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How to Set Priorities (CRAP™)

In less than 48 hours it will be the New Year, which means making resolutions, turning a new leaf, cleaning the slate, and starting anew. Prioritizing becomes a matter of great importance for most of us at the outset of each year. But do you ever have trouble deciding what things to do first, and why?

Setting priorities—a cornerstone of achieving prosperity—was a struggle for me until I came up with a new policy a few years ago.

So here, revealed in print—or pixels—for the first time anywhere, is Clark‘s Rule About Priorities (CRAP™): Do First What You Want to Do Least.

The logic is simple: What we most dread doing is usually the thing we should do soonest.

What do you want to do least today? Apologize to your spouse? Write that report? Make an appointment for that colonoscopy? Well, do it first thing in the morning, and watch your productivity soar.

man_with_clock.jpgClark‘s Rule About Priorities applies equally to personal, professional, and spiritual activity.

For example, about five years ago it became apparent that I needed to start exercising regularly if I wanted to maintain my health. I pushed through the dread and started going to a gym, but that meant time-consuming mid-day commutes, two showers on gym days—and spending money.

About a year later, I realized that exercise, as the most crucial foundation of health besides diet, was, quite literally, the most important thing for me to do each day. So I switched to a daily, at-home regimen, instead of three-times-a-week at the gym. Do First What You Want to Do Least.

Now I exercise first thing each weekday morning, in the comfort of home, while watching the news. It costs nothing, no travel’s needed, and I take only one shower a day. And the habit’s so ingrained now that I no longer dread it—though I love taking weekends off from my regimen.

I still struggle to apply Clark‘s Rule About Priorities to work, but I’m improving. So it’s back to my dissertation research, just as soon as I finish this post …

Say, that gives me an idea for a new post—about procrastination …

Happy New Year!


4 Comments to How to Set Priorities (CRAP™)

On Mar 18, 2008, frank Clark commented:

This is a valuable lesson. I’m inspired by CRAP!

On Mar 18, 2008, by Tim commented:

Yes, we should all learn to take CRAP more seriously.

Thanks for joining the discussion. And by the way, terrific portfolio!

On Jan 12, 2010, Making Phone Calls Lowers My Productivity « Feed The Spark –Creativity in the Real World commented:

[…] January 13, 2010 at 12:09 am (Uncategorized) Tim Clark’s (at Soul Shelter) Rule About Priorities states: Do First What You Want to Do Least. […]

On May 22, 2011, Making Phone Calls Lowers My Productivity commented:

[…] Tim Clark’s (at Soul Shelter) Rule About Priorities states: Do First What You Want to Do Least. […]

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