As a creative entrepreneur (I guess I’m one?), I’ve heard a lot of opposing advice. On podcasts and in articles, a fair amount of people suggest putting your hands in a lot of pies. However, others say pick one thing and put all of your energy into it. Meanwhile I’m sitting over here wondering where’s the happy medium? Why does it have to be one way or the other? How can I have both? Here’s how: setting priorities.
You can quickly tell from looking at this blog and my social media that I’m a big believer in doing a little bit of everything. While most of my content, and life, revolves around yoga, that’s not all there is. All of my interests and curiosities can easily be tied together with a common thread, but I don’t only talk about yoga or asana. I began my blog because I had more to say than what could fit into a classroom setting. And that’s something I never want to compromise.
Aside from topics and ideas, I also work in different mediums and on a lot of platforms. I write here. I’ve also started writing elsewhere. I’m writing a book. I create content specifically for Instagram. I used to film weekly videos. I’ve been working on a secret project that will be launching (hopefully!) this month. Oh yeah, and I teach yoga full time.
My brain is constantly working. I have to keep track of where I am, what step is next, and I ponder how I can continue to progress in each area.
It’s a lot.
While having a variety of projects going keeps things interesting, it can be disheartening because progress is often slow. In May I fell right into this – I was disappointed in myself for not getting anything completed. So when making my goals for June, I asked myself, “what are your priorities?” What one thing did I want to get done? The hard part was not answering it, but acknowledging that it’s okay to not do everything at the same time.
I needed to see results in something, anything, to get a little pep back into my step. I needed to prove that I could bring my ideas to life. And truthfully, while I love all of my work, my secret project is what I’ve been most excited about for a couple of months. It has been a long time coming and it feels like it could be a big turning point in my trajectory.
It’s scary putting assignments aside because what if we never pick them back up? But that is a risk I had to take. And I’m so glad I did. Setting my priority for the month allowed me to get a lot done. Momentum picked up and I started checking off boxes right and left. Seeing progress gave me the confidence boost I yearned for.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing, of course. I came across a lot of bumps in the road. Normally that would have majorly stressed me out, which in turn amps up my OCD. Since I gave myself the freedom to let other work go, I was frustrated as hell, but not stressed. Any setbacks didn’t feel like wasted time that I could have spent doing something else. My troubleshooting became a learning experience instead of a distraction. Plus it felt damn good once the problems were solved.
I don’t think you have to choose to do everything or only one thing. It’s important to listen to your needs. I would be bored as hell if I limited myself. But I also struggle to multitask and move at my desired rate. Evaluating my priorities keeps me in line and moving forward.
This tactic doesn’t have to be only used in your career. It can also help you find that work/life balance. Or your alone time versus socializing. Or your mental and physical health. Don’t be afraid to take a step back so you can step into what needs your attention, or what you want to give your attention to.
Priorities, my friends. They work!