Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Priorities, Part 1

Photo via BarryDean

Wouldn't it be nice to be a black belt in Kung Foo, prized sailboat racer, #1 parent, and homemade cookie entrepreneur? Or perhaps you aspire to be a top New York attorney, back-country skier, Habitat for Humanity volunteer of the year, and moonlight as a radio DJ?

We're fortunate to live in an age of endless possibilities. With the world at our fingertips, the internet age has brought with it so much information that many of us feel completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of advice, knowledge, propaganda, ideas, instruction, advertisement... (in short, info) that a single Google search can bring. And yet, the more we are exposed to, the more we tend to want as well.

Here's an example I think most of us can relate to: You're running errands with a friend who needs to pick something up at Target. You don't want anything from the store, but you go in to be a pal anyways. By the time you hit Aisle 3, you've got a cart full of must have merchandise you didn't have the least bit of desire for before you entered the automatic doors to consumer heaven.

Photo via KrazyCouponLady

I think the same concept can be applied to the buffet of information the internet provides. You see, many of us might see bits and pieces of other people's lives online and suddenly realize we want our lives to be like that too! We want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro just like that cool-looking earthy guy did on his blog. We want to bake fresh bread for our family every day with that great e-book recipe. We want to take up base jumping like in those sweet YouTube videos. We want to take adult education classes like Oprah told us to on her podcast. We want to do all this and more.

I'm not suggesting that the internet has done anything wrong - but there's no denying that it has exposed us to so many more opportunities than our ancestors would have ever realized. The catch is, we don't have any more time in a day than they did to take advantage of these opportunities. We don't have considerably more money to fund them either. So where does this leave us?

It leaves us in a position to practice some serious prioritizing - prioritizing where our time, money, and effort will go. Prioritizing may seem to some like a limiting exercise. After all, if you're setting priorities it ultimately means some things you want to do just won't make the cut. In reality, prioritizing is a powerful tool for making the most of your resources and overcoming opportunity overload.

Tune in next time when I'll be exploring some tips for setting empowering priorities that fit your desires.

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