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Published on June 24, 2020

What Are The Top 7 Priorities To Have In Life?

What Are The Top 7 Priorities To Have In Life?

Do you try to complete all your tasks each day because you feel every item on your to-do list is highly important? Are you limited by time to achieve all of those tasks? If your answer is yes, then you might not have a clear list of priorities in your life.

It takes having a clear list of priorities to effectively manage your time and know what counts while advancing in the direction of your goals. You might eventually stress yourself out if you continually take on too many tasks.

Remember, your goal is a target you want to meet in the future. Priorities are those things you need to establish and focus on to meet that target. Once you have a list of priorities, you’ll stand a better chance of implementing changes and decisions that align with your life mission.

Everyone is different, and everyone will care about different things. However, some common threads connect us all. You may not find that every item on this list of priorities resonates with you, but it’s likely that at least a few of them will. If you’re not clear on your priorities, these may help you identify where you should put your thoughts and energy.

1. Your Life Mission

Your life missions are priorities that give you meaning and happiness. These are what make you live beyond being successful, but also work on something significant in life. What do you want from life? When you prioritize those things without compromising your commitment to them, you will always end up achieving your goals.

Define your mission statement and identify things you need to do to accomplish your purpose in life.

Once you have established what your life missions are, organize your tasks, and make every item on your to-do list express those missions. If an item does not align with your purpose in life, refuse to work on it. If you want to lose weight, go ahead. If your life mission requires oratory skills, commit yourself to practicing that. The bottom line is that your to-do list should be an expression of your personal and professional goals.

2. Physical Health

Your health is highly crucial and should be first on your list of priorities. It determines your prosperity, comfort, and overall attitude.[1]

Bad health robs you of happiness and reduces your overall productivity. This is why you need to break the cycle of poor health.

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Here’s why your physical well-being should be on your list of priorities:

  • You can only be more productive and focused when you are healthy.
  • Your quality of sleep will improve.
  • You will be in a better mood when interacting with other people.
  • You will be more energetic to accomplish your life mission.
  • You will have good self-esteem. Sickness robs you of confidence.

Do these to improve your health:

Eat a balanced diet, develop a solid exercise routine, and don’t skip sleep.

3. Quality Time With Family

When you are having a bad time at work, the first pillar of support is always your family. Time spent with family enhances your self-esteem, promotes positive habits, and builds memories.

Prioritize spending time with your immediate family, and make that time count. Exercise or work out together, go for a walk after dinner, select a book to read together, cook, or have a meal together. Prioritize togetherness!

You can be successful at work and still enjoy quality time with your family.

It’s important to recover the sense of a unified self in dismantling your work-life binary. Therefore, avoid sacrificing your family while you pursue success in your business or work.

4. Healthy Relationships

Relationships are important in finding meaning and purpose in life. After your family, your friends, colleagues, or members of your community play significant roles in your life beyond what you can imagine.

According to Northwestern Medicine[2], prioritizing healthy relationships can reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol responsible for stress. A study discovered that married people are not as likely to experience psychological stress. This is because the emotional and social support that relationships offer can be an excellent cure for stress[3].

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Furthermore, healthy relationships help you build healthy habits. Accountability partners, mentors, life coaches, and teachers play crucial roles in achieving your goals.

Therefore, surround yourself with people that will inspire you daily and isolate yourself from toxic relationships.

5. Mental Health

Are you always busy with work, social commitments, studies, family, and daily activities? If yes, then you need to prioritize your mental health. Establish a routine to investigate how you feel when you are busy or overworking.

Try doing the following to keep yourself in check.

Perform a Mental Audit

Take note of what you feel, think, or say and how they impact your mood, either positively or negatively.

Identify Red Flags

Red flags are warning signals that indicate when you are experiencing a shift in your thoughts, feelings, and habits. They could also warn you when you are experiencing burnout or stress. The earlier you know what’s wrong with you and develop coping strategies to resolve the issues, the faster and easier it will be to get back on track.

Figure out Your Trigger

If you notice some tasks, events, habits, or experiences impact your mental well-being, such as health issues, increased workloads, or relationship challenges, practice self-care during those periods. Self-care is not selfish. It helps you to regain your balance so you can take on more tasks.

6. Finances

Money is not insignificant. While it may not buy happiness, you need to earn at least above what you need to stay happy. Life can be miserable when you’re struggling to pay the bills or feed yourself, so prioritize your finances!

Robert Kiyosaki, in his book Cashflow Quadrant, recommends:

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“Make money work for you rather than working all your life for money.”[4]

Robert is simply advising you to work on your savings and investment goals.

So how do you prioritize and improve your finances?

Figure out your income-generating assets and income-depleting liabilities. Then, increase your assets and reduce your liabilities. Also, save as much as possible to make your life more comfortable in the future. You can also invest your savings in any low-risk project that can earn you passive income in both the short-term and long-term. Lastly, avoid debt as much as you can and save for emergencies.

7. Self-Improvement

In the words of Lou Holtz, “You are either growing or dying”[5]. You can only become the person of your dreams by shunning mediocrity and complacency.

There are simple ways to improve yourself. You can watch TED Talks that can impact your life positively, read personal development books, or learn new skills. It’s not even a bad idea to learn something outside your field. Learning sustains living!

Follow these steps to create a self-improvement plan that works for you.

1. Define Your Goals

Define your goals (general list) and become more specific by breaking up your general list into specific items: lose 20 pounds, earn a certificate, train for a new role, etc. You can read more on how to set SMART GOALS.

2. Focus on Your Strengths

Highlight your strengths and what you lack to accomplish the specific goals. Then define why you want to see them become reality. How will they benefit you?

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3. Visualize

Visualize yourself achieving your goals. You can design a vision board to enable you to see what success will look like. It may include pictures of a healthier and happier you!

4. Lay Out Your Plan

Establish your game plan. How will you get there? What will it require? Learning a new skill? Subscribing to an online course? You need to define those actionable steps you need to take to improve.

Don’t forget to set small milestones as you proceed so you can reward yourself when you achieve little successes.

Conclusion

If by now you are not sure of what your top priorities are, you might need to sit down and list everything important to you. For instance, if you are burnt out and it’s taking a toll on your health, then you will need to prioritize your health. There’s no way you can focus and be productive if you are not healthy.

The next step is to establish a game plan. For instance, you can highlight what you can do to avoid burnout. It could be mindfulness, talking to a psychologist, or taking a break from work. Then, block out time to implement your game plan.

Finally, take a self-assessment test to know if you are on track. If you need help with evaluating your progress, you can talk to your accountability partner, spouse, colleague, or mentor.

I will round off with the words of Brandon Sanderson, a successful American fiction writer and the brain behind Cosmere Universe:[6]

“The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things to accomplish the vital ones.”

More Tips About Setting Priorities in Life

Featured photo credit: Kevin Maillefer via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] WHO: Noncommunicable diseases
[2] NorthWesternMedicine: 5 Benefits of Healthy Relationships
[3] Marripedia: Effects of Marriage on Mental Health
[4] Robert Kiyosaki: Cashflow Quadrant
[5] BrainyQuotes: Lou Holtz Quotes
[6] WiseOldSaying: Brandon Sanderson Sayings and Quotes

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

How To Study Effectively: 7 Simple Tips

The brain is a tangled web of information. We don’t remember single facts, but instead we interlink everything by association. Anytime we experience a new event, our brains tie the sights, smells, sounds and our own impressions together into a new relationship.

Our brain remembers things by repetition, association, visual imagery, and all five senses. By knowing a bit about how the brain works, we can become better learners, absorbing new information faster than ever.

Here are some study tips to help get you started:

1. Use Flashcards

Our brains create engrained memories through repetition. The more times we hear, see, or repeat something to ourselves, the more likely we are to remember it.

Flashcards can help you learn new subjects quickly and efficiently. Flashcards allow you to study anywhere at any time. Their portable nature lends them to quick study sessions on the bus, in traffic, at lunch, or in the doctor’s office. You can always whip out your flashcards for a quick 2 to 3 minute study session.

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To create effective flashcards, you need to put one point on each flashcard. Don’t load up the entire card with information. That’s just overload. Instead, you should dedicate one concept to each card.

One of the best ways to make flashcards is to put 1 question on the front and one answer on the back. This way, you can repeatedly quiz yourself into you have mastered any topic of your choice.

Commit to reading through your flash cards at least 3 times a day and you will be amazed at how quickly you pick up new information.

As Tony Robbins says,

“Repetition is the mother of skill”.

2. Create the Right Environment

Often times, where you study can be just as important as how you study. For an optimum learning environment, you’ll want to find a nice spot that is fairly peaceful. Some people can’t stand a deafening silence, but you certainly don’t want to study near constant distractions.

Find a spot that you can call your own, with plenty of room to spread out your stuff. Go there each time you study and you will find yourself adapting to a productive study schedule. When you study in the same place each time, you become more productive in that spot because you associate it with studying.

3. Use Acronyms to Remember Information

In your quest for knowledge, you may have once heard of an odd term called “mnemonics”. However, even if you haven’t heard of this word, you have certainly heard of its many applications. One of the most popular mnemonic examples is “Every Good Boy Does Fine”. This is an acronym used to help musicians and students to remember the notes on a treble clef stave.

An acronym is simply an abbreviation formed using the intial letters of a word. These types of memory aids can help you to learn large quantities of information in a short period of time.

4. Listen to Music

Research has long shown that certain types of music help you to recall information. Information learned while listening to a particular song can often be remembered simply by “playing” the songs mentally in your head.

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5. Rewrite Your Notes

This can be done by hand or on the computer. However, you should keep in mind that writing by hand can often stimulate more neural activity than when writing on the computer.

Everyone should study their notes at home but often times, simply re-reading them is too passive. Re-reading your notes can cause you to become disengaged and distracted.

To get the most out of your study time, make sure that it is active. Rewriting your notes turns a passive study time into an active and engaging learning tool. You can begin using this technique by buying two notebooks for each of your classes. Dedicate one of the notebooks for making notes during each class. Dedicate the other notebook to rewriting your notes outside of class.

6. Engage Your Emotions

Emotions play a very important part in your memory. Think about it. The last time you went to a party, which people did you remember? The lady who made you laugh, the man who hurt your feelings, and the kid who went screaming through the halls are the ones you will remember. They are the ones who had an emotional impact.

Fortunately, you can use the power of emotion in your own study sessions. Enhance your memory by using your five senses. Don’t just memorize facts. Don’t just see and hear the words in your mind. Create a vivid visual picture of what you are trying to learn.

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For example, if you are trying to learn the many parts of a human cell, begin physically rotating the cell in your minds eye. Imagine what each part might feel like. Begin to take the cell apart piece by piece and then reconstruct it. Paint the human cell with vivid colors. Enlarge the cell in your mind’s eye so that it is now six feet tall and putting on your own personal comedy show. This visual and emotional mind play will help deeply encode information into your memory.

7. Make Associations

One of the best ways to learn new things is to relate what you want to learn with something you already know. This is known as association, and it is the mental glue that drives your brain.

Have you ever listened to a song and been flooded by memories that were connected to it? Have you ever seen an old friend that triggered memories from childhood? This is the power of association.

To maximize our mental powers, we must constantly be looking for ways to relate new information with old ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with.

You can do this with the use of mindmapping. A mind map is used to diagram words, pictures, thoughts, and ideas into a an interconnected web of information. This simple practice will help you to connect everything you learn into a global network of knowledge that can be pulled from at any moment.

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Learn more about mindmapping here: How to Mind Map to Visualize Your Thoughts (With Mind Map Examples)

Featured photo credit: Alissa De Leva via unsplash.com

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