Big, sweeping changes often don't work. The stickiest ideas are small and, like tiny cracks, they eventually give way to the larger changes. It is why viral thoughts are often simple and a good campaign slogan can often pave the way to victory.

Quotes do that for me - to the point where I became an entrepreneur just so I could create So Quotable, an app that collected quotes. Here is one quote that will change the framework of your priorities.

If you don't prioritize your life, someone else will.

Essentialism author Greg McKeown said this on the recent The Ziglar Show, though I'm sure I've heard it before. As he notes, the origin of the word "priority" meant first or foremost. There cannot be multiple priorities. There can be primary and secondary, but saying you have a dozen priorities is like saying you are going in a dozen directions. It isn't possible.

It then becomes you not knowing what to do next. Commonly called "decision fatigue", it is possible to overanalyze every career move you make to the point where you either give up or stop caring out of pure exhaustion. It is how you slip into autopilot, perhaps waiting for something big to happen so you can get energized again to take the wheel.

You give up your power without consent

As the quote says, the problem is that other people who have a clearer view will automatically have the upper hand. It's not a ruthless thing on their part: They just will be better at saying "No" to unnecessary things, managing their time to be the most efficient toward their goal and creating honest dialog with others to help them reach that goal.

To paraphrase Warren Buffet, your best bet is to write down your top 10 priorities, cut the list in half, and then cut the list in half again. In his research, McKeown found that your real priority becomes clear when there is an emergency or crisis. Don't wait until then to figure out what you really value.

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