Throughout the week, I use a strategy I like to call priority cycling.

With priority cycling, you don’t put an equal amount of effort into each of your priorities every day. All priorities are still present, but some get bumped higher on the list than others depending on what you have going on.

My top priorities right now are nutrition, exercise, sleep, family, and writing.

Let’s talk about sleep for a minute since this is something that should be a priority for everyone, but is neglected by many people.

Sleep is always on my radar, but on some days it’s at the top of my priority list and on others it’s lower.

For example, some weekdays, I’ll only get six hours of sleep because I place a higher priority on other items like working on a book or attending a family event.

On these days, sleep is towards the bottom of my DAILY priority list (while writing and family are at the top, as evidenced by my actions).

There’s nothing wrong with this.

The next day, I might order take-out for dinner so that I can get to bed by 9pm and get a solid eight or nine hours of sleep. On this type of day, sleep is at the top of my daily priority list.

You do not have to put the same amount of effort into a priority every day.

Some activities are better performed by setting aside a decent chunk of time like two to three hours than they are if you parse them out over a few days and do ten to fifteen minutes each day.

An example is writing this.

I sat down and wrote this piece in about 45 minutes.

But splitting it up and writing one paragraph per day until it was finished would have taken me much longer than 45 minutes (since each day, I’d have to pick up where I left off, recollect my train of thought, etc.).

With priority cycling, you must be aware of your priorities every day and recognize when you are swapping one out for another, but you also need to be flexible in your schedule. This is just part and parcel of balancing your life.

What if you have a social engagement on Tuesday after work and another one on Wednesday night that goes until 11pm?

What are you going to do?

Throw your hands up and say “Well, there goes my week. I’m not going to get anything done now.”

No. These things happen.

This just means you need to plan accordingly and make other things (like sleep and nutrition) a priority for OTHER DAYS in the week.

You can’t be perfect at everything every day so don’t even try.

What you can do is list out your top priorities and make sure you are making progress in each of these areas over time.

How can you benefit from introducing priority cycling into your life? Comment and let me know.

Featured image by CJ Sorg.

I’ve transformed my life by using systems and spreadsheets to track personal data.

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