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The Power Of Priority

attitude coaching priorities Apr 27, 2023

A paraphrased transcript from a recent coaching session.


“How are you?” I asked.


“Oh, no. What’s up?”

“I’m just working all the time, and not getting enough sleep. Last night I finally closed my computer at 11:15, and I was awake again at 4:15 and couldn’t get back to sleep.”

“How much sleep do you normally get?”

“I know I operate best on at least 7 to 7 ½ hours, but lately I just can’t seem to get everything done and get enough sleep. I wake up early and go over and over all the things I have to get done that day.” 

“So, OK, are you doing your SMART Week every week – time blocking your appointments and commitments?”


“And I’m assuming you are working from a To Do list, right?”


“How long is that list?”

“About as long as my arm. It’s overwhelming.”

“So, are you writing down your Top 5 Things To Do once a day?”

“No, I’ve never done that.”

“OK, you’re really close and with just two little tweaks, I know you can get back to a healthy sleep cycle.”

“At this point, I’ll try anything.”


“I want you to give yourself a little grace. Before your workday starts, take out that To Do List and give yourself a few minutes to think about what’s really important. Some things are more important than others, and what you’re looking for are the 5 things from that list that will move you closer to your goals that day. Your five highest priorities.”


“But I’ve made a lot of promises to clients. Are you saying I shouldn’t keep those promises?”

“No, of course not. Always do what you say you will do. And if you are making more promises than you can possibly fulfill, maybe you are overpromising and underdelivering.”

“Well, that’s a possibility, but I have big goals this year.”

“OK, here’s the power in thinking about what’s important and writing down your Top 5. Top producers consistently work their highest priority activities first, because when they do, they get them done, and it validates their day."


The problem with a lengthy To Do List is that no one can get everything done. There is always more to do than time to do it all. And at the end of the day, with so many things on your To Do List left undone, it’s more likely you will beat yourself up over all the things you didn’t do, and that’s exhausting.

The key is a shorter list with the highest priorities, and the key to identifying those priorities is to think about what’s important to your goals.

When your Top 5 are done, your workday is complete. You celebrate a day well done. If you are so inclined, do a little more ‘for the lavishing sake’ if you like. Close your screens and signal your brain that it’s time to rest, peaceful in the knowledge that you have done what’s important, and you are in control.


What change will you make this week to get back in control of your time, improve your sleep, and lower your stress? 

We recently redesigned SMART Week & Top 5 to create one template. If you are a member of R Squared Coaching, check out The HUB to find it, otherwise, you can get access by signing up for The Vault.

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