Flop-Flipping Your Flip-Flopped Priorities!

by Chris Widener

Have you ever noticed that when you have the time and you sit down to write out your life and work priorities they are relatively simple to come up with? You know, you take an hour or so, go down to the coffee shop to sit and really think about your life and career and to lay out what is really important to you?

Maybe when you are done, your list for life looks like this:
1. Family
2. Health
3. Hobbies
4. Work

Or maybe for work it looks like this:

1. Set vision
2. Develop Leadership Team
3. Set strategy for executing the vision

All good and well, right? But then, in the midst of life you realize that what your list looks like isn’t what really happens. Some how, our priorities, the things that we know we need to focus in on, indeed the things we WANT to focus in on, are the very things we end up NOT doing! It’s enough to make you scream! So…

This list:
1. Family
2. Health
3. Hobbies
4. Work

Looks like this:
1. Work
2. Hobbies
3. Health
4. Family

And this List:
1. Set Vision
2. Develop Leadership Team
3. Set Strategy for executing the vision

Looks like this:
1. Put out fires
2. Attend meetings
3. Make photocopies… You get the point!

In reality, your priorities are flip-flopped!

But there is an answer. You can “flop-flip” your flip-flopped priorities and begin to live out of your values and the important tasks you want to perform.

Here is the plan:

First, understand that this is going to take time. Chances are you have let yourself get into an “urgency mindset.” Slowly but surely, take care of those things that are urgent and begin to work on long-term tasks. Then as time approaches, you have worked on those tasks and they are not urgent when they come due.

Second, schedule your time. That is, for example, every Tuesday afternoon put it into your calendar that you are going to go to a quiet place and develop your vision. Or every three weeks you are going to take a Friday off and spend it with your family. Whatever you do, put it into your book and do it!

Third, if you are dealing with making family a priority, realize that the world won’t stop if you take a day off of work. Last week I was talking on the phone with a gentleman who runs an 80 million dollar a year enterprise. He was complaining (not in a bad way) that he felt like he wasn’t seeing enough of his family. So I told him to take the next day (Thursday) off. He began to make excuses so I asked him this question: If you take tomorrow off, how will your company look any different five years from now as opposed to if you worked tomorrow? How would next week even look any different? He took the next day off and pulled his boy from school to spend the day with and he thanked me a few days later!

Fourth, follow a plan for your day. Budget your time around your priorities. See my article on a prioritized task list at http://www.madeforsuccess.com/prioritized.asp for a specific way to prioritize your schedule each day.

Fifth, stick to these things relentlessly. Obstacles will come, the urgent things will scream for your attention. But have courage! Stick to the task of living out of your priorities and you will be well rewarded!

As you do these things you will find that your flip-flopped priorities flop-flip themselves and you will be right side up again!


Chris Widener is a popular speaker and author who has shared the podium with US Presidents, helping individuals and organizations succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams. Join subscribers in over 100 countries for a free weekly success eZine featuring articles by Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar and more by clicking here.