How To Prioritize Your Life: Switch to a Different Channel

Changing your focus and your habits to achieve more

In the book “Return to the Why Cafe” John Strelecky writes that life is like watching TV. It has 100 different channels we can choose and give our attention to.

It’s about focusing and choosing what is your priority.

By choosing to focus on another channel in your life, you change. This doesn’t just apply to life but also to work.

Every project has important and unimportant tasks to do. You choose what you do first.

Before I’m starting a project or task, I analyze with the help of the 80/20 principle what is important. This is a big key element to my time management and being able to achieve more.

Analyze first

It usually takes 20% of the work to get 80% of the results. Or 20% of your customers are bringing you 80% of your income.

This is the 80/20 principle, and it complies with almost everything in life. There is always a small part of something that affects the largest part of it.

By figuring out that important 20% before starting a task or changing your life, you know your priorities. With this knowledge, you can change the focus to the important channels and ignore the 80% unnecessary ones.

For instance, before I begin to prepare for a test, I examine past exams and my notes to conclude the professor’s main objectives. Usually, they give hints of what is important for the exam and by looking at previous ones you know how the questions are gonna be and you can exercise them.

You can apply this principle to all your projects and your goals. I’m visualizing my dream life every day and by figuring out the crucial 20% to get there I know how to start and what to do.

Research and planning seem like time waste sometimes but it helps you save some in the end because you are not focusing on the important stuff then.

“Strive for excellence in few things, rather than good performance in many.”
— Richard Koch

Change priorities

It’s common to watch the news, watch Netflix after a long day at work and get the cheapest food. Those people are not gonna be successful or happy.

They are not happy.

Their priority is not themselves but knowing what’s happening in the world and getting by day by day.

How to get out of this daily circle of madness?

By changing your priorities!

You are watching the news every evening: change the channel to a documentary or read a book instead.

Change your priorities to yourself, your health, and your happiness.

For instance, I’m not watching news anymore and instead, I’m working on my online business in the evening.

It doesn’t have to be such a big step at the beginning. Start with changing small things in your routine by replacing a bad habit with a good one. If you want to get healthier, start eating fruits or nuts as a snack instead of chips or chocolate.

Instead of ordering unhealthy food to your home, go outside to move and get your food on the way (maybe a little healthier food).

To save money, I replaced going out for lunch to a restaurant with preparing my own food in advance or getting something on my way to work in the morning.

Little steps every day and you will see that those changes are possible and you can achieve more. Creating a habit can be hard and it takes around 1 month to do it subconsciously. But by replacing one with another it’s easier to establish one.

I can recommend the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear to this topic. I re-read it every year because it has a lot of valuable information.

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.”

— F. Matthias Alexander

Change focus

Instead of complaining about one channel of life, switch to a better one.

This sounds simple, but most people don’t do it because they don’t like change. The comfort zone is comfortable and changing is a challenge.

In the text above we already covered to change your priorities and your habits. By doing that you also change your focus. Instead of watching the news you are reading a book hence you focus on something more positive and more valuable.

What are your priorities in life? You can find them by analyzing your daily routines.

If you are working a 9–5 and then coming home and watching TV, then your priorities are your job and then relaxing from your job. Your focus is your work and your relaxation afterwards.

If you are eating unhealthy food and not moving much, then your body and yourself are not your priority. You focus on other things instead of on yourself.

What you daily focus on is your life. Your life is only this day. By focusing on negative news and complaining, you don’t have a happy life.

Instead of complaining about everything to people, tell them the good things that happen.

Be aware of the good things that happen in your life. At the end of the day, write down 3 things you are grateful for from today. This small task is refocusing your brain on the good things in life.

Awareness of the good and bad can be trained, and it helps you focus on your life and yourself. During these busy days, it’s easy to forget the good things and highlight the bad ones.

Stop that and be aware of the great things in life and you will find happiness every day!

“Self-awareness is a key to self-mastery.”

— Gretchen Rubin

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(c) Karina Ahrer

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