Prizing Prioritizing: Establishing Our Priorities

I’m working on reviving this blog series on Preventing Procrastination, Prizing Prioritizing, and Pursuing Purpose. So far, I’ve presented several posts on Part 1: Preventing Procrastination; this is the summary post of that part.

Then I covered an intro to Part 2: Prizing Prioritizing and covered the first post on Bringing Balance to Our Priorities.

So the next topic is:


**Establishing Our Priorities!!**

Do you have your priorities identified yet? I’m borrowing from one of my previous posts about my own:

In my life, my priorities are God first, and then the special people in my life: hubby; family; friends; and others such as colleagues, classmates, and quilters.

After people, then priorities are work, education, and leisure; the difficulty has been in how I organize or prioritize those three, as the “importance or urgency” changes from day to day.

The most crucial thing, I think, is that things should not take precedence over people, who are much more deserving of attention.


So after you have identified what (and who) your priorities are–and you’re content with the balanced order in which you’ve prioritized them with designated time for each priority…how do you go about establishing your priorities?



Well, let’s first understand what it means to establish something in the context we are using, via the online dictionary: “to place or settle in a secure position; to make firm or secure; to cause to be recognized or accepted.”


From these definitions, we could then say we want to settle our priorities in a secure position, and cause them to be recognized or accepted as priorities in our lives. They hold a position of significance, and barring circumstances beyond our control, those people first and things secondly should retain the levels of priority in which they are secured.


Of course, we do have to recognize that life happens and it’s better to be flexible enough to modify a schedule and re-prioritize if necessary, than to be so rigid that a change of plans causes physical and emotional distress (picture a willow tree bending with the wind, as opposed to a brittle tree snapping when a wind gust comes along). I think the key here, as I’ve been learning in my own life, is to honor the people in our lives enough that we can spend quality time with them, but also discuss issues with them and trust they will understand when we do have other obligations to meet.  Communication is key.


As an online doctoral candidate now, I especially liked the points made in this article about the importance of college students establishing priorities and managing time wisely. I also like that it came from some higher education agencies in New Hampshire, where I was born, raised, and lived until about 13 years ago when I moved to Maine.


We can modify and extrapolate some of the key points for our purposes here regarding establishing priorities:


*Use task lists, calendar, and other time management tools to track and coordinate all your responsibilitiesA couple tools I use and recommend are Toggl, which is a time-tracking and task-recording tool for your desktop or online use, and an online timer that allows me to watch my time in an open tab.

 *Acknowledge and understand the difference between IMPORTANT and URGENT tasks!Urgent = Do them NOW. Important = Do them as soon as you can, but not before URGENT tasks!

 *Integrate more complex tasks during your natural rhythm of peak productivity–don’t work against yourself! It’s up to each of us to determine WHEN that time is!

*Remember: You are NOT invincible and you can NOT do everything! Wonder Woman and Superman are just fictional characters; in real life, we must honestly evaluate our time, commitments, and capacity to handle certain workloads and obligations–and learn to say no when necessary.

 *Learn to take good care of yourself! Sometimes we get so busy, we forget to eat, get enough sleep, spend time with family, exercise, or just take some time off to relax and refresh ourselves. Maintaining good health in all aspects (physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental) is essential.


“Time is an equal opportunity employer. 

Each human being has exactly the same number

of hours and minutes every day. 

Rich people can’t buy more hours. 

Scientists can’t invent new minutes. 

And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. 

Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. 

No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past,

you still have an entire tomorrow. 

~Denis Waitely

What about you?

Do you struggle to establish your priorities?

If you have a good handle on this, would you be willing to share your tips?

13 thoughts on “Prizing Prioritizing: Establishing Our Priorities”
  1. I normally have my priorities in order especially when it’s about my life and my work. I don’t like delays and I make it a point to finish tasks on time. This is a very good reminder though and I appreciate the tips!

  2. Well, my priority at the moment is pretty obvious: I have to find a new job… I love your posts, they always give me a little motivation to plan more and be productive. Thanks for that!

  3. I think I’m good at ptiotizing, It’s about putting what’s more important or necessary first rather than what you want or desire. The blog looks cool with this change btw!

  4. I need to learn to organize my time.. there’s just so many things to do, and trying to cram everything, because I always feel that life’s too short not to do EVERYTHING!

  5. I have been getting better at organizing my time. It can be easy to get carried away on a project and the next thing I know the whole day is gone.

  6. I have got a pretty set schedule of my priorities and what I would like to accomplish. It took me a while to get there but it is so worth it when you do.

  7. I think something many folks don’t consider is that our priorities change as life goes on. It’s important to take time to go back and look at our priorities to see whether things need to be changed. Great post and reminder!

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