Get Your Priorities Straight

productivity Dec 21, 2022
Get Your Priorities Straight

I had always wondered why it was so damn hard for me to get anything productive done. I had always been a procrastinator, but pushing it to the hour before was too much. Looking back, I can say with confidence that I had to get my priorities straight.

Most men these days don't have any priorities whatsoever. They merely do what they're told they should do by society at large.

This is the cause of young men feeling purposeless and directionless. Without these two things, men fall into despair and stagnate, or they overindulge and live life like a woman.

By getting your priorities straight, you create direction for your life. Here are a few key moments in my life where priorities, or lack of them, played a significant role.

1. Girl troubles in my teenage years

Wise men say only fools rush in, yet how many young men do exactly this?

I was one of them, and let me tell you it was not enjoyable. I had no priority list when trying to get girls in my teenage years.

Growing up, I had always wanted to get a girlfriend. I saw all the tv shows and movie commercials showing how amazing it is, and so I decided I wanted one.

Thing is, I had no sense of clarity or direction with it. Why did I want one? What purpose would it serve to have one? What kind of woman did I want? I had none of these questions answered.

It should come as no surprise that I failed, but looking back I had no idea just how much it would matter.

Three rejections later and I still didn't have any notion of clarity regarding my dating life. I was still following the same old stuff I picked up as a kid. It wasn't until I got cheated on at the age of 19 that I finally saw that I had to re-evaluate my approach. 

Looking back, I can see that all of this pain was caused by me making my number one priority in dating getting any girl instead of getting a quality girl.

By setting clear priorities, you learn the same lessons in ways that are less harsh.

2. My fitness journey

Starting out in my fitness journey, I had one clear goal. That was to lose body fat and become shredded.

I did a lot of research to find out how to do this effectively, but still, I saw very little progress. This experience taught me that your priorities need to be in the right order.

I started out trying different methods to lose body fat that would minimize the mental strain. Things like intermittent fasting and doing more cardio.

Either I got no results or they weren't noticeable, because I couldn't see any visible signs of progress. On top of the fact that I'm in a wheelchair, I couldn't exactly use a scale to weigh myself.

I was doing the things necessary to lose fat, yet I was seeing no progress. It was around this time that I decided to change my approach.

Rather than focus on losing fat, I shifted gears to focus on building muscle.

In just a few weeks, I saw visibly noticeable gains. I noticed my forearms looked a bit different in the mirror and spent at least five minutes admiring my progress.

This pattern would remain consistent for at least a year and a half. I'd gain some progress in a reasonable amount of time which would motivate me to keep pushing myself.

Now that I've built enough muscle to be happy with my results, I've shifted gears back into fat loss. And because of all that muscle I've built up, noticing my fat loss becomes that much easier.

By having your goals & priorities in the right order, you can achieve them much faster.

3. Becoming more productive

Going from a gamer to somebody productive wasn't easy. There would be times when I'd want to play video games so much that I'd skip my tasks, which would make me feel horrible later on.

Now that I've become more productive, I can say with confidence that there has to be a purpose behind your priorities.

When I first started out, I would bulldoze my way to productivity. I would completely ignore how I felt and do the productive thing.

At first, I thought this was good. Looking back, I can see that this is sub-optimal.

It was good that I was doing the more productive thing. However, the productive thing must serve a defined purpose, whether it be now or in the future.

Back when I started with my productivity, I would force myself to read for 4 hours straight even though my mind was bleeding out by the second hour. To make it worse, I was reading for the sake of doing something productive instead of for a purpose that would serve me.

Now, when there's something productive to do I ask myself two questions:

  1. What is the immediate purpose of doing this?
  2. What is the future benefit of doing this?

If I answer "There is none" to both of these, I don't do it.

By having a purpose behind your priorities, it becomes that much easier to get the required tasks done.

Sharpen that Axe

It was Abraham Lincoln who said," If I had only an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe." This quote is meant to illustrate the importance of proper planning and preparation.

Having your priorities straight is a crucial step in the planning process. By setting and ordering your priorities properly, you avoid a lot of the road bumps on the journey, so your ride ends up smoother over all.

- Karl