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How to Prioritize Your Life: 5 Steps To Harmony

How to Prioritize Your Life: 5 Steps To Harmony

If you’re wondering how to prioritize your life and make more time for what matters, then you’ve come to the right place.

Many of you reading this probably feel pretty busy. You’re hustling and slogging through your daily to-do’s, but your efforts aren’t leading to the breakthroughs you’ve been expecting.

Usually, the root cause for this is pretty simple — you’re not prioritizing the daily activities that significantly move the needle in your life.

And in a world where your attention is being pulled in a million different directions, it’s more important than ever to master effective prioritization.

So without further ado, let’s dive into actionable strategies that will boost your productivity and help you achieve your loftiest goals.

The Importance Of Having Priorities In Life

While Facebook was rising in popularity in the mid 2000’s, most major investors shared the same view — it was a fun app, but it would never become a powerhouse.

Recognizing this reality, Mark Zuckerberg held a meeting to discuss Facebook’s future, and encouraged his employees to bring their ideas to the table.

According to Noah Kagan, one of the first employees at Facebook, Zuckerberg listened to all the ideas brought forward and then wrote one word on the whiteboard:


His message was clear — any idea that wasn’t focused on growing Facebook’s user base would be ignored. 

From that day forward, everything that Facebook did revolved around that objective,  and now they are one of the largest companies in the world.

This story highlights how successful people think. You don’t get to have 6-7 priorities in life, you must make calculated decisions about where to focus your energy. 

If you don’t, you’ll float through life like a kite in the wind, moving from one pursuit to the next without making meaningful progress on anything. 

Prioritizing your life is the antidote to the chaos and overwhelm that characterizes most people’s lives. And in the following section of this article, we’ll discuss actionable strategies that will help you avoid this trap.


How To Prioritize Your Life (5 Tips)

Obviously it’s important to have priorities in life, but how do you define these priorities and spend your time in the most productive way possible?

The tactics covered in the following section will answer that question for you. So without further ado, here’s 5 ways to prioritize your life and make time for what matters.

#1: Prioritize Your Goals Using The Rule Of Three

One of the simplest ways to effectively prioritize your time is to implement The Rule of Three

The Rule of Three is actually a storytelling principle which states that concepts presented in three are more memorable and satisfying. If you’ve watched stand-up comedy, you’ll see this concept applied over and over again.

In terms of how this relates to prioritizing your life, here’s how you can apply this philosophy to your goals.

  • Pick Three Outcomes: Choose three outcomes that you want to achieve over the next six months. Center your outcomes around the areas of your life causing you the most stress and unhappiness.
  • Pick Three Core Processes: Every outcome has a core process associated with it that gives you the greatest chance of success. For each of your goals, identify this core process. (Ex: If your goal is to build 10 pounds of muscle, the core process would be lifting weights 4x a week)
  • Pick Three Daily Actions: Lastly, choose a specific, measurable target that you can aim for every day that relates back to these three core processes.

The Rule of Three is a great way to simplify your life around the goals, processes, and habits that add the most value to your life.

Try this exercise out for yourself and see what you’re able to come up with!


#2: Use The Focusing Question To Prioritize Your Tasks

If you want to get even more granular with your focus, then the Focusing Question is a fantastic way to accomplish that.

The Focusing Question is one of the best ways to organize your life around the keystone action that impacts your life the most. 

It comes from Gary Keller’s book titled The ONE Thing, which is all about charting the quickest path to your desired outcomes:

The question goes as follows: “What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will become easier or unnecessary?”

This question collapses all possible questions about prioritization into one. It cuts right through the noise and forces you to prioritize high-leverage actions every day.

As a blogger, there are many different tasks that demand my attention.

  • Improving the speed of my site
  • Editing the look and feel of my homepage
  • Improve the navigation on my site
  • Publishing new content
  • Pitching articles to other sites
  • Fixing technical issues

But out of all of these tasks, writing new content is the ONE Thing that has the most direct impact on my success. This doesn’t mean that I completely ignore these other tasks, it just means that publishing new content is what I spend 80% of my time on.

When it comes to finding your ONE Thing, you have to determine which area of your life is most important to you at this moment.

Once you do that, you then need to think about the non-negotiable habit you must engage in every day.

If you’ve been struggling with social anxiety for years, that keystone action may be going outside and talking to strangers.

If you’re a salesperson struggling to hit your numbers, that keystone action may be making cold calls.

If you want to become a New York Times best-seller, that keystone action may be writing every single day.

All of you have that ONE Thing. In fact, most of you probably know what it is just based on gut intuition.

By structuring your day around it and cutting out low-priority work, you’ll have a straight-line path to achieving your most sacred goals.

man wondering how to prioritize your life

#3: Lose Dead Weight

The concept of environment design is a powerful tool when it comes to prioritizing your life. 

Your external environment is the invisible hand that silently shapes your behaviors and habits. Physical objects, technological gadgets, and even the people around you constantly interact with your sensory perceptions, directing your attention and subtly guiding our actions. 

When this external noise includes significant dead weight, this impedes your ability to focus on the things that matter.

For instance, a cluttered workspace can trigger anxiety and procrastination. On the other hand, a neat, organized desk with only essentials fosters productivity and focus. 

Unnecessary notifications from your phone take away focus from what you’re doing, which means you never achieve deep focus and produce your best work.

So when it comes to how to prioritize your goals, environment design is a critical step that cannot be ignored.

The first step towards an environment that aligns with your objectives is to conduct an audit of your surroundings. Assess each element in your environment based on how much it contributes or detracts from your goals. 

After you’ve done that, consider anything that doesn’t serve your priorities as a candidate for elimination or replacement.

Remember, environment design is not just about eliminating distractions; it’s also about surrounding yourself with things that facilitate your success. Whether it’s motivational quotes or a vision board, incorporate elements that resonate with your ambitions.

By consciously designing your environment, you can turn it into a powerful ally in your journey towards prioritizing your life.


#4: Let Your Values Guide You

According to Russ Harris, the author of The Happiness Trap, values are “how we want to be, what we stand for, and how we want to relate to the world around us.

They are attributes of the type of person we want to be — honest, hard-working, loving, compassionate, confident, etc.

Neglecting your values leads to emptiness. If you value social connection, but you’re hustling towards your goals at the expense of your relationships, then you’ll always feel lost in life.

It doesn’t matter how productive you are in life. If you’re not living by your values, it’s unlikely your life will ever have the meaning you want it to have.

So as you look at how to prioritize your life, it’s crucial to get clear on who you are and what you stand for.

Here’s an exercise that will help you identify the traits and values you should spend your time developing.

  • Open up a document/take out a piece of paper.
  • Write down the personality traits that you want to develop without focusing on the goals you want to achieve.
  • Example Traits: fit, confident, disciplined, loving, compassionate, leader, 
  • Keep writing until you feel like you’ve exhausted the list.
  • Go through each of these traits and score them from 1-10 based on how important they are to you.
  • Narrow this list further by picking the top 3 values with the highest score.

Once you’ve completed this exercise, you should have 3 core values that you can design your life around.

Similar to The Rule Of Three Exercise above, the final step is to pick one habit you can execute daily that align with each of these values. 

Doing this will ensure that you’re being intentional with your time and prioritizing the right things on a daily basis. It will also ensure that the progress you make each day is moving you closer towards fulfillment.

This is the pathway to a life that’s more authentic, joyous, and meaningful than the one you’re living right now.

inspirational poster

#5: Schedule Your Downtime

Success is measured by whether you did what you planned to do. It’s fine to watch a video, scroll social media, or take a nap as long as that’s what you planned to do. Alternatively, checking your work email is a distraction if it’s done when you intend to spend time with your family or work on a presentation.” ~ Nir Eyal

Scheduling your downtime might sound counterintuitive because we typically associate schedules with work. However, planned relaxation is essential for a balanced, fulfilled life. 

This does two crucial things. First off, it ensures you have the time for recuperation and enjoyment. and secondly, it allows you to fully relish your downtime without guilt.

Often, we feel a sense of guilt when we’re slacking off. This emotion stems from the idea that we should always be relentlessly chasing our goals. But when we purposefully schedule time to disengage, it becomes a part of our plan rather than an unexpected detour. 

Your brain won’t punish you for slacking off when it’s considered a vital part of your routine. This shift in perspective eliminates the guilt associated with relaxation, thereby enhancing the joy you receive from leisurely activities.

When it comes to prioritizing your life, realize that scheduled downtime isn’t a hindrance to your goals — it provides the rejuvenation necessary to return to your aspirations with newfound energy.

woman holding a camera

FAQ’s About Prioritizing Your Life

What does it mean to prioritize your life?

Prioritizing your life means determining what is most important to you and giving those pursuits more of your time, energy, and resources. 

It’s about making a conscious decision to spend your time doing what aligns with your values, goals, and desires.

When you have clear priorities in life, you wake up with clarity because you know direct your focus for maximum results.

How do I start prioritizing my life?

Self reflection questions are the backbone of figuring out how to prioritize your life. If you want a focused action plan built for massive progress, you’ve gotta start by asking yourself the right questions.

We’ve already discussed The Focusing Question, so here are some additional questions to help you identify your true priorities in life:

  • If I had a magic wand and could change anything about my life, what would it be?
  • Which daily habits are non-negotiables for me?
  • What’s my one year vision? What does that look like in 90 days?

Questions like these will help you prioritize your goals, and then all that’s left is to take action.

What are the 5 priorities in life?

There’s no one size fits all answer to this question. But since you’re here for my perspective, I’ll share the buckets that I believe life falls into.

Personally, I separate my life into three areas of focus. This doesn’t mean that there’s only three life domains, it’s just a simplification that helps me narrow my focus.

  • Bucket #1: Business & Career: Does what I do set me on fire? Am I impacting other people in a positive way? How much money am I making?
  • Bucket #2: Social Life & Relationships: Do I have deep connections with my friends and family? Am I confident and charismatic in social environments? Am I living an interesting life?
  • Bucket #3: Fitness: Does my body look the way I want it to? Am I disciplined about my workout regimen? 

Your buckets may look different than mine, but those three buckets are the north star that currently guide my daily actions.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this article about how to prioritize your life!

Effective prioritization is what separates those who get the life they want from those who don’t.

If you want to live life on your terms, you need to be intentional. You need to get clear about where to direct your focus, and then discipline yourself to execute the critical actions that add significant value to your life.

And while the discipline part will take practice, all of you reading this can develop an effective plan for prioritizing your life.

So if nothing else, I hope these strategies covered here help you find the clarity that you’ve been looking for.

Once you find that clarity, taking action is the only thing that stands between you and the life you desire.

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