Priorities, Projects, & Tasks

I was standing behind these two guys at the golf pro shop and casually listening in on their conversation:

“So, buddy, how have you been?”
“Oh, you know, busy, busy, busy!”
“Right?! Me too! Busy at work, busy at home, busy on the weekdays, busy on the weekends!”
“I’m so busy, I hardly have time to sleep.”
“I know! I’m so busy, I have to put ‘breathing’ on my calendar!”

Back and forth it went, these two acquaintances trying to one up each other on how busy they each were, all while taking six hours out of their day to play a round of golf. I’m not exactly sure when it happened that society started believing that being busy equates to being important, but I can testify that while some might see it as a signal of importance, it definitely doesn’t equate to happiness or effectiveness.

If your schedule is packed at work, that is probably a warning sign you never have time to do any of the strategic long-term planning and vision casting necessary for long-term success. Instead, you’re probably being bogged down with reactionary tasks and ineffective meetings that could have been handled by an email.

If your home life consists primarily of driving kids to organized sporting events and eating a fast food dinner in the car, this is probably a sign that there might not be enough space in your family life for recharging and simply enjoying each other’s company.

Bonnie and I often joke about how unimportant we must be because every time someone invites us to do something or go somewhere, we’re always available! Not necessarily because we’re friendless, but because we purposefully don’t over book our schedules, so that we can make ourselves available for the spontaneous trip to the park or the random people who show up on our couch in need. Having margin in your schedule empowers you to be more patient and more present in each of your activities and interactions throughout the day. And, who couldn’t benefit from a little more patience? Especially with the kids.

As such, the primary goal of the Posifocus app’s Priorities, Projects, and Tasks is to ensure that all your time and energy is being effectively exerted toward only the most important aspects of your life. Rather than wasting your day on a to-do list full of random and meaningless tasks that keep you busy, the Posifocus app organizes and filters your responsibilities, so only the most important and meaningful tasks make it on to your to- do list.

The Posifocus App

You start off by listing things your grateful for in the gratitudes log. From small things like the smell of the flowers, to enormous things like the health of your family, because, as we learned in chapter two, being grateful is the ultimate key to positivity and happiness. The best part about gratitudes is that the more you list, the happier you become.

Once you’re in a mindset of positivity, you’re ready to list out your priorities. As we learned in chapter twenty-one, priorities are the most important things we want to devote our time and attention to. Things like spirituality, family, friends, work, and health, just to name a few. The trick here is to order these priorities from most important to least important, and then stick to this order. Because while unproductive people try to balance their priorities, productive individuals set their priorities and then keep their priorities.

With your priorities set, you can now start to identify projects that will contribute positively to each of your priorities. For example, if family is one of your priorities, potential projects that would contribute to a healthy family could be a camping trip, a backyard swing set, a beach vacation, and weekly game night.

Then, within each of your projects, you can establish a list of tasks that need to be accomplished so that the project can be completed. For example, before we head out on a camping trip, we need to reserve a campsite, get a tent, sleeping bags, a cooler, bug spray, firewood, hot dogs, beer, marshmallows, and ice.

The benefit of having all of your tasks associated with specific projects that correlate to your life’s priorities is that you no longer have a to-do list full of random, wayward, and meaningless tasks that don’t help you accomplish your goals. Instead, everything you spend time doing is now part of a greater system that is directly geared toward making sure you are spending all of your time on the things that matter most!

At first, you may find it challenging that you can only add a task if there is already a priority and project established for that task, but this will keep you from adding random, time-wasting busy-work to your to-do list. Now, rather than simply being “busy, busy, busy”, you will be “meaningfully productive,” and you will have time in your schedule for spontaneous visitors, last-minute invitations, catching up with old and new friends, and being more patient with the kids.

Posifocus Mantra #22

Be Grateful. Get Organized. Stay In-Touch.

Reflection

Have you ever spent time on tasks that are unrelated to your priorities? How quickly would you accomplish your actual goals if you spent all of your free time focusing on them? What would your productivity look like if you eliminated watching TV and social media from your daily routine?

Challenge

Work on tasks directly related to your priorities for 30 minutes each day for the next week. Side note: 30 minutes only counts for 2% of your day. If you aren’t willing to dedicate 2% of your day to these tasks, then you need to re-evaluate your priority list.

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