use the Pareto Principle to help you refocus on what is important. The Pareto Principle says if you focus your attention on the activities that rank in the top 20 percent in terms of importance, you will have an 80% return on your effort.
There are three important questions you must ask yourself if you want the Law of Priorities to work for you: “What is required?” “What gives the greatest return?” and “What brings the greatest reward?”
What is required of me personally?
The first thing you want to prioritize is what is required of you. If you are accountable to somebody for the work you do—an employer, stockholders, government, board of directors, or have responsibility for the important people in your life—your spouse, children, or parents.
The question you want to ask yourself is, what must I do that nobody else can do for me? If you’re doing something that is not necessary, eliminate it. If you’re doing something that is necessary but not required of you personally, delegate it.
What gives me the greatest return?
After you have figured out what must do that nobody else can do for you, next, you want to list what gives you the greatest return.
As a leader, you should spend most of your time working in your areas of greatest strength. You will be more productive and happier when what you are doing is in alignment with your natural gifting and strengths. If what you are doing can be done 80 percent as well by someone else, delegate it.
If you have a responsibility that someone else could do that could potentially meet a set standard, develop and train a person to handle it.
What brings me the greatest reward?
Finally, you want to prioritize what brings you the greatest reward.
Life is too short not to do something you love. A lot of people today are working a job they don’t like just to pay bills and survive. While there is nothing wrong with working your day job to pay the bills, you don’t want to live the rest of your lives just paying bills.
No matter what else you do, I urge you to make time for what you love, it is important for your personal satisfaction.
Find time to do what you love. Find time to do something you are passionate about. If you cannot do it as a hobby, then do it in the evening. If nobody pays you t do it, do it as a volunteer. The most important thing is that you prioritize what gives you a personal satisfaction.
It is time to reignite your passion, recharge your dreams, and refocus your life. To do that you have to reorder your priorities.
Remember that activity is not necessarily accomplishment. That is the Law of Priorities.