No, this will not be a talk on Quality of Service in the networking world. That entry is coming soon. This is a public service announcement on prioritizing your life. Whether you are dealing with a ton of projects at work or a bag of tasks at home, sitting down and taking a step back from everything can help organize and give the proper priorities to everything that stands before you.

It has been a busy few weeks. It has been busy enough that I have not written another post in a bit. There are plenty of ideas to put on paper, but sometimes there are things that come up in life. Between the plethora of chores at home (Who knew a house has needs too!), being under the weather, kids running around, helping the misses and a planned trip to Puerto Rico among other things; there has not been much leftover that I can apply to the writing department. Yes, shame on me! I will also have to admit that a little bit of laziness was sprinkled into things as well. All of this did get me thinking into the importance of prioritizing. Life is busy for all of us. You might be trying to figure out how to get that next certification while you bounce one of the babies on your knee. You might be rushing through your homework so you can head out to work. You might be trying to figure out how to balance that notepad full of projects at work and still look like a good employee. No matter how busy we are, the fact is, not everything requires the same amount of attention. There are things that can wait. It might not be healthy to try and take on too many responsibilities at the same time. As much as I want to, I cannot take care of everything at the same time. It is just impossible. First of all there is just not enough time in a day. A day consists of 24 hours. Within that 24 hours, how do we find a way cram in everything we want to do in life? We can’t. There are things that are necessary, like sleep that chips away at our day. Yes, some might sleep less than others, but it is still necessary. For those that work, that might take a certain set of hours or more a day. If you go to school, travel time and the time spent in class adds up. Even online classes will require hours of attention. It just seems like we have much more to accomplish than hours in the day.

So what do we do? Do we just randomly pick something out of the gigantic list before us? That does not work well, especially for me. I’ll be honest; I’ll stare at the list and just shrug. In the end, nothing gets done. Prioritize. Everything in life can be prioritized. When it comes to personal things in life, only you know the value, the weight that those items or activities should be assigned. I am a big believer in education. Continually keeping your brain on its toes is important for one’s career. I took care of education early on and made it a big priority. However, education does not stop at graduation. Is continuing your education important to you? If it is, where does it rank among work, family and friends? Does it go after or before purchasing a home, perhaps a car? Making the list of things you want to accomplish and achieve is important, but a bunch of items in a list doesn’t do it for me. The list has to be ordered to mean something. There can be things you can work towards in tandem, but there might be something you can save for “Next Year”. There is no shame in that. It might be wise to visit something when you have more time to dedicate to it. Prioritizing can work for anything. I own a home. My wife and I have many plans for the house, but where to start? We make a list of each room in the home. Within each room in that list, the goals are listed: Paint, new floor, new ceiling fan, etc.; However, having a list of rooms with things to take care of in each room is not a full plan of attack. Now, if we add a priority, a value to each room, that is a start. Which room will we start or attack first? Perhaps the rooms that get the most use is a good start. Now we have a starting point and can determine what comes next. The same applies at work. The business might have handed you 10-15 projects to take care of. Which one comes first? I look at impact. Which of the projects has the most impact for the organization? Get those out first unless there is some time requirement on a project. Do not be afraid to ask either. You might not know which project the business sees as a priority. Often times, the business priority overrides your priority. Either way make a list, prioritize and do not be afraid to block out your calendar to dedicate time to a specific item.

Each one of us can play the role of a project manager. Yes, there are some wise people out there who do it for a living, but they probably do not want to do it for your personal life. Before you start running in one direction, stop and look at everything you want to accomplish. Look at the impact each one has for you. Taking care of Item A might open doors in the future. Pushing Item B further down the road might allow you to really attack it later on. No matter what the list is that you have in front of you, prioritize it, work hard and win.

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