Success is a matter of knowing what your priorities are: what should you put ahead of others? Or should you let go of one undertaking and sacrifice it for the sake of other more important projects? You will get nowhere near your goal if you don’t know how to prioritize—which is central to having a success mindset.
Life is like juggling wooden and glass balls.
Here’s a metaphor that might help: imagine life as a constant juggling of glass and wooden balls. The paramount goal, of course, is to juggle these balls without letting anything slip by. However, at some point, it might be inevitable for you keep them all in the air. You might have to drop some of them, and if you do, you must make sure that it’s the wooden balls that you let slip. Wooden balls will drop on the floor and roll away, whereas glass balls will fall to the floor, break, and create a mess. You might even step on the shards of glass, resulting in you getting into an accident and losing all the other balls that you’re juggling!
The metaphor of juggling balls is a lesson in prioritization.
Inevitably, as your responsibilities grow in number, you will have to let go of some of them because you’re not doing them as well as you should. Wouldn’t you be better off passing these “wooden balls” to people who have more time and are more capable? But the more important reason is that you have bigger, more important responsibilities—the “glass balls” that you can’t afford to let go of—to take care of.
So how do you decide if something is a wooden or a glass ball? Here’s a quick guide:
First, is it essential to paying the bills? This means that it’s something that’s related to keeping your job.
But it doesn’t stop there. You should also ask: if you let it go, will it negatively affect your health or safety, or those of the people around you?
Lastly: is it crucial to your or your family’s stability or happiness?
It doesn’t stop there. Once you’ve figured out what your priorities are, you also need to figure out which are the most urgent and important tasks. To do this, you can order them by timeline, and finish the ones that are most important first. Another technique is to finish tasks that are easier first. Lastly, you can tackle those that will give you the most rewards, based on the time it frees up or the money you will get in consideration for it.