Making Your Priorities a Priority

Photo by Ashley Knedler

We choose what to make a priority. While it may sometimes feel like we don’t have time for the things we really want to do, in reality we’re simply not making these things a priority in our day-to-day life.

We may tell ourselves, for example, that we want to become a top one-percent public speaker. This is a lofty goal, for sure, but it’s an attainable one—if we put in the work. But instead we decide that we don’t have the time to work toward this goal—we don’t have the time to attend public speaking classes, workshops, seminars, and the like.

Except, this isn’t true. We do have the time to do all of these things; we’re just not making them a priority. If we made our public speaking goal a priority, we could easily take the time to look up when and where public speaking classes near us meet every week. We could then configure our schedule so we can go to these classes on the way home from work—or we could even take a day off to attend an all-day workshop.

I’m not going to pretend that making our priorities a priority isn’t easier for some than it is for others. If you’re a single parent, or the sole caregiver of a young or disabled child (or an elderly relative), your priorities and theirs will have to be, for the most part, one and the same.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t try. Make your priorities a priority, and prioritize your time accordingly. If you don’t, others will be sure to prioritize it for you. ∎

Benjamin Spall

Benjamin Spall

Benjamin Spall is the co-author of My Morning Routine (Portfolio). He has written for outlets including the New York Times, New York Observer, Quartz, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, CNBC, and more.