How do I prioritize in life

Set priorities - for more time for the essentials!

Setting priorities - this is how it works

Today it should be about time at this point. About that extra time that we all want. For the essential, the really important things in life. In addition to work, family obligations and appointments on the so-called "end of the day", there is often nothing left for it. But where do you start? How do you manage to occasionally put the hamster wheel to one side and allow moments of relaxation? Self-management succeeds with priorities.

The 7 ways to be effective

A few months ago I came across a book that provides very interesting answers to the question of how we can work more efficiently. Because mostly it's the job that takes up most of your life. It's called "The 7 Paths to Effectiveness" by Stephen Covey. In seven chapters, Mr. Covey presents measures and methods that should help to understand difficulties as challenges. Covey is a Harvard professor and one of America's most influential thought leaders in management consulting. His main concern is to provide approaches on how we can balance the various roles in life and act self-effectively.


The following parable is told in the book:

"What are you doing?" one man asks the other.

"You can see that. I'll saw this tree into pieces,"

"How long have you been sawing?"

"Since three hours."

"Oh, I'm sure you're broken."

"Yes, I am really very broken !!"

"But your saw is quite blunt. Why don't you sharpen it?"

"Well, you can see how much I still have to do. I don't have time for that ..."

You understand what is meant, don't you? Instead of constantly toiling, racing around faster and faster and trying to do more things in less and less time, it is advisable to pause occasionally and look at the situation from a distance. Take it SLOW!

Mastering challenges with serenity

Could your own skills be better used? Are more effective tools necessary for this? Why should you constantly use more force than is actually necessary for your daily work? It is well known that nervous action is not very convincing and hardly anyone feels comfortable in the presence of tense, permanently stressed people. Calm, self-assured behavior - that's what makes work pleasant and what makes us appear confident on the outside.

Also interesting:Train serenity - the best tips from professionals

Your own time has priority

Most of the time, however, we allow nothing of our time to be left in the end. If you want to change anything about that, you have to set your own time frames. And adhere to them! Organize your time. Make appointments with yourself.

Self-management instead of time management

You can learn "time management" in many seminars and training courses. I find the term somewhat misleading, because it is not the time that we have to manage, but ourselves. Many of our time wasters seem inevitable at first, we feel at their mercy. But try to put aside the idea that you are slaves to external factors. Find out how you can take control of yourself. If you organize yourself well, external circumstances will change in your favor. The schedule is just a tool, not your master!

In my training I try to explain this connection with the so-called time or self-management matrix. We assign each of our activities to one of a total of four quadrants. These four quadrants arise from the distinction between our tasks URGENT and IMPORTANT.

Do not confuse: urgent vs. important things!

We have to react immediately to urgent matters. Emergency situations, a fire brigade alarm. But not all things that take our attention are important. Often it is the importance of third parties. Learn to say no too!

Really important things often have a long-term effect and are significantly more difficult to recognize. Eating healthy lifelong food would be an example of an important activity that many do not see as urgent. Many only become aware of this when they become ill. An important and non-urgent matter suddenly turns into an important and acutely urgent one. Therefore: Do not put off important things in front of you! Otherwise they will become uncomfortably urgent at some point.

In the same way, you should keep unnecessary away from yourself from the outset. My tip: Just refuse something, rather than constantly enduring everything. Treat yourself to breaks!

Deadline pressure is different from time pressure!

Even with a busy schedule, I can work out time sovereignty. How? By prioritizing. Since humans are fond of taking the path of least resistance, we often tend to get things done urgently and unimportantly instead of focusing on the important ones first. Because this often requires significantly more discipline and commitment.

Focus on one thing!

Multitasking is a myth. No one can adjust to several things at the same time with the same intensity and quality. Work suffers as a result, our stress level increases. Those who prioritize the important over the urgent live more relaxed. If you set priorities and learn to deal with things first according to importance, then according to urgency, you will no longer be dominated by external circumstances, but will create them for yourself.

If you are interested in the topic and want to go deeper: Stephen R. Covey "The 7 Ways to Effectiveness" Gabal), € 24.90.

Mareile Braun is editor-in-chief of EMOTION Slow and loves her life between Gucci and rubber boots. When she's not traveling to fashion weeks, she likes to stroll around the village with her donkey Pepe at home.

What else moves her: yoga in the open air, dance evenings with her husband and her workshops as a "slow-down" trainer.

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