Priority and NaNoWriMo

This week I had taken leave from work to celebrate a festival and spend some time with my fiance. I had a lot of plans, long list of things to do – crushing NaNoWriMo word count everyday being one of them.

However, I managed to write maybe 3k words in total so far. The task list got lost on Tuesday as soon as I fell down and sprained my ankle. The week just flew by after that.

But it was a little different this time. Every time I fail any of my so well planned goals, guilt would swallow me. Reliving every failure and hating myself for it would take up rest of my time.

But this time, I just enjoyed the moment. While I was on bed rest with my swollen ankle, I enjoyed watching movies, reading books, talking – basically everything. Then when my fiance came and I got to spend time with him, I wasn’t even thinking about any other task I was supposed to do. I had absolutely the best time this week.

I finally understood the meaning of the word PRIORITY. I mean it’s a simple word, we all know the dictionary meaning but I never understood the essence of it. At any given time, only one thing can be a priority. If we are hungry, food is our priority, if tired, then sleep. As long as we are able to identify the current priority and align our actions accordingly, we are at peace. Stress creeps in when we are doing one thing but thinking about another.

I know I am way behind my word count for NaNoWriMo. I thought I would write more if I don’t have to spend entire day in office. But as it turns out, I wrote those 3k words on the days I had to go to work. So, my excuse that I’ll write when I have more time goes straight out the window. If I don’t write then it’s because I am not making it a priority.

It’s the same logic for any other aspiration I am neglecting. But the good news is – if I understand it, I can control it.

  1. First step would be to identify my current priorities. It will change with current day/week/month. I mean on the day of my wedding, I am sure writing will never be a priority for me.
  2. Second step will consist of ranking the priorities and selecting the top one to focus on. Here it’s important that I don’t mix up my priority and my to do list. For instance, finishing my book is a priority but paying a bill is a task. I can do multiple tasks on a day but my priority list should never exceed three items.
  3. Third and last step is simply working my ass off. Making sure that my actions are aligned with the priorities is very important for my mental peace.

The most important thing is to remember that life may have it’s own plans for us and we may not be able to chose our priorities. Like if we are sick, doing everything we can to get healthy again is the top priority. We may not have chosen it willingly but we have to align our actions accordingly. Fighting it will just slow us down and just add to the stress.

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