How to Prioritize (Even When Everything Seems Important)
At Teamzy, we talk a lot about priorities, particularly, prioritizing your daily network marketing activities, prioritizing the people in your network, prioritizing your goals, the list goes on and on. If you’re like many network marketers, you know you need to set your priorities. You understand that a priority is something that gets you closer to your goals and helps you grow your business. However, in practice, this is often easier said than done.
Why prioritizing matters
As spring arrives on our doorsteps, life is only going to become more and more hectic. As humans, we naturally become more active in the spring. Like bears waking up from hibernation, we seem to “wake up” and become motivated to get more done with each additional minute of daylight. As a result, our to-do lists begin to grow and soon we begin to wonder how we’re going to get it all done.
Add to it that we may become more social as the temperatures rise. Although this provides more opportunities to connect with new and existing customers, prospects, and team members, it may also leave us feeling overwhelmed. You may say, “how am I supposed to follow up with so many people?” Additionally, you may begin to wonder who to connect with first (and second, and third).
Prioritizing prevents you from feeling overwhelmed. Think of it as reassurance that you’ll get done all that you need to because you’ve specifically made time for it. There’s no need to worry and stress about it!
It helps to think of prioritization as making time for the things that matter – the things that’ll get you closer to your goals – instead of as an overwhelming process. When we become overwhelmed, we tend to become stuck and caught up in small things instead of keeping hold of the big picture.
What’s the big picture?
This varies from person to person. Think of the big picture as your “Why”, that is, your purpose for doing what you do. From this, you arrive at your goals. Then from there, the activities that will help you achieve those goals.
When you’re pinpointing your priorities for the day, keep this thought in the back of your mind: “Will this help me reach my goals?” Too often this is where we get hung up.
“But, everything is a priority.”
Have you ever looked at your to-do list and thought, “But everything is a priority. How in the world am I supposed to pick which one to do first”? This is where most people get hung up – they become paralyzed trying to pinpoint the top priority of their day. Sure, they know their businesses should be at the top of the list, but what about the other stuff? And, when fires pop up, the process becomes even murkier.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Stephen Covey
The issue that we get hung up on the act of prioritizing. The point is to pinpoint the priorities and schedule them into your day, just as Stephen Covey says to above. For example, if your business is a top priority (and it should be if you want to become a thriving network marketer), it doesn’t matter whether you do your Power Hour first thing in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon or after dinner. It just matters that you schedule a time for it – and stick to that time – at some point during the day.
Many network marketers think that if they make something a top priority they have to do it right away. This may cause unnecessary stress if they don’t do it right away. By scheduling it into your day, you know that you’ll get around to doing it. And, if something comes up during that time that demands your attention, you can reschedule for later in the day.
“I’m too busy!”
Prioritizing solves the “I’m too busy” problem. Life gets hectic very quickly and it seems that things just pile on. However, many of the things that demand our attention aren’t necessarily important, or at least important enough to seize our attention right away.
When you begin to prioritize your day, you may find that you’re more empowered to say “no” to things that don’t really matter or at least won’t get you closer to your goals. Too often we say “yes” to things because we feel we’re expected to do so, or we think that if we don’t do it then it won’t get done. No wonder our to-do lists become bogged down with tasks.
Instead of making us feel productive, they only serve to remind us what we didn’t get around to. Saying “no” is an act of standing up for ourselves and our most precious resource – our time. It seems we never have enough time in our day, and if we fill it with things that won’t bring us closer to our goals and don’t align with our purpose, then it just creates feelings of stress and unhappiness. Scheduling your priorities into your day gives you an “out” when you feel tempted to say “yes” to something you know you shouldn’t.
“I have trouble sticking to it”
Of course, it’s all for nothing if you don’t stick to the schedule that you’ve set. It can be difficult to stick to it some days. Life happens and things come up – you or your spouse or kids get sick, a big event occurs, you take a vacation. All of these things can keep you from honoring your priorities. And, for a short time, that’s fine. No one expects you to follow up with your customers, prospects, and distributors while you’re soaking up the sun on a beach in the Caribbean. Nor is it expected when your kids are running a fever, your spouse has the stomach flu, and you’re not feeling so hot yourself.
However, so many of us have trouble sticking to things even when we’re feeling healthy and we’re at home. That’s when it’s so important to create and stick to the habits that help us succeed. It all boils down to two things: commitment and consistency.
Are you committed to your business? Although you may say “yes,” your actions may say otherwise. When you don’t prioritize your day and stick with it, you’re saying that you’re not committed to your business. You’re saying that your network marketing business isn’t a business at all – it’s a hobby. If you want to earn the money you need to build the life of your dreams, you have to treat your business like a business instead of a hobby you do on the side.
Often, that takes a mindset shift. If you’ve been trying to build your business while you work at a job full time, you have to begin to think of it less as a side hustle and more as a proper business. This doesn’t mean you need to quit your full-time job (although that may be your ultimate goal); instead, you need to begin to think of yourself as a business owner.
If you’re a stay-at-home parent who has been trying to build your business as a way to earn extra income for the family, it’s important to adopt the mindset of a business owner as well. Just because you may not work on your business 40 hours a week doesn’t mean you’re not a business owner. You still put your heart and faith into your business, right? Your business relies on your hard work and attention to grow and thrive. By making that change to your mindset and thinking like an entrepreneur, you’re able to commit your time and attention to your business.
A couple of weeks ago, we posted a blog about how to become more consistent. Consistency is the sore point business owners and network marketers everywhere. We all have the best intentions, especially when we start our businesses, to work on our businesses every day like clockwork. Unfortunately, life happens and it makes it more and more difficult to do so.
The trick is to build habits that are essential to becoming consistent. Those habits make doing the work automatically. They make it easy to pinpoint your network marketing activities as a priority every day, without giving it a second thought. It becomes as habitual as showering or brushing your teeth. The more you do something, the easier it becomes, and – very often – the less time it takes to do.
Once you get in the routine of reaching out and following up, you’ll likely find that it takes less time to do it. If it took you 45 minutes to reach out to everyone you needed to during your Power Hour, you may notice it begins to take you 35 minutes, then 30 minutes and so on. The better you get at it, the more time you’ll have to work on other things in your business, including yourself and improving your own skills. Carving out time for personal development will give you the skills and tools to serve your network even better. Before long, you’ll be reaching your goals and achieving your true purpose.
Make your business a priority with Teamzy
Teamzy was developed to help network marketers build strong, thriving businesses effectively and efficiently. Building your business doesn’t have to take all day, every day. In fact, you can build a great business in an hour a day, several times a week. Teamzy gives you the tools you need to stay organized, connect with your network, and reach your goals. If you’re not using Teamzy yet, what are you waiting for? Click here to learn more.