Friday Review: Priorities

Friday Review: Priorities

What are your priorities in life? How do you prioritize your priorities? Here are a few related posts you may have missed.

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our to-do-list.”




“Innovation is born from the interaction between constraint and vision.”





“Leave no stone unturned.”





If you can go to bed late, you can also get up early

“If you can go to bed late, you can also get up early.”

Niklas Göke’s grandmother

Image from Unsplash by mostafa mahmoud

Are you an early bird of a night owl? How would you describe your current circadian rhythm?

What are the personal and professional benefits and pitfalls of operating this way?

As an early bird myself, I find it easy to make my case of why the early bird gets the worm.

On the down side, I’ve been labeled a party-pooper by a number of folks over the years as they point out all the excitement I often miss by turning in early.


Seek out people in your life who operate best at different points in their days.

Have them share all the ups and down they have discovered over the years.

What priority commitment do you have that might benefit from swapping out when your head hits and rises from your pillow?

How can you prioritize the accumulated wisdom

“How can you prioritize the accumulated wisdom of humanity over the impulses of the past 24 hours?”

David Perell, writer, podcaster, and writing instructor

Image from Unsplash by Igor Mike

How healthy is your diet? How about your mental diet? How much fast food and fast information have you consumed in the past 24 hours?

To get your daily fix, what percent of incoming sources included tweets, texts, email, podcasts, or other sources of media?

Where and how often do you also consume nutritious sources of wisdom? To what degree do each of these sources help you to lead a more productive and meaningful life?


How would applying more sources of wisdom to your daily efforts act as guiding lights to illuminate your life?

A classic sign of addictive behavior is when

“A classic sign of addictive behavior is when something not human starts to supplant human relationships.”

—Arthur C. Brooks, faculty member of the Harvard Business School

Image from Unsplash by Unsplash

Over the 4th of July holiday we attended a family pool party. The weather and water temperature were perfect. It was extra special because everyone focused on each other the entire day without a cell phone in sight — except for one individual.

When not swimming or eating, this person was head down in his device, even when his bathing-suit-clad children were seeking his attention to talk or play.


Where do you or others in your life prioritize things over people? What addictive behaviors need some adjustment to demonstrate that the best things in life are not things?

Check in with yourself. Schedule a ME-Ting

Check in with yourself. Schedule a ME-Ting.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Jordan McQueen

How many meetings did you attend last week? How many are scheduled for this week? What percentage of them are you looking forward to, and serve an important purpose?

How much time do you carve out of your days for “Me Time”?  How often can you guarantee that you will have the time to work on your top priorities or simply relax and recharge after a day of attending other’s meetings?


Block out time on your schedule today for a ME-Ting with yourself to do whatever you want. Experiment with different amounts of time and different times of the day to see what works best. Try this exercise on both weekdays and weekends to both check in and check out when needed.

A brain dump may be just what the doctor ordered

A brain dump may be just what the doctor ordered.

—Barry Demp

Image from Unsplash by XPS

How we carry our load of responsibilities when we are overwhelmed is very important to keeping our balance and not being crushed by the weight of things.

Breaking things down into smaller bites can help us to tackle even big challenges.

Steps I’ve found helpful include:

  1. Write down everything on your personal and professional To Do lists. This may take many sheets of paper. Keep asking “what else?” until you get it all.
  2. Estimate how many minutes each activity will take to complete.
  3. Prioritize the items that are both highly important and highly urgent. Be rigorous here, and consider discussing this list with others.
  4. Using your calendar, insert enough priority items to offer you a doable level of challenge, based on the time available.
  5. Share your intentions and plans with key individuals to establish agreed upon expectations, and to avoid upsets.


Schedule 15-60 minutes today to dump your brain and go through the steps above.
Be prepared to have this process take a number of days until you make this exercise a habit.
Share this exercise with a colleague, friend, family member, or a coach, to help you regain you momentum and the traction you desire.

“The feeling of being rushed saturates our entire way of life.”

“The feeling of being rushed saturates our entire way of life.”

—Richard Carlson & Joseph Bailey, Slowing Down the Speed of Life

Image from Unsplash by Bad Betty X

What does it mean to be saturated?

What comes to mind for me is a skin care commercial touting some wonder cream, embracing every pore of one’s skin with moisture.

What if being rushed was more like a coat of paint that clogs every pore and does not allow us to breath, eventually suffocating us? Consider the scene in the James Bond film Goldfinger, in which one character was killed by being covered in gold.


To what degree and in what ways is rushing around saturating your life?

How and in what ways can you wash away these barriers today, to experience greater freedom, and breathe easier?

“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

—Sir Tom Stoppard, British playwright and screenwriter

How has your life changed over the last few months? Where have you exited from the familiar aspects of your pre-COVID-19 life, into uncharted waters? What have you done to right your ship and chart your course forward as you enter each new day?

A tool coaches often use with their clients in the development of goals is called the Wheel of Life, in which each spoke represents a priority in one’s life. The list can be modified based on your areas of greatest importance:

• Family • Relationships • Health • Finance • Adventure
• Spirituality/Faith • Work/Profession • Community • Personal Growth • Learning


Consider discussing your own life priorities with family, friends, colleagues, mentors, a coach, or other trusted adviser to more fully explore your own transitioning efforts of exits and new entrances.

How can the support of these individuals help you live a more full and meaningful life?

“Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

“Youth is a gift of nature, but age is a work of art.”

–Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 20th Century Polish Aphorist and Poet

Image from Unsplash by Sven Mieke

Among my top priorities is my daily video chat with my 93-year-old father. Marvin lives in an assisted living facility in Florida.

Over the past few months, the residents have been quarantined to their rooms, with very limited interactions except for meal and medication deliveries.


Who are the seniors and super-seniors in your life? How and in what way can you honor and experience the work of art they are?

Please consider replying to this post regarding how you and your families celebrate this beauty.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

—Nido Qubein, President of High Point University

Image from Unsplash by Branden Collum

In one or two sentences, please describe your present circumstances in the following areas:

  • Your health
  • Your relationships at home
  • Your relationships at work
  • Your personal finances
  • Your level of happiness
  • Your emotional well-being

Feel free to add a few more priority categories that come to mind. Based on your description, which of these areas would you rate as Poor, OK, Good, Great, or Outstanding?


Select the one area in which you most wish to progress. Note that your current circumstances are simply the place where you will begin. Consider developing an action plan for the next week or month that will take you toward your desired objectives.

Feel free to send me a copy of your plan and I will be happy to look it over.