Is more than creating a to-do list.
How many times have you heard, "make a list, sort according to most important on top and least on the bottom."?
It sounds simple and I got REALLY stuck on my first try. Creating a punch list wasn't difficult. Understanding what is a priority, required significantly more thought and reflection.
Priorities aren't exclusively a list of to-do's on any given day. They should be what is important to you. This circles back to junk in, junk out. If you aren't able to give it your best, then don't do it. The information won't be real or helpful. It's important to take a good, hard look at what you do and how it affects what's important to you.
How do we define priorities? First ask the right questions. If you read articles from Lifehack.com, Leon Ho recently published, "One Question That Will Help You Refocus and Achieve Greatness at Work". Mr. Ho explains the benefit of digesting and committing to a productivity approach.
Ask yourself, 'If I could do one thing today, everyday, that would accomplish the most, what would it be?' This is magic. Once you have the one thing, then nail down the second thing and so on. If i'm getting ahead a bit, start with three things, today, everyday that would accomplish the most.
Why is this magic? Because, not all tasks are created equal. Not all tasks require the same amount of time and not all tasks produce the same benefit. Your microeconomics should kick in about now. Do you remember cost-benefit analysis? It's a systematic and measurable approach to estimate strengths and weaknesses.
If you're there, bravo. If you're not, it's never too late to start. Examine what you do, how long it takes and the results of your effort. Then go back and ask yourself, "What is the one thing I do today, everyday, that will accomplish the most?".
Most of what you're reading week to week is a life practice and defining priorities is a life approach to focus, productivity and alignment.