The System to Prioritize Your Strategy for Success
“A strategy is something you can touch; you can motivate people with; be number one and number two in every business. You can energize people around the message.” — Jack Welch
One hour. That’s all you need. One hour each week. I’m talking about how to prioritize your weekly strategy for success. I’ll provide you with the categories that I use for each area of importance in my life. This will give you a framework for how to queue up the categories of your life like Health, Family, Job and Personal Development.
I did this when I realized I needed structure in order to achieve all the big goals I have. I’ve found that breaking down our goals and tasks into bite-sized chunks is a very efficient way to be successful. Herein, I show you the categories I use. Tailor yours by importance and relevance to your life. Break things down into manageable tasks. It’s less daunting this way.
The categories show priority by area. You can choose to rank them and list them in tools like Microsoft Outlook, Evernote, OneNote or a plethora of other digital tools like Trello. I encourage you to place emphasis on importance and timing. And always, be able to answer “Why” to each thing you do. This will bring it all back to your purpose — your mission in life.
In my upcoming e-book, I’ll get into much greater detail for exactly how I set this system up to grow an entrepreneurial side business, work a full-time job and write my first book. Efficiency and productivity are the names of the game when it comes to planning and execution. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. Please reach out to me if you think I can help!
Create a list of the 100 most important things in your life. Don’t give it too much deep, analytical thought. These things should come to light very quickly, popping into your mind like brilliant ideas. As you get into the 60's and 70's, it will take a little bit more time. But keep writing things down. Take a break where need be but get to 100. It’s worth it.
Once you have your list of things, place it into a spreadsheet document — like Google sheets. Then, put a column right next to it called “Category.” Next to Category put a column called, “Timing.” Then, a column called, “Importance.” And last, a longer text column called, “Why.” You always should justify why you do, what you do. Moving on…
This is the list of categories I use. I’d cap your categories at 15, but it’s probably best if you use somewhere between 10–15. You don’t want this to get out of control. I use 12 (including projects). Good luck and enjoy!
- Major Projects
I start here because my projects (think of them as overarching objectives) help define my goals and tasks. Example of my projects over the past two years have been: write and publish my first book and launch my coaching business. What are your projects? What are the big, high-level objectives you have? These should drive many of your goals, tasks, and as a result, give definition to some of your categories.
- Faith & Prayer
I’m a man of faith and believe in prayer. I try to dedicate time each day to prayer and meditation. I dedicate time for gratitude and giving thanks. Even if you’re not religious, chances are, you are spiritual. Or have a spiritual side. Wouldn’t it make a positive difference in your life if you dedicated time to giving thanks or praying for what you want?
Financial obligations and goals are a part of life. We all have bills to pay. We need to earn money. We want to be smart about how we invest the money we earn. At a very basic level — take the time to put together two columns: Revenue and Expenditures. To the best of your ability, your revenue should ALWAYS be higher than your expenditures each month!
That’s the only way you’ll ever save and grow money. From there, it’s about investing your money and time, saving it up and allocating it toward needs, and things you really want. Be wise with how you make financial decisions. Spend your money on the things that matter, which add to your goals and purpose.
- Home and Errands
I use this for a list of recurring tasks at home. Things like doing the dishes, laundry and basic responsibilities that make home life easier. This shouldn’t be complicated. Think of your family responsibilities and plan accordingly.
- Family (Love)
I put my family first, always. So in many ways, I don’t really need a category for this. But I’d rather have one that I can always look back on, and over time, add things to. I want to give my wife a kiss each day before we leave home. I want to be the best Dad I can to my son. And I want to call my Mom and Dad each day and let them know how much I love them.
Family means everything to me. All my hopes, dreams, goals and job tasks don’t matter if I don’t have the love I give and receive from those I love.
- Personal Development
As you know, this is what I write about. This is what this column is about! So this is of monumental importance to me. The earlier on in life we realize the need for developing as individuals — and budgeting time to do so — the richer our lives will be. I encourage you to take ideas from your 100 list and build this out and apply attainable goals and timelines.
- Health & Wellness
Simple, right? Not so fast. It’s easy to say we want to lose weight, eat better or cut down on certain, er, beverages. But unless we plan and commit to doing so, it becomes impossible. I like to budget several days a week for working out. I put in parameters around fast-food restrictions. It’s worked for me. I’m far from a fitness fanatic who goes to the gym seven days per week.
I do what works for me. Diet, fitness mental and emotional well-being. These this add up and make a huge difference!
Shouldn’t we all have fun? Now I know what you’re thinking, “Of course!” But sometimes we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day, we forget about taking that day trip to the mountains. That walk with friends. A night out with the ladies for a couple drinks. I love to look at my calendar and plan ahead for fun times. Life’s short, so make sure in the midst of all these important tasks, you don’t forget to have fun.
This is for me. I’m a writer, I love to write. I want to talk about you. What’s your passion? What’s your activity, which I hope is the melding between your natural talents, skills and love? Dedicate a category to this. And work like crazy at doing it, getting better and living it each day. Then, tell me all about it. I want to know!
This is also a major part of me. I love to coach organizations, individuals and work with people to help them develop into the woman and man they desire to be. You may have just one passion. Maybe you have several. Insert another passion into this category and set up you tasks to achieve success.
- Waiting For
I took this idea from David Allen’s excellent, “Getting Things Done” book. We’re often waiting for events, projects to begin, tasks to complete or people to get back to us. Why not have a category that easily lists these things out so we don’t forget? Our success in life is contingent on the actions and help of others. We’re all waiting for something.
Sometimes, we can begin right now (like the start of this strategy for success!). Sometimes, we’re waiting on someone or something. That’s what this is for.
- Communications (Calls, Emails, People)
I have a communications category for all the people and activities I need to contact. I update this every week, sometimes each day. We’ll find success when we learn to communicate efficient. We should establish great relationships early on — not just when we need them. Remember this: Relationships are hard to build when you need them.
I hope you find success in all you do. This is a sincere attempt to help you. Put it to use. Take what you need. Let me know how you’re doing. All my very best to you!
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