What is important to you? This may seem like a simple question, but in reality it is not. Most people have a a clearly defined idea of the things that are important to them; many people don’t. It is however, important for leaders to know what are their priorities in life. If you were to examine the daily habits of successful people you will quickly learn that their lives are centered around a set of priorities. They may or may not have a list but you will notice that their days always begin with the things that are most important to them; the things that will most likely help them achieve the goals that they have set for themselves.
Whether you know it or not everyone – including you – has a set of priorities. I believe it is a part of human nature to prioritize things; to do things in the order of importance. From the busy executive running a large corporation to the homeless guy on the streets, people naturally put things in an order of priority from the most important to the least.
And since there is only so much that can be done in a particular period of time -say an eight hour work day- some things will get done and some things won’t. A problem occurs when priorities are out of order and the the things that are most important, fail to get done. So prioritizing is not a skill that leaders have to learn; rather it is taking a natural ability and turning it into a catalyst for success.
Let’s take a lesson from Jesus in Matthew 6:33 in which He says: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” This is a verse on putting first things first. Do that, He implies and everything else will fall into place. If things are done in the correct order of priority, the rest will be taken care off. If they are not done in correct order, time will be wasted in trying to catch up and efficiency would be lost.
According to The History Channel, on December 1st 1913, Henry Ford introduced the first moving assembly line for mass producing automobiles. Through this innovative system Ford was able to cut down the assembling of a motor car from 12 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes. However the assembly line process would never work if there wasn’t an order of priority in how the various parts were assembled. To achieve this Ford had broken down the process of building the Model T into 84 discrete steps and he trained workers to do just one. When he introduced his moving assembly line concept it revolutionized the way cars were built.
CALL TO ACTION: Determining What is important to you.
Step 1: Make a list of the things that you do on a daily basis
Step 2: Consider how much time you spend on each activity
Step 3: Determine how each activity contributes to what you want to achieve
step 4: Eliminate the things that do not contribute to what you want to achieve.