The Art of Setting Priorities
Here’s why setting goals and priorities relates closely to success
Setting priorities is something a lot of people neglect to do. However, the importance of setting priorities should be recognized, since the practice is heavily tied to success. American business magnate Warren Buffett’s Five-Step Process for Prioritizing True Success rests heavily on the practice of identifying priorities. The process goes like this:
- List all the things you want. No one can set priorities if they do not first know what they want.
- Take your top five. Many people will be tempted to list as many things as possible, but that is also problematic. Too many items on the list can already tire someone even without starting yet.
- Plan for the top five. Once your top five is identified, it is best to think about what to do next with those items. How can you achieve it? Who can help you? What do you need? Answering those questions will transform the plan into action.
- Stick to the top five. Pour your energy into these top five tasks until you accomplish them.
- Recognize what to avoid. Remember the full list of all the things you want? Those that did not make it to the top five are things you should avoid. Warren Buffett suggests that these other things are merely distractions to setting priorities in life. You should focus on accomplishing these five tasks first before you can turn to other things.
Buffett’s list emphasizes that priorities are very important if you want to be successful. Each step of the process is very connected to the others.
Consequently, the whole process coincides with one mistake people should avoid when identifying priorities: not thinking about what you want. Success Magazine poses that when people don’t know what they want and do things without consciously thinking about it, they live a life they don’t want at all.
Another way toward successfully setting goals and priorities is by just keeping it simple. One of the things that discourage people from achieving their goals is that their list is already intimidating on paper (or in their minds). Hence, they are already scared of attempting anything. In contrast, when people list simpler priorities, it is easier to follow through.
Finally, the most important thing to keep in mind is that recognizing the importance of setting priorities is not enough. You should also live your goals and priorities by making them happen. Take your list, start carrying out the plans, and watch what happens.
Do you want to take control of your life and achieve your goals? Read my book Focused-Driven Lifestyle for more material. We can also connect on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Babauta, Leo. 2009. “Setting Priorities: Three Mistakes to Avoid.” Success, October 1. Accessed September 11, 2017. http://www.success.com/article/setting-priorities.
Dinsmore, Scott. 2011. “Warren Buffett’s 5-Step Process for Prioritizing True Success (and Why Most People Never Do It).” Live Your Legend, February 1. Accessed September 11, 2017. https://liveyourlegend.net/warren-buffetts-5-step-process-for-prioritizing-true-success-and-why-most-people-never-do-it/.