Prioritization, it’s one of the cornerstones of getting stuff done. Maybe it’s the only cornerstone. But I guess then you’d have to imagine everything that you’re getting done as being in the shape of a giant capital L. It doesn’t matter, I said the word cornerstone, I don’t know why really, why do I pick any word over another word? It’s all just some unoriginal way to say something unoriginal. I could have said bedrock, foundation, you know.
But I’m talking about getting your priorities in order. It’s essential, before committing to any task, to figure out what you’re going to do first, then what you’re going to do second, right? All the way until you’re finished. But even then, you’re hardly done prioritizing. Because that thing that you just prioritized, that’s just step one in a multi-stepped process which all culminates in everything that you do, your life.
And it’s why I can’t get anything done, I’m terrible at prioritization. I wake up in the morning and I try to just will myself to get things together. I sit straight up out of bed and I say, “First things first,” and I say it with meaning, hoping that that meaning will kind of launch me into the day, like I’ll intuitively know what I’m supposed to do next.
But, and I’ll take yesterday as an example, I woke up, I said, “First things first!” but then I started thinking, well, shouldn’t I have gotten out of bed first and then said first things first? Come on Rob! Get your priorities together. And so I decided I needed to reset the day, so I laid back down and told myself, fall asleep Rob, go to sleep and wake up again and you’ll have a clean slate, a brand new opportunity to really put things in order.
But I should have set a cell phone alarm. You know how it is when you first wake up, right? For me anyway, until I actually get out of bed, go downstairs, and have a cup of coffee, it’s not like I’m really awake, awake. What I mean is, until I have that caffeine pumping through my system, I could at any time hit my head to the pillow and resume sleeping as if I had never woken up in the first place.
Which is what happened, and this is just stupid, typical me not setting out my priorities in a prioritized fashion, I woke up to my alarm clock, I turned it off, there was the whole, “First things first!” followed by everything that I just talked about, and then I hit that pillow, I went back to sleep. The next thing I know I’m sort of waking up naturally, really almost groggy from what I’d soon discover after looking at the clock was way too much sleep. What time was it?
It was almost eleven thirty. Talk about not having my shit together. My dog was whimpering at the bottom of the stairs because he had to go to the bathroom, so I threw on some shorts and took him out, all the while squirming because I myself hadn’t even gone to the bathroom yet, and so I felt bad, I didn’t give him a chance to really get out there, to really sniff the ground or pick a spot, and it’s that whole thing about, priorities man, your plane’s going down, you make sure that oxygen mask is on you before you start helping out the little kid sitting next to you, in my case, the dog who just refused to go to the bathroom, and yeah, maybe I was pulling his chain a little too hard, but man did I have to pee, and it was this whole thing with me not having my keys in those pants, so, and I’m such an idiot, I tied him up front while I hopped the fence in the back. I couldn’t get into the house, but at least I could pee in the backyard, but as soon as I unzipped my fly I hear, “Rob! What the hell are you doing?” it’s my wife, I’m like, “Baby! What are you doing home?” and she’s like, “It’s Saturday! What the hell are you doing? Where’s the dog?” and I’m like, “He’s tied up out front!”
I’ll cut to the chase. She got up early, it was Saturday, I had just forgotten, I think I forgot to add keeping track of what day it is in that list of priorities, and she took the dog out already, that’s why he wasn’t peeing. It was almost lunchtime. “What if the neighbors see you?” she was screaming out the window, and I was like, “I don’t know, why don’t you scream a little louder and maybe they’ll look out back to see what’s going on!”
And I was starving. I wanted a bacon egg and cheese but it was almost lunchtime, and come on, what kind of a prioritizer am I supposed to be, eating breakfast for lunch, on a Saturday, I think I work on Saturdays, I should have checked my schedule, maybe that’s what all of those missed calls were. It’s about understanding the importance of getting up on time, returning phone calls, man, priorities, right? First things first.