At the start of 2017, I followed my aunty’s advice on how to get stuff done – I wrote a ‘prioritisation plan’. As the nights begin to draw in and I start to wonder where the time has gone, now seems like as good a time as any to review how things are going.
I’m terrible at reflecting: by which I mean I’m very good at doing it – but usually, to my own detriment. I’ve a mental list of things for each and every day where I’d say I wasn’t up to scratch. I’ve always thought that a good thing – because I focus on turning those reflections into actions, lessons or things I’d do better next time. It’s a system that has served me – mostly – well.
Relfecting on concrete objectives and priorities, though, is something I’m far more used to at work than at home. Before this year, I’ve never had (see: made) the time to set out what I wanted to acheive from a year and then got on with doing it.
I’ve always known the destination I wanted but, as anyone who has ever gone on a car journey with me can attest, the exact details of getting there are significantly less well understood.
So, I have been thinking of my prioritisation plan as sort of like a ‘Google Maps’ for my life. And much like when I’m following instructions from Google Maps, my conclusion from reviewing my progress was a steely determination to get to the destination but perhaps a few wrong turns along the way.
I’ve had definite wins: starting to save for a house, reducing my slightly exuberant spending on coffee in Starbucks, saying no more to short term in favour of long term and finishing off my CIPR Diploma in Public Relations.
In other areas I’ve let the business of life lead me astray, but a review is a good time to get things back on track and with four months left of 2017 I’m pretty certain I’ll be able to look back on the year and mark it a success.
And I think that’s the lesson in all of this really, and the reason I wanted to write this post. I get incredible satisfaction in my work life from hitting goals, delivering projects and crossing items off from my to-do list but I’d never thought about translating that to life life.
While I was at University, I set myself 3 goals every 90 days – but they were always focused on work and education, never on what I wanted for me.
But having prioritised my life, written down some specific goals – and prioritsed them – and then kept the sheet somewhere I saw them every day for 9 months I’ve not only managed to achieve what I wanted, but also get the satisfaction of knowing that I did.
I’d say that was a tick for the inferred opposite of ‘say no more to short term’.
If you want to try out prioritisation planning for yourself you can find the guide I used and a handy blog from Karen to tell you how to fill it out here.