5 steps to get your priorities right

You want to take care of your family, have a career, perhaps buy a house, further your education, travel … and preferably all that at once? You’re not alone in that, but you’re also under a lot of pressure. We can help you to find out what is important to you and to set your priorities in such a way that they are in line with your values. 

Do you have the feeling that life is running at full speed right now? Time is running too quickly away from you in order for you to achieve your goals? Suddenly everything is supposed to happen at once? Then you are in the middle of the “rush hour of life” – the phase in which everything happens at once, from family planning to career, to fulfilling your life’s dreams. Here we explain what exactly lies behind it and how the rush hour can influence your life. The fact is: if you want to have everything at once, you will quickly reach your limit. After all, it is quite difficult to spend time with your family, at the same time as to advance your career, to have time for your partner and not to forget your own circle of friends, to take care of your ageing parents and not to neglect the things that give you yourself pleasure. This makes it all the more important to set priorities – because only then will you not lose yourself and your values in the hustle and bustle of the “rush hour of life”. 

1. Take time to reflect 

The key here is to be honest with yourself – even if it can sometimes be a little uncomfortable. Reflect very carefully on how you spend your time. Do you consciously invest your time only in things that are in line with your values and ambitions? Or are you too busy spending energy and time on activities and people that don’t fulfil you? 

2. Find your values

Once you have found out what is clearly not good for you, it is a matter of defining what you value the most. This is also a task that you can do well with your partner. As it’s about understanding your personal values and defining values for you as a family. 

This includes questions like: 

  • What do I want my/our life to look like in a year, in five years, in ten years?
  • If I had the freedom to only do what I want to do – what would I do?
  • What activities make me happy? What gives me pleasure? What brings me closer to achieving my dreams and goals?

Again, it’s important to be brutally honest. Try not to be guided by external factors such as status or recognition by others and do not base your priorities on what society expects of you. If you find this difficult, you may want to find a coach or mentor to help you define your values. Or try one of the following methods:

10-10-10 method

The 10-10-10 method divides your priorities into three categories to help you keep track of everything that is important to you; and not to lose sight of both the big picture and the urgent things. You can use it not only to prioritize your life goals, but also to come back to it when everything threatens to go over your head again. 

  • 10 minutes: What things are important to you in 10 mins?
  • 10 months: What things will still be important to you in 10 months?
  • 10 years: Which things will still be important to you in 10 years? What will still be relevant?

The 10-10-10 method also helps you to determine individually which time frame is most important to you. Do you currently want to focus on medium-term success? For example, on a promotion or a job change? Or is your priority to live in your own home and have a large family in ten years’ time? There is no such thing as right and wrong. Only exactly what is right for you and your family. 

ABC method

In the ABC method, tasks are classified into three categories: A, B and C. 

  • The A tasks are the most important tasks that need to be done immediately and take the most time. They have the highest priority.  
  • The B tasks are also important, but not quite as urgent. Accordingly, they come after the A-tasks.
  • C-tasks, on the other hand, are not important for your goals. They can be left undone for a while or, ideally, delegated.

That sounds more like a business tip than help for managing your “rush hour of life”? The good news: you can use the ABC method for both. You prioritize all activities, things and time with people that are especially important to you as an A-task. After all, everything that is good for you and important to your goals and values should come first. This can be the weekly family game night, the regular football visit with friends, the half hour alone with a good book every evening or even the career – just as you have defined your values.

3. Get your priorities right

You have found out what is particularly important to you in your life? What you want to spend more time and energy on? What values you want your family to live by? Then it’s time for the plan. Now it gets serious! Find out what you need to change concretely to live your priorities – and how you can integrate this into your everyday life. Be realistic! After all, it’s the small steps that lead to the goal. Turning your life around from one day to the next is usually not feasible. You want to spend more time with your family? Then write down which habits you have to give up for this – or plan fixed family times. You want more quality time with your partner? Again, write down exactly how you can integrate this priority into your daily routine. Maybe you can even differentiate into daily, weekly and monthly priorities and thus plan your everyday life according to your priorities? For example:

  • Daily priority: breakfast together, jogging, bedtime story.
  • Weekly priority: call parents, attend a Pilates class, achieve a specific professional goal
  • Monthly priority: reviewing the household budget, an evening alone with your partner, a full day outing as a family

4. Get rid of distractions!

Consciously eliminate all distractions that have so far prevented you from setting your priorities correctly in the “rush hour of life”. Optimise your everyday life as best you can. This may mean saying “no” more often or redistributing household tasks with your partner. Banishing your mobile phone from the bedroom. Or even introducing time blocking at work during which you can concentrate and not be disturbed. 

5. Be brave enough to make mistakes.

That sounds all well and good – but it’s not always easy to stick to our priorities. After all, life offers a lot of unexpected things! There are many things that try to distract us. So be kind to yourself instead of trying to do everything at once. Take time to check your priorities and plans every now and then – maybe you have to change them from time to time. That’s okay too. The important thing is not to let yourself be overwhelmed by the “rush hour of life” and the pressure to have everything at once. Instead, live your life according to your values and priorities. 

It’s clear that your family is a particularly high priority in your life. But it’s not always easy to do everything justice – especially during the “rush hour of life”. At Awina, we’re here to help by providing daycare loans to ease the burden on your family budget, give your kids the best early childhood education possible, and give you the opportunity to continue working in your profession. Don’t put “schedule a consultation” on your to-do list, book a no obligation consultation with us right now by phone or email.