This article suggests a five-point process for establishing and achieving priorities and offers additional tips on how to “reset” in order to accomplish your objectives.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Business studies, entrepreneurship, life skills

Key Questions to Explore:

  • How do I establish and achieve my priorities?
  • What are my triggers?
  • How do I “reprogram” myself in order to have a better opportunity of achieving priorities?

New Terminology:


Materials Needed:

Copies of the article for the students

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Frequently many well-intentioned people sit down in to plan what they hope to accomplish over the coming day. Despite this effort they often find that the day has “gotten away from them” and events have taken over, putting their plans off track and, many times, resulting in more tasks to be done than when the day started.

As a first step, a priorities list should be established and there are many strategies for this task. One such tried and true strategy is to SUG the tasks. This involves looking at tasks and determining for each what its Significance is, how Urgent it is and what the likelihood is of the Growth of the problem. Adopting such a strategy for prioritizing will go a long way to achieving the desired outcomes. This, however, is not the only challenge. There must also be some personal reflection on the person’s own tendencies and habits to see if they are contributing to the lack of accomplishment.

These individuals commonly fail to see that lack of a strategy to carry out their plan and a failure to do some self-analysis is the cause of their inability to achieve their well-intentioned goals . This lesson will provide an opportunity to consider ways to establish an effective strategy and some guidance in looking at what personal habits may be contributing to this frustration of failing to “plan their work and work their plan”.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Ask the students to explain the saying “Plan your work. Work your plan.”
  • Once they have established the idea that this involves establishing priorities and then attempting to address that list, ask them to write down how they go about creating that list of priorities.
  • Once they have done this, tell them that they are going to review this process with their classmates by engaging in what is called “talking triads”.
  • Arrange the students in groups of three and tell them that they are to share their ideas with the other two members of their triad and then work with them to develop what the group would consider to be the best strategy for developing priorities.
  • Have the triads share their findings by reporting back to the class.
  • Once they have done this, ask the triads to discuss to what degree they believe personal habits tend to get in the way of achieving their priorities and have them list their ideas.
  • Again, have the triads report their findings.
  • Once they have done this, hand out the article and allow them time to read it.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Once they have read the article, have the triads review their previous findings to see if they would now alter anything. Have them report back to the class.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • The students will be able to present a strategy for establishing priorities and offer ways to ensure that personal habits do not interfere with the achievement of those goals.

Confirming Activity:

  • Have the students develop a personal priorities list for the next day and then report back to the class on how successful they were in accomplishing their goal.