The Art of Prioritisation is a delicate one, mastered by very few and desired by the masses. In a world where time seems to be lacking and the list of things to do seems to be an endless torment, prioritising is the key to living in a more fulfilling way.
So what does it mean to prioritise? Take a look at your to do list (or write one now if you haven’t got one, because they are incredibly helpful). You will see mundane tasks and chores, homework assignments, things you want to do, social events, random notes added by friends… To prioritise is to think about the things you have/want to do, and to arrange them accordingly, making sure you get the most important things done, and THEN moving on to the rest, if you have the time or effort to do so. So basically, getting a decent handle on your life and the things that need to be done in it.
Easier said than done.
I, myself, struggle with this one, due to a multitude of reasons: better things to do, an inability to figure out what is important, fatigue, general laziness, can’t be botheredness… and so on. But what I am trying to get at here, is if you can develop the skill to sort out your priorities, you’ll be set for life. If you start off the day by getting your homework done, finish cleaning out under your bed, and then end the day with some epic social occasion, you will enjoy it so much more, having completed the things you needed to do hours ago. I’m not saying that you should dedicate your life solely to doing things that will aid your academia and other endeavours — you’ve got to prioritise a few fun things too. But at least try to weigh the importance of each task.
Your to do list is even longer than your arm, and it’s just too much. In this kind of situation, I would say step back and start tackling things one by one.
Then you have those crazy days (which I have FAR too often) when you’ve said “yes” to so many things and so many people, that you lack a spare second to do anything and you just want to sleep. Your to do list is even longer than your arm, and it’s just too much. In this kind of situation, I would say step back and start tackling things one by one.
Which brings me to another aspect of prioritisation. Over committing. (I am a serial failure at this one.) Basically, you need to decide what things in life are most important to you, and what ones you can fit in to your schedule without running yourself into the ground. Sure, it would be fun to do four football trainings a week, drama club, theatre sports, play three different instruments, design a building, take down the mafia… But realistically, you’re not going to have time to do all these things. And if you do, you’re going to be drowning in a lack of sleep and not enjoying yourself anyway. Sure, it’s okay to start off the school year like this, to get a taste of what you like. But around now, you should step back and figure out what you REALLY want to do. Groups start to ask for solid commitments, and soon you start running out of free lunch hours, time for homework, or even time for just relaxing. Life gets crazy. This, my friend, is the time to sort out your priorities.
I decided to take a step back and pull out of a few things so I could enjoy the ones I really wanted to do
I myself had to do this – at the start of the year I took on 6 subjects, so many extracurricular activities that I never had a free lunch time or time after school, and my weekends were consumed by trying to catch up on everything I missed during the week, in addition to work. This didn’t end amazingly well as I ran myself into the ground. So I decided to take a step back and pull out of a few things so I could enjoy the ones I really wanted to do, without living permanently like a zombie. I’m now much better for it, and I can fully dedicate myself to my commitments.
All in all, sort out what things really need to be done, what things you really enjoy. Then you can enjoy what you do, and even have a wee bit of time to stop and smell the roses.