“If you’re not doing it, it’s not a priority.”
Good morning, friends, and happy Monday! Maybe you have the day off, maybe you don’t, to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Day. Whatever is your day, I hope it is going well. Let’s get to it.
My wife and I each would like to lose a little weight. Or maybe a lot. Each of us knows that we carry unhealthy weight that we would be much better off without. So we scheme. We talk. We plan. We do a lot of things that seem productive, but at any measurement time we are still where we were. In other words, we haven’t “done” anything about it. Not really. Why? Because despite our words it clearly isn’t a priority.
Priorities are a fascinating topic to me. We speak of priorities like tokens of honor. It’s kind of like the way we celebrate our “busy-ness” these days. We celebrate our swamped schedules and lack of time but lament that little if anything changes. Something doesn’t add up. It’s the same with priorities. I think it is that we confuse “important” with “priorities”.
Were I to ask you to list the things in your life that are important to you I suspect you could create a significant list. So could I. But somehow we think of that “important” list as our priorities, even if we do nothing about the majority of the list.
A quick illustration. I once was part of an organization that had a problem. It wasn’t a mission-critical problem, but was a need none the less. At every leadership meeting for two years we discussed that problem, in detail and often repeating prior conversations. But at no meeting did anyone leave with an action item to do anything about it. It stunned and frustrated me. Everyone was proud to call it a priority and it seemed productive to talk about it, but nothing ever happened. In short, it wasn’t a priority at all.
Going back to your “important” list, take two looks. One, which ones are you doing anything productive about. That’s good. And two, which ones can you reasonably do anything productive about. That’s good, too, but only if you get to work. The rest? Don’t give so much thought to them. Don’t forget them, but focus on your priorities, the action items that matter. And there you will see success. I have great faith in you! Have a wonderful week.