We all have lots of stuff tugging us one way or another and we have jobs, people, and tasks that we are accountable for but sometimes we forget about our own accountability to ourselves and set our own priorities.
I have been thinking a lot lately about how much the company that I work for and my family, and even the two school parent council groups are relying on me and at the same time those groups will get more attention from me than I give to myself.
I am sure that you are the same way. Lets take a look at how we can fix these things.
How Others Control Us
All the groups that rely on us will give us certain tasks. These tasks are often given to us because we have those strengths and when we are accountable for an outcome we take ownership.
Whether it is running a meeting or a project or unloading the dishwasher or walking the dog or making dinner, or getting a new school built in our community.
We have time, we have skills, and we are in a position to make these things happen. When we succeed it is great for our ego and having the responsibility also makes us feel important.We can have some control over how things happen in our little part of the world. This is very good
The bad part of these responsibilities and the accountability that it gives to us is that often the good of others trumps our own needs and the things that may be important to us. I worry about this for a lot of people in my own life as well as myself and want to look a bit at how we look at our own priorities.
How We See Our Own Priorities
Our priorities and the life that we lead is often very controlled by others because we put a higher value on what those other people want or need instead of ourselves. This is not the way to live.
I like to look at my own life an how when I feel like I have little control of circumstances because other are setting all of my priorities it makes me angry, my own fault I know but I am really getting angry at myself for letting it happen.
There is an old saying that “If you do not make plans other people will fit you into theirs” and this is very true. We need to make sure that we see our priorities first and see how our priorities can help others.
Making Our Priorities Help Others
This has always been a very tough battle. I fight it all the time and I am sure that you do to. What we need to do is honestly assess what is important in our lives and once we have this list of 10 or so things that we want to achieve for ourselves and others then we can make the time.
Lets say that having a strong family is important, then we will want to make sure that we are giving our time to our family, we want to scheduile things that the family can do together and we will want to make sure that the time that we spend with the family is shared experiences that we can have memories from and build on.
Another example is work projects. If you are on a project you will tend to have work heaped on you.
Some of this work is best for you, some should be delegated to others, and some does not have to be done at all but is merely busywork that can be just let go of (do you create this busywork yourself?).
What you need to do is take the initiative to tell the project manager what needs to be done and what does not in your eyes.
Are You Being Confrontational?
What I tend to find is that in these two above examples and with many situations that you want to change priorities from other peoples to your own you are going to deal with confrontation.
The best way to do this is almost every case is to lay out your view, your reasons, and your plan and make sure that the other person or people understand that this is not a personal attack, this is just your view and between you and others you can work out differences.
Most people are not interested in barrelling over you they just are trying to get things done.