alt text image of cork board with three priorities on a card

Ruthlessly Prioritize

You can’t manage your time. Time is something over which you have zero control. You can’t find more time because there isn’t any more. You have all you are going to have, do with it what you may.

Even though you can’t find or make more time, you can exercise control over yourself. This isn’t time management; it’s “me management.” If you want to get the most out of the time you have, you have to become an excellent “me manager.”

Me management is about ruthless prioritization.

You can’t do all you would like to do in a single day. Add a week’s worth of single days together and you have even more you wish you had time to do. The only way to be as effective as you need to be is by prioritizing. Ruthlessly.

When you are doing something, you are not doing everything else you want–or need–to do.

Not What. Who?

I am completely and totally task driven. But it isn’t what you are doing that matters most. It’s for whom you are doing it. If you are going to ruthlessly prioritize your time, you need to start with the outcomes you need to generate for and with the people who matter most in your life (and your business life is a big part of your life, isn’t it?).

People are always first, but even they need to be prioritized.

Who matters most? Time you spend with some is time you aren’t spending with others. Think it through.

Now What?

Once you’ve taken care of prioritizing the outcomes you need to produce for the most important people in your life, you can look downstream at the “what.” What are the three or four biggest and most important outcomes you need to achieve in a day? How do those outcomes move you closer to your vision, your mission, your goals?

If what you are doing doesn’t move you closer to your goals, you need to ruthlessly find a way to avoid that work. Delegate it. Defer it. Delete it. Automate it.

Remember, you aren’t going to have any more time. This is it, baby, make it count!

Just Say No.

Let’s get ruthless . . . in a good way. You have to say “no” to a lot of things you want to say “yes” to. You have no choice in this matter. If you say “yes” to something, you are necessarily saying “no” to something else.

Ask yourself, “By saying ‘yes’ to this request, what am I going to be saying ‘no’ to?” Are you willing to say “no” to something bigger because you are afraid to say “no” to something smaller? Are you comfortable occasionally disappointing others because you have to serve the people and the outcomes that make up your bigger purpose, your meaning?

You pay for success in advance. Ruthless prioritization is part of that price.


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