Woman at White Board planning and prioritizing.

Prioritizing, Planning and Getting Stuff Done

December 1, 2022

The Enlightened Workplace Project.

We all have more to do than we can reasonably get done in a day, a week or even a lifetime. We’re inundated with information, tasks and demands, from others and from ourselves, that cry out for our attention. We can’t do it all. To achieve our goals, be productive and do our part in creating a more harmonious atmosphere for everyone around us, it is critical to prioritize and plan.

Enlightened prioritizing and planning start with having a broader picture of your life. It’s too easy for work to take up the bulk of your time, leaving your personal life in tatters, getting only your left-over energy instead of the focus it deserves. Work can be seductive in a way that can lead to burnout. You bring your best to the table when you’re following your dreams and not forsaking your life priorities.

Soulful Living

The first step to true productivity is setting the stage for an authentic and soulful life by defining what really matters to you. The Weekly Guide to Soulful Living can help you discover and articulate the things that matter most and create a clear path of action to achieve your most soulful life. The first step is to define your views and perspectives on your life and yourself:

  • What difference do you intend to make in the world?
  • What is your identity and what do you stand for in your life?
  • What are the standards you hold yourself to each day, no matter what happens?
  • What’s most important to you?

Next, identify your priorities. Two questions to ask yourself regularly are:

  • What is NOT working in your life right now? When we get clear about our pain points, we can address them.
  • Imagine you only have six months to live. You will be healthy for those six months. What would you do and with whom?

Don’t fear your mortality, because it is this very mortality that gives meaning and depth and poignancy to all the days that will be granted to you.
– Paul Tsongas

We don’t know how long we have to live, so we need to have a healthy sense of our own mortality[1]. Once you have a clearer picture of your life, and a sense of what is most important to you, you can begin to imagine how you’d like your life to be five years from now. Think about your ideal life in five years in each of these areas: health, physical space, primary relationship, family, making a difference, friends and social life, spiritual connection, work, school, financial and day-to-day living. You can use the journal to identify how far you are today from your ideal and then determine your top goals for the year.

Woman with curly hair and blue shirt works on a laptop at a cafe - prioritizing.

By not being harried, hurried, and distracted, we contribute to a calmer, steadier, more thoughtful environment wherever we are.
– The Enlightened Workplace Project

Weekly Planning

Planning is the companion to prioritizing your life and your work. Without prioritization, planning is hard to do. Without planning, priorities get derailed.

 Having a plan for your week and your day will save you enormous amounts of time and the journal can help here. According to Brian Tracy, author and productivity expert, every minute you spend planning saves about 10 minutes in wasted effort. A weekly planning process smooths the way for a calm and productive week. Here are a few fundamentals that are helpful in the practice of weekly planning:

  • Together is better. Find one or two kindred spirits to join you.
  • Schedule time on a weekly basis for planning.
  • Consistency matters – follow a consistent and simple practice, as laid out in A Weekly Guide for Soulful Living.

By prioritizing and planning with consistency, we start to carve out the lives we want to be living and, by doing so, we give those around us permission to do the same through our example.

Enlightened Prioritizing and Planning connect with each of the 7 Elements of an Enlightened Workplace:

  • Safety – taking care of yourself so you can show up for your life.
  • Caring for and respecting yourself enough to make sure you are living your most authentic life.
  • Building joy into your day-to-day life.
  • Making progress on your goals because you know your priorities and have a plan.
  • Valuing what you uniquely bring to your life and the world.
  • Seeking and finding meaning in how you spend your time and live your life.
7 Elements of an Enlightened Workplace: Safety. Care. Respect. Joy. Progress. Valuing & Meaning.
[1]Brown, “Why Being Aware of Your Mortality Can Be Good for You,” (The Apopka Voice, 2020).
The Enlighted Workplace Project.

Does your workplace inspire you and your team to thrive?

See Also:


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Barbara Fagan


Barbara is the founder of ROI. Named one of Silicon Valley’s most influential women and a lifelong nature lover, author and inspirational speaker, Barbara has devoted her career to improving the lives of employees and strengthening their relationship to their families, their passions and their work.