Asking Yourself One Single Question Will Help You Prioritize
What do you think might be a top strategy for figuring out what to do and what not to do when you feel overwhelmed? This is Erika Salloux from living–harmony.org. I’m going to tell you the one simple secret question you can ask yourself to figure out how to prioritize when you feel really overwhelmed by a lot of things in your entrepreneurial life.
Related: Get Serious About Time Management
Entrepreneurs Always Have a Lot That Needs to Be Done
So we all know, as entrepreneurs, we have a lot of stuff on our plate. We’re going to leave stuff on the plate every day when we walk away from the office or wherever we’re working. We just really can’t do it all! Even if we’re delegating and doing all the things that we should do, letting things go, and concentrating on the important, there is still going to be more out there.
Because we’re super motivated, we want to make a lot of progress in the world, we have a lot of ideas, we’re creative.
Think About the Consequences of Each Task
So this is what I tell my clients, I use this technique myself all the time in my personal life too, so feel free to use it in your personal life as well.
Ask yourself this one question when you have a whole bunch of stuff on your plate, because let me just tell you, a lot of us create emergencies, we think things are emergencies that aren’t emergencies – every time we hear our phone go off or someone else has an emergency, we think has to become our emergency, which is not the case.
So, you’ve got a whole bunch of stuff on your plate and you know you can’t do them all, you’re jumping on a plane to go to a conference and you’ve only got a short period of time to do a few things.
Ask yourself this one question, and I’ll give it to you in two ways, depending on what you like you can use either of them.
One is what would be the consequences if I didn’t do this and just sit with it?
You can say to yourself okay so my accountant needs my taxes, he didn’t give me an extension, I haven’t sent him everything, if I don’t get them to him what are the consequences of that? I’m going to get some late fees from the IRS and from the state, so maybe that’s a pretty big consequence.
Maybe it’s something like if I send this proposal to someone, maybe the deadline hasn’t come up yet, s so there’s actually no consequence, I could do it when I get back. So you keep going through your list, and then you literally will be able to figure out what is the really important things to do and what things can you just let go for another time.
And the next day you can ask yourself the same things. Things are always changing, like David Allen talks about, we have to revisit our lists all the time and revamp them, because our priorities and new things come up, so you want to be able to do that on a consistent basis to stay on top of things.
Make Sure Your Tasks Support Your Goals
The second question that you can ask yourself is, which is just another version of the first one is: does this support one of my palpable goals?
By a palpable goal, I mean one of your biggest, more important goals. A lot of times as entrepreneurs, we don’t get to those really big goals, we get to all the emergencies and small things that sometimes are juicy for us to do, and they kind of give immediate rewards that we don’t get to the bigger projects. And I know because I struggle with that as an entrepreneur all the time, that’s one of my biggest challenges.
So to prioritise, just think about those questions and ask yourself those questions when you feel really overwhelmed, and you’ll be able to be more graceful and grounded throughout your day.
About Erika Salloux
Erika is a Certified Professional Organizer® (CPO®) who is the founder and president of Living Harmony, LLC. Since 2003 she has gotten people organized so they can live their desires and purpose.
Employing her holistic and coach-centered approach to organizing, Erika conducts transformative speaking programs. Her signature EmpoweredTime™ process leads those looking for a more calm, grounded, and focused reality to increased health, serenity, and productivity. Participants learn how to banish paper clutter for good using her PaperPower™ system. And her JetPac© method transforms packing and traveling from stress to simplicity for all kinds of vacationers, trekkers, and business travelers.
Erika regularly contributes to Boston-area and national media outlets. Her appearances include NPR, NECN, CBS, FOX, WUMB, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and The Boston Globe. She has acted as an organizing consultant for Real Simple.
Erika’s clients have included those at Harvard University, Wellesley College, Boston University, Suffolk University, Tufts University, Cambridge Health Alliance, Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P., Cambridge Savings Bank, Museum of Fine Arts, Prudential, Putnam Investments, Raytheon, Houghton Mifflin, Pottery Barn Kids, IBM, Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, New England Cable News, National Labor Relations Board, and the Transportation Security Administration.
Erika is an active member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and a member of its Golden Circle. Her NAPO positions have included Leader of the Speaking for Fees special interest group and the Golden Circle Liaison to NAPO-New England’s Programming Committee. Her past NAPO-NE positions have included the Co-Chair of the Programming Committee and Co-Chair of the Public Relations Committee.
Since 2009, she has been an active and loyal member of Holistic Organizers, a group of international organizers who integrate spiritual and holistic principles and practices into their work and advocate for a compassionate, heart-centered approach to organizing.
Prior to launching Living Harmony, Erika held positions at WBUR and the Public Radio International show “From the Top,” respectively. Her rich and varied public broadcasting life has also included working on such programs as “Sessions at West 54th” and “Humankind.” Before that she was a music industry publicist and artist manager working with performers as diverse as John Mellencamp and EMF.
Erika holds a BS in Mass Communications from Boston University’s College of Communication.
Erika’s other passions include her inquisitive and interspiritual spiritual life, nurturing consciousness, creating and sharing meals with her friends and family, dancing all over the place, yoga, meditation, all sorts of music, spontaneous travel to varied destinations, tennis, theatre, film, and swimming in almost any body of water, but especially an ocean or sea. Embracing life through an open heart is always her desire.