Do you lie to yourself about your priorities?

January 23, 2016 by Joshua
in Awareness, Choosing/Decision-Making, Tips

Does this sound like a reasonable question: “Do you do things in order of importance?”

I don’t think it is.

I suggest the question gets things backward. Your priorities don’t determine what order you do things in. The order you do things in determines their priority. What you do first is your highest priority, given all your values and constraints, and if you tell yourself otherwise, you’re lying to yourself.

If you say, “but the project will take an hour and this other thing will only take five minutes,” you’re still prioritizing the other thing if you do it first because you only have time for it. That’s what I mean by “given all your values and constraints.”

If you play a quick game of solitaire before working, then solitaire was more important than work, no matter how much you tell yourself you cared about the project more. If you do busy work instead of productive work, you value busy work.

That’s what prior means: first or before, not what you imagine is important but do later.

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