When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority

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If everything you want to do is a priority, it's no different than not having any priorities at all. Everything can be important, but it can't all be the most important.

It's very easy to get caught up in all the various things we want to do, and this is something I struggle with myself. Sometimes I'll feel like I'm having an explosion of ideas, but there's simply no way to do everything. And as we all know, an idea with no execution behind it isn't going to get you anywhere.

While there are a host of theories about how to best prioritize projects (and I have my own opinions about how work should be prioritized) the first step is at least understanding that you do indeed have to come up with your priorities. Without prioritization, everything gets a little attention, but almost nothing is actually completed. Even worse, you're probably losing a lot of momentum on almost everything and expending a great amount of energy with very little return. (For more on this, please see the importance of momentum.)

This seems sort of obvious, but I think a lot of companies still struggle tremendously with this concept, and it's understandable. It's really hard taking what may very well be a great idea and pushing it off until later. It's tempting to try and take on that one additional thing without having to give up anything. The problem is, it almost never works out that way - something always has to give.

I think this is why so many people (and I certainly put myself in this category) don't get enough sleep - we simply don't make it a top priority.

If you're finding that you aren't getting as much work done as you think you should, or if you feel really busy but don't have as much to show for your work as you would expect, you may simply need to take a step back and prioritize your work.

Sometimes pausing everything and figuring out your priorities is the best action you can take.