Who is the person that decided priority should be plural?

Apr 15, 2019

Art by Anna Kövecses

Some time around 1940, priority was pluralized by some overzealous achiever and you’ve been behind ever since.



The Imaginary Place

Time is finite. 24 hours is what you have (or 168 hours in a week) to be who you are in every aspect of your world. When you realize you spend over 90,000 hours of our life at work, “busy” takes on a whole new meaning. It’s no longer about to do lists or inbox cemeteries where requests go to die. It’s about your health and your (in)ability to sustain the pace. Your life’s work needs you.


Life Math

Do you know what’s sobering? Designing a program on stress management and resiliency at one in the morning. The irony keeps you awake. I began to pay close attention to my research, because it was mocking me. The graph below had me in mild hysterics as I realized, I wasn’t just getting tired or forgetting things, I passed my prime capacity. I am the red circle. Damn.


  • Time Debt Stress: more than 24 hours of doing in our time budget



Know your Energy Patterns

Great, now that reality is staring you in the face (you’re welcome) what’s next? Focus on your capacity. Yes, that descending line in the graph — it turns out you have more influence than you realize. It also means you might have to introduce new habits and wave goodbye to some that served you well in the past. Caffeine spike anyone? Managing your Energy requires you to be more thoughtful about your choices and pay attention to four quadrants that make or break your ability to perform and enjoy life. A few coaching reflection questions to consider around your energy management:

  • Physical: How do you prioritize your health in service of your commitments?
  • Mental: How might you describe your mental capacity and the impact on your relationships?
  • Spiritual: What are your values and how do you demonstrate them in the choices you’re making?



Make Habits a Habit

When it comes to re-engaging your energy, rituals are integral. Pulse points of 90–120 minutes of work with 20 minute breaks helps your capacity and responsiveness. Many of us wait until it’s too late and disengage completely because we’ve exhausted our reserves. What habits might you develop to manage your energy according to the best practices outlined by Tony & Jim? Here are some new rituals I’m focused on this month:

  1. Work in 90 min sprints with breaks by setting an alarm
  2. Move or be active for 10 mins a day — baby steps, people
  3. Sleep 7 to 8 hours a night

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