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Self Improvement

Why Prioritizing Tasks Can Lead to Success

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Why Prioritizing Tasks Can Lead to Success

We often have a lot of things that we would like to do – some short term and some part of our long term goals. There are only so many hours in the day. Knowing how to dedicate those hours to goals that actually matter is very important to achieve success.

Everyone has the same hours given to them in a day and how we spend those hours defines what we are going to achieve. You see many people working non-stop yet some of them succeed while others don’t. What do you think sets these people apart?

The people who are crushing it have realized the importance of prioritizing the tasks they dedicate their time to. The importance of time management is something that when learned will help you achieve wonders. 

“Think of your priorities, not in terms of what activities you do, but when you do them. Timing is everything.”

-Dan Millman

To achieve what you want, it is really important to learn how to prioritize – there will always be a plethora of things you want to do but they will never all be at the same level in the priority chart. You need to learn to teach yourself to decide on what is important and stick to doing that.

Why Prioritizing Tasks Can Lead to Success

Under the guise to achieving success and doing as much as we can, we’ve all had that feeling where we’re working at an incredible pace and intensity. Even after that, we see ourselves making very little progress. 

The reason it feels like our progress is low or we are making no progress at all is because it is exactly that. The notion that we can possibly be doing a million things back-to-back and still be effective is preposterous, to say the least.

People often mistake being busy with being productive. When you keep all your tasks at the same level of priority, it is easy to be sucked down the path of being busy rather than being productive. Busy without productivity is one of the major reasons for failure. It is sad because you won’t know that the issue is you, the feeling of doing a lot and still failing is enough to demotivate you into doing nothing.

It is Important to Remember That We Have Constraints

Why Prioritizing Tasks Can Lead to Success

You need not be doing the most to succeed, you need to be doing the things that you need to succeed. Individuals and businesses alike need to prioritize their focus. As individuals or as growing businesses we have constraints in terms of resources and time. 

None of these things come in abundance so we need to be highly vigilant when doling out our time and resources to certain tasks.

It is highly important for a person or business to spend their time on the most important areas that can drive success.

“In all planning, you make a list and you set priorities.”

-Alan Lakein

To work our best and to make the most with the constraints we need to take into account, it is important to not take up unnecessary work. This applies to professionals heavily. When you are working with others, it can be difficult to say ‘no’ to extra work that keeps coming your way but you need to understand that it is not rude or unprofessional to say ‘no’ time to time when you have your own important tasks you would rather be doing.

We somehow grow up with the notion that we need to fill our plates as high as we can – that might come with attending weddings and buffets and trying to make the most of the spread. It doesn’t work in the professional sense though, all it will do is overwhelm you. Do not take on more work than you can manage to do. 

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good’.”

-Stephen Covey

Otherwise what happens is that all the unnecessary tasks keep us from doing the work that we are actually supposed to do. It also stems from our inability and hesitance to say ‘No.’ Most people have a hard time saying ‘no’ to requests, if you are one of them, then you better start asserting yourself and start turning down requests that take away from your productivity. If you start doing extra work for everyone else, you will never be able to get the free time you need to enjoy your life or take care of your priorities or to take care of yourself. No matter how busy you are, you need to find time for self-care.

How Does Prioritizing Your Tasks Work

Why Prioritizing Tasks Can Lead to Success

Like we have already established, it is really important to know what tasks need to be done when. You can use any indicators that make the most sense to you when setting priorities. My process includes dividing all the tasks into high-priority, priority, and low-priority. You can also call them must-do, should-do, would-like-to-do – whatever clicks with you. Give them a number, or assign a letter or color to make it simpler for you to consult the list.

Suppose,

A is high-priority,

B is priority,

C is low-priority,

now write down the letters next to the tasks; now you know which ones to do first. This also helps isolate the tasks to further organize your tasks in a workable fashion.

One thing to keep in mind is to not add more than 2-3 tasks in the high-priority section. Chances are that the high-priority tasks are the most stressful ones and there is only so much stress we can handle in a day. If all your tasks for the day fall in that section then you are most probably setting yourself up for failure.

“When you have too many top priorities, you effectively have no top priorities.”

-Stephen Covey

Also, try to get the MITs (Most Important Tasks) out of your way first. Many people just try to handle various activities as per their instinct or according to whatever they are in the mood for and end up never doing the important things. Later, they might blame it on ‘not having enough time’, which obviously is untrue.  

It can be tempting to do all the smaller tasks first so that you have more completed tasks on your list. While it might seem like a good idea and might make you feel that that will make you feel accomplished and push you toward working more, it is rarely what will happen. The reality is that your mind will be tired doing a myriad of mundane tasks and by the time you reach the important and heavy work for the day, your mind will not be at the sharpest causing you to procrastinate.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

For example, imagine that you are required to submit a report by tomorrow evening. But you have a few personal activities that are pending, including watching a movie, a send-off party, and visiting your friend who is in the hospital. 

Now, if you give priority to your personal activities, then your report might not be ready by evening the next day. This can lead to various complications on the professional front while not tending to your personal work might do the same to your personal life. To avoid this, you have to arrange the activities as per their importance to you. 

Here are the tasks you have –

  • Complete the report
  • Watch a movie
  • Attend the send-off party
  • Visit your friend in the hospital

Tasks like watching a movie can be done any other day so it has the least importance in the bunch. Next, visiting a friend who is at the hospital may be necessary. But again, since you can visit them on any of the upcoming days depending on how serious they are and how long they are going to be in the hospital, you can postpone it. If this friend is close to you, then it will be a priority. See that this particular task has a lot more branches to consider to make a decision than a simple root cause.

Next, the send-off party that is scheduled today can be one of your priorities since you won’t be able to attend it on any other day. And lastly, the report will come at the top of the priority list since it is related to your work.

“In all planning, you make a list and you set priorities.”

-Alan Lakein

Now that you have identified the priority of the activities, the only thing left to do is to follow them. So, start doing your project today and check-in at the party later in the night for a few hours if you can’t put it off. Tomorrow, you can continue with the project and finish it off. 

Then, you can visit your friend in the hospital after you submit your report. Most hospitals will have visiting hours so that is another thing you have to take into account. If the hours are in the evening, you can drop by before you go to the party. 

You can then finish the day by watching a movie late at night. And by following this tactic, you will never make an excuse for ‘not having enough time’ when required to do something within a time limit. That being said, managing all the things in quick successions takes a lot of determination, self-restraint, and a sense of commitment and accountability

This becomes easier over time. If you are new to the game, you might have to let go of the party altogether along with the movie because the report and a friend bound to the hospital will take precedence.

Final Thoughts

Without priorities, the tasks we have lose their luster. For us to do our best and keep working toward our goal, we need to identify the tasks that require most of our attention. Because without knowing what tasks will help us achieve our long-term goals and dreams, it becomes easy to be sucked into doing a lot of unrelated tasks daily without making an actual impact. Prioritizing tasks makes sure that you do not stray from the path of achieving success.

Self Improvement

4 Essential Must-Read Self-Help Books

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Self help Books

Charles Baudelaire once said, “A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.” Whether you are someone who is just beginning to wander into the world of books, or reading is your second nature, chances are that you will learn a bit or two from everything you read.

With the growing popularity of non-fiction books, one of the biggest and best-selling genres these days has become that of self-help and self-improvement books. If that piques your interest and makes you want to get one for yourself, here is a list of 4 essential self-help books that everybody should read.

Also, read Things About Self-Love That You Need To Know Right Now!

1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Victor Frankl’s 1946 book Man’s Search for Meaning is a chronicle of the traumatic experiences he went through while imprisoned in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The book breaks down his psychotherapeutic method into two simple steps— identifying one’s purpose in life – something that imparts positive energy and wholly dedicating the imagination to that outcome.

2. Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

If you are active on social media, then this aesthetic little blue book must have appeared on your feed at least once. But don’t be fooled by its charming appeal, because this book by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles, as claimed in the subtitle, holds the elusive key to happiness and contentment in one’s life. It uses the principle of finding and adhering to your ‘ikigai’ or ‘reason for living’ to strike a balance between your interests, contribution to the world, and personal sustainability.

3. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

In his book, Stephen Covey shares 7 simple habits, which if followed diligently, can improve your life by making you truly effective and efficient in everything that you do. Not only that, the realistic advice in this book focuses on uplifting not just yourself, but also encouraging others around you to do the same, thus creating a stable and flourishing environment.

4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

No list about self-help books can be considered complete without including this absolute classic from 1936 by Dale Carnegie, the be-all and end-all of this kind of literature. How to Win Friends and Influence People tackles a variety of social spheres from the public to the private, and the original edition had six sections, namely: “Twelve Things This Book Will Do For You”, “Fundamental Techniques in Handling People”, “Six Ways to Make People Like You”. “Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking”, “Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment”, “Letters That Produced Miraculous Results”, and finally, “Seven Rules For Making Your Home Life Happier”.

As is clear, Carnegie’s book covers a lot of bases that people struggle with— which is why the book was an instant bestseller upon launch.

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Mindfulness

5 Things About Self-Love That You Need To Know Right Now!

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Who is the first person that comes to your mind when you talk about love? Is it your family, a friend, or your significant other? But, what about you? Self-love is important to lead a happy and healthy life in a world that keeps growing stressful and demanding by the day. However, this concept is often overlooked and misunderstood. So, here are the 5 most important things that you should know about self-love.

Must, Read Best Ways to Deal With Self-Doubt

5 Most Important Things About Self-Love

1. Self-Love Cannot Be Attained Overnight

When you’ve lived a major portion of your life disregarding your needs and value, then giving yourself the care and love that you deserve might take some time. Just like loving others, loving yourself is like a journey and a consistent process. Also, don’t overemphasize your flaws. All humans have flaws and those flaws are what make you humane and unique.

2. Self-Love is Important to Practice

Practicing self-love will inculcate a better mindset that opens more doors for you to give and receive love. According to psychologists, creating a healthy relationship, full of care and understanding, with yourself will help you form the same kind of relationship with others as well. Also, maintaining healthy boundaries is very important too.

3. Finding the Sources to Heal Is Difficult

If you are in the process of healing and are taking the necessary steps to heal, then you should be proud of yourself. Healing takes time, is quite complex, and is not that easy. Becoming overwhelmed during the process is normal and while you do become so, know that you’re not alone. Digging deep into past wounds or even reoccurring ones could be quite overwhelming.

It might be tempting to keep pushing but remember that self-love also includes acknowledging your boundaries. So, you need to step back from healing for a bit when it becomes too much to handle.

4. Give Permission to Be Compassionate Towards Yourself

One of the biggest sources of strength is being able to be kind towards yourself in life. Society makes us blame ourselves when things go wrong. As a result, time and again we make ourselves believe that we aren’t good enough or qualified enough. Rather, we should try to objectively examine the situation.

Suppressing yourself for the sake of others could be brutal towards your self-esteem. You need to consciously accept that you deserve understanding and kindness. And while you do that, your self-esteem and confidence will keep growing.

5. Do What Your Heart Asks You To

Have you ever felt as if you have to do something because others were pressurizing you to? Committing to something you don’t want to such as taking a certain career path that you don’t like could be dangerous. This might seem to resolve differences with others for a short while, it might leave you unfulfilled later on.

Loving yourself also includes allowing yourself the right to follow your own dreams and desires regardless of what others might say. That will make you happy and fulfilled.

Final Thoughts

Self-love could also seem difficult at times. It does what is best for you and you might not feel excited about it all the time. For example, sleeping early because tomorrow is an important day or not meeting your friends because you have to finish an assignment. Setting down and respecting your own boundaries is a great thing.

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Self Improvement

Four Realistic Ways to Stick to Your New Year Resolutions

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We have all been there: the festivities of December roll around and bring along with them oodles of reflection over the past year. If you’re like most people, you’ll be met with a strange mix of disappointment and inspiration.

From diet and exercise goals to breaking free from damaging habits, from creating extensive reading lists to vouching to handle finances better, the turn of the year sees all kinds of resolutions being made. However, it is not long before old habits rear their ugly heads again and all those starry-eyed promises fly out the window. If you want to break this vicious cycle once and for all and make long-lasting changes, read on for four ways to make sure that you see your New Year 2021 resolutions through!

Define your purpose and discover your ‘ikigai’

More often than not, we half-heartedly commit to ideas and decisions without taking the time to understand whether or not they are things we want to invest our energy and precious time in. As a consequence of this lack of interest and purpose, the burnout sets in pretty quickly and we end up feeling worse than before.

Do Read Guide to Goal Setting

To avoid this, firstly, choose your goals for the right reasons.  Instead of being vague about why you have set out to achieve your objectives, think and try to internalize your purpose and imagine how it sustainably fits into the larger scheme of your life.

Figure out what works for you

Different methods yield different results for people. Some are comfortable with making small changes to their daily routines and lives every day. Yet others feel that committing to a clean break makes things easier and more effective for them in the long run. In the end, it’s about what works best to serve you and your aims.

Make a clear plan with key milestones/markers of progress

Avoid being vague. Set yourself up for success by charting out a clear, well-defined path instead of being misguided by abstract ideas of progress. Create tangible trackers and markers of growth like pros and cons lists, vision boards, journals, and progress photos that you can look back at and reflect upon how much you have achieved.

Find support or relevant resources

Remember that many other people are on the same journey as you and have goals and struggles similar to yours. Reliable support from family and friends can boost you up in moments of weakness and push you to achieve what you originally set out to achieve. Staying accountable and truthful to yourself is also a crucial factor.

If you need an external community for advice, mentoring, and sharing your journey, turning to the internet is a great idea! There are countless resources and forums online on Facebook, Instagram, and also specialized apps ranging from diet and fitness (Nike Training Club, Adidas Training, MyFitnessPal) to meditation and wellness (Headspace, Calm), etc.

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