Categories
Life

How to Prioritize Your Necessities Today and Stay Healthy Tomorrow

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Last weeks have been stressful for a lot of us. Just in days, we switched from skepticism, irony, and relaxation to uncertainty, awareness, and caution. We locked ourselves at homes and got anxious about real contacts with any people around. Coronavirus changed our lifestyles a lot. We started communicating online more. Some of us began to work remotely. At last, we learned how to wash our hands properly.

What do we need during home quarantine?

While staying home, we need to have some necessities by our side. What exactly should we purchase to be able to stay home safe and healthy two weeks or even longer? There are many aspects of how we could evaluate the importance of things that we need to get. Some of those follow:

  • Is it something that has no alternatives?
  • Is it not too expensive? You know, the jobs and economy are on the risk now for many of us.
  • Can it stay on our shelves for a long time without expiring too soon?
  • Is it healthy for our bodies?
  • Does that make our lives more comfortable?
  • Is it ecological, vegan, ethical, fairtrade?
  • Is it something that we don’t have yet?

When there are so many perspectives, how can we make the right decision on what to buy, so that we don’t end up only with the piles of toilet paper? We are going to use the strategic prioritizer 1st things 1st to evaluate a list of necessities by multiple criteria. There is even a project template for that.

⚙️ Project setup

Start a new project. From the project templates, choose “Necessities While in Quarantine”.

Choose a project template

The project creation wizard will guide you through the most important questions:

1. Change or keep the project title and description:

Change project title and description

2. Decide how to name things. The preselected values suggest evaluating things by criteria. You can change that to evaluating necessities by aspects, or anything else.

Change how you name the things

3. Choose some or all criteria from a suggested list. You’ll be able to enter some more criteria as free text later. 

Choose initial criteria

4. Choose some or all things from a suggested list. You’ll be able to enter some more necessities as free text later too.

Now when you created the project, let’s explore the main steps of prioritization.

🧭 Step 1. Review and edit criteria

Now you can edit the list of criteria and change their importance or evaluation types. The default importance for all of them is 100%, and the evaluation type is choices from “definitely not” to “definitely” (you will see them in step 3).

For example, this is how I set the criteria and their importance:

  • Irreplaceable with the importance of 100% because we definitely need something that has no alternatives.
  • Affordable with the importance of 100% because the state of our jobs is unclear, and we have to save money.
  • Long lasting with the importance of 80% because we can order food online in case of running out of some necessities.
  • Healthy with the importance of 100% because we can’t properly function if we don’t care what we consume.
  • Comfortable with the importance of 50% because we can allow ourselves to live less comfortably in such critical times.
  • Ethical/Fairtrade with the importance of 70% because other criteria are more relevant to us when it’s a question of life.
  • Vegan with the importance of 70% because I am not vegan anyway.

Your criteria and their importance will depend on your attitude and perspectives.

💡 Step 2. Review and edit things

In the next step you will see the list of our chosen things where you can change their titles and descriptions.

For example, at the setup I chose these things:

  • Wifi because I need to work from home.
  • Drinking water because I drink a lot of tea and sometimes coffee.
  • Breads because we like sandwiches for breakfast.
  • Rice because it’s a food that can stay on the shelf for a long time.
  • Pasta because I love having Italian dishes from time to time.
  • Fruit because we need vitamins.
  • Cheese because sandwiches include something more than just bread.
  • Avocados don’t ask me why.
  • etc.

And also, I need some toddler supplies for my little son and some caffeinated drinks to stay awake and productive every day. So I am bulk-adding these things to the list:

  • Milk
  • Diapers
  • Wet wipes
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Club-Mate
  • Coca Cola
Add more things

🎚 Step 3. Evaluate things by criteria

Now evaluate all things by all criteria. Go through the whole list and mark your choices. We see that fruit is probably not long-lasting, but definitely healthy. Rice is probably fairtrade, and cheese is definitely not vegan. Some things will be objective (like drinking water is definitely healthy), and some will be subjective (like cheese is probably affordable to you).

Evaluate each thing by each criterion

📊 Step 4. Analyze priorities

The prioritizer shows calculated and sorted things grouped into the ones:

  • to choose for sure,
  • to consider, and
  • to skip.

My most essential things are electricity and wifi (I should not forget to pay the bills), drinking water, and stuff from the drugstore like hand sanitizer, shampoo, diapers, soap, toilet paper, trash bags, etc. The most questionable thing is cheese (I could live without it).

Analyze your priorities and take action

Final words

After prioritizing your necessities, it’s time to print the PDF version of the results, grab a couple of tote bags, and go to the supermarket.

Check out the strategic prioritizer at my 1st things 1st.


Cover photo by Şahin Yeşilyaprak.

Categories
Progress

Master Your 2020 New Year’s Resolution in 4 Simple Steps

Reading Time: 4 minutes

New Year’s Resolution is a western tradition to set personal objectives for the upcoming year. People list unwanted behaviors to lose, personal goals to achieve, and new habits to which to get used. Then over the year, they try to meet them, although, for the most, it is hardly doable. Statistics say that about 40% of USA residents make New Year’s resolutions, but only 18% accomplish them.

Using 1st things 1st to prioritize your activities

Wishful thinking is good, but achiever’s mindset is even better. What if instead of trying to achieve a long list of questionable goals, you would prioritize them and seek to complete the most relevant ones? Why lose yourself in the magnitude if you can focus on the essential?

Using the strategic prioritizer 1st things 1st, you can prioritize your New Year’s Resolution, so that you could see which activities to aim for and which to let go. Let’s see how to do that.

⚙️ Project setup

From the project templates, choose “New Year’s Resolution”.

Choosing a project template

The project creation wizard will guide you through the most important questions:

1. Change or keep the project title and description:

Changing project title and description

2. Decide how to name things. The preselected values suggest evaluating activities by criteria. You can change it to evaluating goals by personal values, or anything else:

Changing the naming

3. Change or keep the timeframe. By default, it’s the full year from the first till the last day:

Changing timeframe

4. Choose some criteria from a suggested list. You’ll be able to enter some more criteria as free text later.

Choosing criteria

5. Choose some activities from a suggested list. You’ll be able to enter some more activities as free text later too.

Choosing activities

Now when you created the project, let’s explore the main steps of prioritization. 

🧭 Step 1. Review and edit criteria

Now you can edit the list of criteria and change their importance or evaluation type. The default importance for all of them is 100%, and the evaluation type is stars (you will see them in step 3).

For example, for me, the most important criteria are:

  • Interesting experience
  • Valuable in the long term
  • Achievable
  • Affordable
Reviewing criteria

💡 Step 2. Review and edit activities

In the next step we see the list of our chosen activities, for example:

  • Read 10 books.
  • Get in shape.
  • Sanitize your phone weekly.
  • Listen to audiobooks while traveling.
  • Write a gratitude journal.
  • Nurture real friendships.
  • Save money.
  • Write a business plan.

Now we can change their titles and descriptions.

Reviewing activities

Let’s bulk-add a couple of custom activities, for example:

  • Visit Expo 2020 in Dubai.
  • Start a company.
Adding more criteria

🎚 Step 3. Evaluate activities by criteria

Then think about each activity from the perspective of each criterion. For example, writing a gratitude journal is an interesting experience for me (5 stars), but getting in shape is not so interesting (2 stars). Listening to audiobooks while traveling very affordable (5 stars), but going to Dubai for Expo 2020 is not so affordable (2 stars).

Evaluating activities

Evaluating activities (continued)

📊 Step 4. Analyze priorities

The prioritizer shows calculated and sorted activities grouped into the ones:

  • to choose for sure,
  • to consider, and
  • to skip.

My most essential activities for 2020 are to write a gratitude journal and to nurture real friendships. The most questionable activity is traveling to Dubai for Expo 2020.

Priorities of the 2020 New Year's Resolution

Final words

After prioritizing your New Year’s Resolution, try to set up a schedule when you will do what, and try to stick to it. That will increase your chances of achieving your essential goals. But worry not, even if you don’t make all of it this year, because another year will follow afterward.

Check out the strategic prioritizer at www.1st-things-1st.com.


Cover photo by Kelly Sikkema.

Categories
Self-awareness

How to Find the Meaning of Life. Part 3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Earlier I described how people are different by finding meaning either in having, or being, or doing. And then, I introduced you to the Ikigai concept and ways to figure out your Ikigai. This time I want to explore more of the territory of meaning. You shouldn’t necessarily have one true calling, monetized, and useful for others, to live a meaningful life.

Care about yourself

It is challenging to be happy with your life if you are always disappointed about yourself and your achievements. You have to love yourself and not attach your happiness only to success. Life is a rollercoaster. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But you must try your best as much as you can.

Health

Take care of your health. The life will be more fulfilling if you are fit and healthy when your body is sound, and your mind is clear.

Finances

Save some money. Have some savings at least for half a year of expenses. You never know when you might need to spend extra.

Spirituality

Learn to understand yourself at your deepest. Learn to control your attention. Calm down the storms in your head. Live life as peacefully as you can. You can!

Inspiration

Travel. Visit galleries, museums, theaters, and movie theaters. Browse exciting information online. Try foods and drinks. Explore nature. Get hobbies.

Challenges and adventures

From time to time, try doing something that you haven’t done before. Visit a new country. Sing karaoke. Try a new sports activity. Speak in front of a group of people. Challenge yourself doing something for 30 days to form new habits.

Home

Clean up the mess at your home. Make your bed in the morning. Clean up your desk. Don’t keep things that bring you negative emotions in front of your eyes, but gather things that bring you joy.

Care about others

Being content with yourself is crucial, but even more important is what you do interacting with others while being self-contented.

Family and Relatives

Respect your parents and elders. There were lots of times when you got help from them. There will come a time when you will have to help them. Call or visit them regularly. Keep contact.

When or if you have children, love them and be a role model to them. They are the ones who will continue the circle of life.

Romantic Relationships

Don’t waste yourself. Try to find meaningful relationships. And when you do, cherish and appreciate the moments.

Friends

Once in a while, meet your friends. Party together, have in-depth conversations, travel as a group. Show them your most authentic self. Keep their secrets. Support them in difficulties.

Pets

If you choose to have a dog, a cat, or a chinchilla, you must take care of them no less than of your other family members. Provide food for them, take care of their health, allow them to live a joyous life.

Neighborhood

Know and respect your neighbors. Keep your stairway and yard clean. Participate in the events of the neighborhood. When you party, inform your neighbors in advance about the possible noise. If they party, be the last one to call the police.

Communities

Be a member or a board member of your local, regional, and global communities of interest. Provide help when you have time and resources, or money otherwise. 

Causes

Whether you care about human rights or animal wellbeing, local communities or remote disaster relief, arts or sport, science achievements or religion; there is always some organization that acts in that area and needs your financial help. Donate some money now and then to support your cause.

Help communities and organizations with make-impact.org

You will be able to choose an organization of your interest and support them financially at user-centered donation platform make-impact.org. Until it is ready, you are welcome to do that through other channels, like their direct websites, Facebook fundraisers, or crowdfunding platforms. Use your chances to make a positive impact around you.

My Case

Do I live my full potential? I don’t get or experience everything all at once. But I try to seize the day as much as possible. If not now, then when?

Subscribe to the RSS feed or the newsletter to get notified about more posts like this.


Cover photo by  Miguel Perales.

Categories
Self-awareness

How to Find the Meaning of Life. Part 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Previously, I was describing how different people find meaning either in having, or being, or doing. Taking into account that doing plays an essential role in our lives, as it is what creates progress, I would like to introduce the Ikigai concept.

Ikigai Concept

Japanese have a concept of fulfillment that they call Ikigai. It combines what you are good at, what you like doing, what is good for the World, and for what you could get money. We could illustrate that with the following Venn’s diagram: Ikigai appears where all those areas cross each other.

Ikigai

To live a more fulfilling life, you might monetize one of your hobbies, find something likable in your current work activities, market what you are already doing to broader audiences, or find a niche where your products or services have a higher value. Don’t worry! Everyone’s situation and maturity are different. Maybe you won’t have your Ikigai in your twenties but will live your full potential in your fifties.

But how to find the thing about which you are genuinely passionate and would like to continue working on it if you do a lot of different joyful activities? What is the one true calling that would describe the deepest you?

One way to find that is to use the prioritizer – 1st things 1st, that I built to help people crystallize their thoughts and choices.

Using 1st things 1st to clarify your Ikigai

At 1st things 1st, you have something to prioritize and criteria by which to evaluate. When you rate each item by each measure, the tool calculates and sorts the elements from the most important to the least one.

Criteria

In the case of the searching of your Ikigai, you could have these criteria:

  • Do I love doing it?
  • Am I good at it?
  • Can I be paid for it?
  • Does the world need it?
Ikigai: define your criteria

There is a project template for that.

Activities

Then you would add all the activities that you have ever done that are very specific to you. Remember things from selling ice cream on the beach at your childhood to carving wooden figures in your free time, from enjoying movies on Netflix to visiting far-away secret locations of the World.

Ikigai: list out your activities

Evaluations

The next step would be to rate the activities by each criterion. For each activity, you would answer those questions with answers like:

  • definitely
  • probably
  • possible
  • probably not
  • definitely not

Only you know what you like doing most and how good you are at that. Be open-minded and creative when deciding how much the World needs your activities and how much profit you could get out of it. In the age of the Web, there are many more possibilities than before.

Ikigai: evaluate your activities

Ikigai: evaluate your activities

If you don’t agree with my evaluations, that’s OK. You would evaluate your activities according to your worldview.

Priorities

And then it would be the time to unveil your Ikigai. In the end, the tool would list you out the most valuable activities on which you should proceed to work.

For example, according to my choices and evaluations, my Ikigai is programming and writing. It is one of the reasons why I write this and other blogs, published a book about programming with the Django framework, and work on web projects.

Ikigai: see your priorities

Let me help you to find the meaning of your life at www.1st-things-1st.com.


Cover photo by Content Pixie

Categories
Self-awareness

How to Find the Meaning of Life. Part 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The meaning of life is personal. There is no global meaning that works the same for everybody. Everybody has their definition, and either recognize it, or believe that it is something to achieve, or still seek it.

I would put the meanings of life for different people into these categories:

  • What I have
  • What I am
  • What I do

Every person aligns with one or more of those categories.

What I have

People from this category ask questions like these: Do I have a diploma? Do I have an Instagram account? Do I have a family? Do I have enough experience points on my CV? Do I have a house? Do I have a car? Do I have enough money for whatever I decide to get?

What I am

People from this category ask questions like these: Am I a University graduate? Am I an expert in my field? Am I a loving husband, wife, father, mother, sister, brother? Am I a social-media influencer? Am I a good person? Am I the right person? Am I handsome, beautiful, stylish, cool, experienced? Am I rich and famous?

What I do

People from this category ask questions like these: Do I do at work what I love? Do I travel as much as I want? Do I care about others? Do I live a fulfilling family life? Do I have in-depth conversations with friends? Do I go out enough? Do I enjoy nature, arts, or parties every weekend? Do I get enough income for what I need and like doing?

My attitude

At this point in my life, I believe that not having, and not being, but action gives the most pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment. To do something that I like and find meaningful or at least fun is something that drives me to get up and enjoy another day again and again. Of course, there will be hard days now and then. But at those moments, I can stop, look at what I have, and think what I became. I should express gratitude to the universe for letting me be where I am. And the next day I go forward again.

Using 1st things 1st to clarify your priorities

But how should we decide where we should draw the most of our thoughtfulness and care? Do we live a meaningful life already, or do we still lack something?

The strategic prioritizer 1st things 1st can help you sort out what to do or have by your values. Then you can align your decisions and become a better version of yourself by your definition.

Subscribe to the RSS feed or the newsletter to find more information about the strategic prioritizer and get notified about other posts in this blog.


Cover photo by Daniel Kuruvilla.

Categories
Self-awareness

About Subjectivity and Objectivity

Reading Time: 3 minutes

People see, hear, and feel the world differently

It may be hard to believe, but people experience the same facts differently. When someone sees, hears, tastes, smells, or touches something, they filter that through their perception and make corresponding conclusions: I like it, I hate it, this is good, this is bad, this is interesting, this is dull, etc.

Previous experience forms the perception. The more happenings a person has and the more conscious a person is while experiencing; the more subtle will be the conclusions.

On the web, there are intriguing examples that are interpreted differently by different sides of people.

For example, there is a photo of a dress that looks like striped gold and white dress to some people, and it looks like a blue and black dress to some other people.

The thing is that some people expect there to be light colors in a shadow, and some others expect a photo of dark colors with high exposure.

In another example, there is a mysterious track, where some people hear “laurel,” and some other arguably hear “yanny”. 

I can explain that too. The track is built from both sounds at different frequencies: some people hear higher pitches better than lower ones.

Or let’s have a look at the picture in the cover. What are the colors of this shoe? White and pink or cyan and gray? 

Opinions, attitudes, mindsets

Fact interpretations are contextual. The same gray buttons will look lighter on a dark shirt, darker on the light shirt, or even colorful on a colored shirt. As people add contexts to facts by their previous experiences, they make different interpretations of the same events and make different conclusions.

So opinions are formed. Repeated opinions develop attitudes. Finally, attitudes create mindsets, which are later more and more difficult to change.

Cultural norms, rules, laws

As people communicate with each other, they form collective opinions, attitudes, and mindsets. So cultural norms are created. Some of those norms become rules and regulations. If the rules are good enough for the communities and society, they become governmental laws.

There are some laws that are more difficult or almost impossible to change compared to governmental laws. And these are the laws of nature, universal laws, or scientific laws.

  • You can’t change your genes to become someone else than you are.
  • You can’t make gold out of elements that don’t include gold atoms.
  • You can’t resist gravitation and float in the air.
  • You can’t take a thing and copy it without using resources to build it. 

Can you?

So what is subjective and what is objective

The observable things and happenings that are around us are the facts. They are objective. They just are. They just happen. They have explainable known or unknown causes to happen.

But any interpretation of the causes is subjective. It’s like modeling a picture of reality in our heads, trying to understand it. It’s like coloring the facts in the colors we are given from past experiences.

All the subjectivity we have is there to serve us or go against us. It’s for us to decide. It’s for us to choose when we should keep fighting for what we believe and when it is time to release the blocks and change our perceptions, attitudes, and shift our mindsets towards more objectivity and wisdom.

Clarify what is the most important to you using 1st things 1st

I built the 1st things 1st for you to choose which of the activities, ideas, thoughts, wishes, items, pieces of art, are the most important to you so that you could spend more time and energy on them, but lose the clutter. Why spend ten years on everything that just happens, when instead you could spend that time to build expertise in your field or live your dream.

Subscribe to the RSS feed or the newsletter to find more information about the strategic prioritizer and get notified about other posts in this blog.