You Can’t Do It All. Prioritize.

I know I came in very hot with the subject line, but this is the unfortunate reality we live in. You can’t do it all (at once). Energy and attention are limited. And time is non-renewable. So it’s vital that we learn how to prioritize between our many passions.

My Feeble Attempt

As a junior in college, I stumbled my way into taking 7 classes in my fall semester. I was buried in homework, exams, and projects for 15 weeks. Before the semester started, I was in a relationship and creating weekly videos for youtube for about 3 months. 

After the second week of classes, I dropped off of Youtube. By the second month, my relationship was in shambles. 

I learned that year, in the most painful way, that no single aspect of life exists in a silo. But it still seems that a lot of entrepreneurship content fails to address career as part of the whole. 

If you didn’t have to take care of your physical body and emotional wellbeing, then maybe you’d have enough time in the world to do all the things. You and I both know, those things will never go away. 

Holistic Approach To Prioritizing

When it comes to prioritizing, you have to take a holistic approach or run the risk of cyclical burnout.

The first mental shift you need to make to prioritize effectively is to realize what actually takes up your time. Charlie Gilkey does a great job of explaining that any activity that regularly takes up your time is a project. I’ve adapted it for myself as anything that takes up  more than 2 hours of your week is an engagement. 

Life Administration (cooking, sleeping, exercising, socialising) should be coded in your mind as a project that requires balance with your other more obvious projects. Then, if you have a job or are a student, you need to consider that an engagement as well. 

In order to prioritize, write out all your engagements (school, work, remaining alive as a human). Use them as an anchor that you can put your passion-fueled engagements around. It feels good to say building a business is my number one priority. But, let’s be realistic, I have to plan around the engagements that keep the ship running. 

What random activities did you realize are actually engagements?

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