My Competing Priorities: Get Unstuck In Just 9 Minutes

Feeling stuck? One more post for workaholics. Chances are you have a bunch of projects that you juggle 24/7. So the “My Competing Priorities” exercise might be right for you. All you need is 9 minutes, a pen and a sheet of paper. (No, it’s not about origami.)

My Competing Priorities
My Competing Priorities

Feeling stuck = overwhelmed?

Sometimes feeling stuck means being overwhelmed. And it happens to me often. Other reasons might be not wanting to do what’s on the list, or having a difficult task and trying to put it off so you can start later. But if you are a workaholic like me, I bet you have a lot of things going on and you play a big role in them. So, even if you don’t like something or something seems complicated, you definitely have plenty to choose from. Therefore, you don’t get stuck in general, maybe only in some projects. 

So if you do feel stuck, chances are you’re overwhelmed with all the tasks or projects you’re doing at the same time. They are all competing for your attention in your head. And you can’t pick just one for whatever reason. Maybe because they all feel important. Read this then: How do you prioritize equal things easily? 

9 minute exercise “My Competing Priorities”

What can you do about it? There is an exercise that helps me, I call it “My Competing Priorities”. 

Step 1. Take a “magic” pen and a sheet of paper (large, A4 will do), or use an IPad and a pencil – whichever you prefer. You can also type, but I like handwriting, it adds a sense of harmony to this exercise and makes it easier to use space. Choose what suits you best. 

Step 2. Write down all projects or tasks that you are doing or trying to do at the moment. How many do you end up with? It is better to have under five, otherwise it will be less effective. By this point, when you see all the projects in one place before your eyes, you may already have some idea of ​​​​your situation. But you can still complete the exercise to get the most out of it.

Step 3. Write a short roadmap for each listed project, divided into more or less equal parts of work in terms of effort. Keep everything on one sheet of paper so you can still see all your projects in one place. This is when the “next action points” are becoming clear. At this point you may already get unstuck and have quite an idea of what to do next with at least part of your projects. 

As an additional point, you can ask yourself: “What habit do I need to have in order to continue this project?” Write down the habit next to each project. Or just one habit that will get you started on some or all of them. Also write a mini version of this habit so you know what it looks like as a starting point. 

Step 4. Choose from the list what you are going to take next, maybe right now. By this point, your thoughts are cleared, and you just need to simply choose from the list what you want to do now. You are no longer stuck. 


This is what the My Competitive Priorities exercise might look like

“My Competing Priorities” exercise examples
“My Competing Priorities” exercise examples

And just in case, you can devote more time to this exercise. It’s just that we always struggle with time, and 9 minutes is a short stretch, but it can be enough to get back on track.

Hope this helps,