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Priority Management, the deliberate intention to put your priorities for the day above all else …

by Miranda Knapton

In February, 2022, I was fortunate enough to have a 1-2-1 with Dr Ivan Misner during International Networking Week. This was an opportunity he provided to all of the BNI Director Consultants across the world, and we were to speak about pre-submitted topics from our application.

One surprising topic that came up was about Priority Management – not time management – but the deliberate intention to put your priorities for the day above all else. To do this, you first need to understand what your priorities are in life, then you will know what you need to prioritise each day, week, month, and year to move closer to your Vision by completing your Goals.
Here are some tips that Dr. Ivan Misner (The Founder of BNI) gave me, peppered with a little from my own experience – lived or learned.

Hold the Vision, not the Obstacles

How often do we delay doing something because ‘things’ gets in our way? Maybe we don’t ever return to it because it’s just ‘too hard’ to get through that obstacle.

Dr. Ivan Misner (the Founder of BNI ) said, “Hold the Vision, not the Obstacles”. This could mean your overarching life vision or the goal that you’re working on at the time. So often we have our heads down when we’re working on the task in front of us but if you keep your eyes up and focused on the achievement at the end, any obstacle is over-come-able (yes, it’s a word 😉).

Think of Usain Bolt: the hours of training, living away from his family and friends for long periods at a time, doing tasks that would lead directly to his ultimate goal – running in a race that would ideally last less than 10 seconds (100m). Do you think he got upset when he wasn’t allowed to eat the Doritos and sit on the couch watching Love Island? Do you think he had a tantrum each time he had to workout at the gym? Maybe it wasn’t easy all the time. Maybe there were harder days than others. But by focusing on his Vision – running fast at world events – he was able to keep moving forward.

Setting your Vision

It’s time to get clear. Really clear. Crystal clear on your Vision. Your Vision is best to incorporate all aspects of your life: relationships, career, learning, family, contribution, love, recreation, health, social, finance – and you may want to include more.

Take yourself away from distraction, notifications, voices other than yours and take your time to think and feel what your future state might be like in each of these areas of life. I would encourage you to use the VAK system – Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic – with each area and really paint the picture of what your future Vision is.

That’s one way to create crystalised clarity.

Reverse engineering the Vision into Goals

Once you are clear on your Vision, you can then set about reverse engineering it into achievable goals or milestones for each year leading up to the realisation of that Vision.

To help him ensure that his top priorities are always tended to, Dr. Ivan Misner uses a colour coding system in his calendar for each day. (See image)

•He uses Green to highlight his passions, things that excite him and get him fired up – like writing a book or doing an interview.

•Blue is the colour for his admin, things that must get completed and he’s the best/only person to do it – like meetings.

•Red is what he uses for tasks that he doesn’t want to do, doesn’t enjoy but knows they must get done – visits with legal and accounting fit into this category (sorry lawyers and accountants!).

It’s a good day for having a green day

Dr. Misner’s family would often ask him at the breakfast table “Are you having a green day today?”. This speaks to the habit in which Dr. Misner has so deeply embedded into his work practice over 37+ years to achieve so many things in his life. Not least of which is expanding BNI to over 70 countries with over 280,000 members worldwide.

How are you going to prioritise your time in future to achieve your vision?

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