My circle of friends tell my husband and me that we are the most productive people they know. This may be true, but while we are busy getting many things done, we are also not doing other things… on purpose.
While I get much done in business and personally (I always have at least one project going personally and many professionally), it is not possible to do everything and still be good at or have time for everything. For example, I see many people’s places where they live and my goodness, they are so meticulously organized and put together in so many ways. But my place? Well, I love it; however, let’s just say our home is what my friends call a “happening place”. Sometimes my home looks like a whirlwind went through it, and other times we are the whirlwinds cleaning it.
To me, the priorities that I have set in life dictate my life’s outcomes (in no particular order):
Health – mental, physical, and emotional
Joy – of life and living, wherever I can find it through work and personal life
Experiences (corresponds with Health and Joy above) in work and personal life
Downtime and balance (corresponds with Health, Joy, and Experiences above)
Fulfilment (yes, you got it, all interrelated with the above)
My circle of loved ones.
Then, add to my priority list the things that I believe have to get done, like chores… because well, we like things to look nice and be clean – to a point. It is a matter of priorities.
To tackle all of our priorities, whether in personal life or in business, we have to sometimes work together, sometimes divide and conquer, sometimes work in tandem, etc. Outside of work I have to find time to write, to exercise, to nurture relationships, and read. I can be seen doing chores, or gardening, or driving while listening to one of my books. And sometimes I just want the quiet… It depends on my need (priority) at the moment (or if one of my book clubs’ meetings is coming up!).
And while I get much accomplished, one can also certainly see where my priorities aren’t. There will always be a dish in my sink, weeds in my gardens, mud on my car, papers on my desk, because where I spend my time and attention to detail and highest possible quality and standards are through my work and relationships. After all, something’s got to give. Not only am I comfortable with this approach; I actually choose it!
In business, too, not everything can be a priority. It is ideal to identify and think through our business priorities so we ensure we are intentionally putting effort into the priority areas versus those that will not get us to where we need to go.
Perhaps we have a priority but not the competencies to accomplish it. Do we take the time to learn and develop, or do we engage a subject matter expert to help us succeed? It all depends on your circumstances and priorities.
We can do more and work faster, but should that really be our goal? Will it make us happier, bring us joy, result in failures? We can go slower and be fastidious, but do we have the time, and are we missing out on the “other stuff” we want in our lives? Is there a middle ground? It depends on knowing where the priorities are and knowing what’s “gotta” give.