Taking time to gain clarity on your priorities can help you move in the right direction

Do you consider yourself an ideas person? While it’s a real strength and a sign of imagination, energy and enthusiasm, it can also be a burden.

Here’s the thing. Those ideas keep flowing, filling your head or your never-ending to-do list. Perhaps you feel your head is in a muddle, and you don’t where to direct your attention first.

Add to this everyone else’s priorities, whether it’s colleagues, clients, or friends and family, and you run the risk of overwhelm.

It’s easy to become side-tracked and frustrated that you’re constantly busy but not getting anywhere. When you’re juggling lots of things, you may lose sight of what matters and get caught up in the rush.

 If you’re a senior leader or you’re looking to make a career change, it’s vital to establish clear priorities and take purposeful action in the direction you’re headed.

 So how do you escape the realm of overwhelm and gain clarity on what matters?

Gain clarity on what matters

Extract from Five Ways To Focus by Julia Wolfendale

While it may be tempting to dive straight into the next item on your to-do list to get ahead, it’s not always the best course of action. First, step back, pause and reflect.

Ask yourself these questions:

You may be surprised by the answers that bubble up.

Once you’ve taken stock of where you’re heading, you can review how you spend your time now. Make a list of everything on your mind or scattered on various post-its and to-do lists.

Now you’ve gathered everything in one place, reflect on how you spend your time.

When you’re caught up in the rush, it’s easy to forget that these are active choices. Of course, you will sometimes have must-do tasks that don’t necessarily light you up. But if you’re taking purposeful action most of the time, you’ll have more headspace to deal with those scenarios as they arise.

Take a look at that to-do list again. Question whether every item still needs to be done. Perhaps something was a priority three weeks ago and is no longer important. If you still need to do it, could you tackle it at a different pace and scale?

Action stations

By now, your to-do list should be looking more manageable. Practising self-discipline and committing to realistic timeframes is essential to minimise stress.

In the book Five Ways To Focus, there’s a whole chapter guiding you through this process. We recommend dividing your list into these five timeframes:

Choosing to focus on what matters takes practice, but you will reap the rewards when you move towards a life that aligns with your true priorities.

Escape the realm of overwhelm and focus on what matters


Struggling to prioritise?

Want to get things on the up?

The book Five Ways To Focus helps you gain the clarity and perspective to focus on what matters to you.

Buy your copy here.

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