More on setting priorities — a great tool

Stephen Covey had an interesting application of the Johari window that helped me to develop and establish priorities for my organization and for my own life. You might find it helpful too.

For today’s discussion, let’s assume that we already have a list of activities and changes that we are considering for next year. (At another time, we’ll talk about how to develop that list.) So, you know what you think you want to do, the question is how do you rank that list in your “to do” list. This is where the Johari window comes in so handy.

Slide1Rate your list using two questions: Is the item important? Is the item urgent? Your list will be divided into four groups:

Not important but urgent. Example: the phone that won’t stop ringing

Not important and not urgent. Example: playing Solitaire on the computer

Important and urgent. Example: a family member at the emergency room

Important but not urgent. Example: home repair that isn’t a crisis – yet.

My suggestion is that you think hard about those tasks that are important but not urgent; these are the ones that we really need to address. Although these tasks are not critical, they offer huge long term payoffs. You and I both probably have a list of them if we think about it. Maybe some of these examples will prompt your thinking:

  • Completing that degree or certification.
  • Changing exercise or eating habits.
  • Investing in better attic insulation.
  • Learning how to use well the business management software that we have already bought.
  • Seeing the investment counselor to update financial planning.
  • Updating the will.
  • Committing to regular, faithful church attendance.

Can you identify one or two items that, if completed next year, will impact your life forever?

Now is the time for us to start developing our 2015 priorities.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverb 16:3)

  2 comments for “More on setting priorities — a great tool

  1. Anji
    December 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    OMG, Jill! This is so helpful to me right now, at this very moment! Being pregnant with my first child and hubby away on deployment I am having to take care of EVERYTHING for day to day and prep for baby- so, I get a little overwhelmed at times. This chart is going to help me IMMENSELY! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! ❤

    • December 29, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      Anji, I use it so often to help me think through how I really want to spend my time and energy. During this special time in your life, it is so important to be careful. Take care of yourself and little Rigel! Happy New Year! Jill

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