Fail to plan, plan to fail...reverse prioritizing

The other day I was prompted by my subconscious to change my evening commute home. I didn’t listen to the prompting and instead took my usual hum drum path home.

I was about halfway home when I jammed on my brakes because traffic was backed up for the next couple miles. It was a dead stop. I immediately rebuked myself for not listening to the prompting I had. Usually, I know better.

Had I listened to my inner voice it would have saved me some time and unneeded “stress”. In the grand scheme of things, this problem I was having was very minor and almost laughable. I don’t bring it up to complain. I bring it up to focus on something very particular.

It’s called Think=Act.

In other words, when we think about something or are prompted to do it. We should immediately do it.

I am practicing this exact principle for the next 30 days, and making a daily log of how many times I do this.

I will release the data as soon as I am complete, it will be next month on June 15th, 2017.

If you want to do it too, here is a downloadable Spreadsheet.


Going along with this notion of Think=Act is something called reverse prioritizing, or as Holt Condren, author of “Surf the Woods” calls it. Prioritizing Paradoxically.


There are a lot of self-help books out that try and teach you how to improve productivity and, time saving techniques, or how to get super-motivated. It’s a whole lot of hogwash. How do you spend 35 to 40 minutes preparing for something that really doesn’t take any time at all to do?

The best way to be productive is to stay productive. From the moment you get up in the morning, to the moment you lay down at night.


How it Works:

I would tell you to make a list of the things that you think you need to do, but I won’t. You should be doing this anyway. I pretty much write everything down, I carry a journal, but not for journal’s sake. I use it to write something down every time I have an idea. Usually it’s while I’m in a meeting or at work.

As soon as I have free time, I do my best to get it done.

Things that you might need to do:

  • Mow your lawn
  • Write an email
  • Make a phone call
  • Pay a bill
  • Play with your kids
  • Get off the freaking phone
  • Stop the alert notifications on your phone
  • Clean the AC unit
  • Power wash the house
  • Change the oil in the car
  • Paint the fireplace in the Den (Yep this one is mine. Guilty.)


So, your list might look a little something like this. The next thing to do is to pick the one that is going to be the most bang for your buck (Or one that needs immediate or critical attention.) Then execute!

This is what reverse prioritizing is all about.

We like to do little things, but not the most important or effective things.

He trick to reverse prioritizing is doing the one thing that you dread, and doing it first.

Most people hate exercising. It’s mostly psychological. For some reason they view exercise as a chore not a fun activity. The reality, this will give you the most bang for your buck, hands down.

  • Improves flexibility and endurance
  • Reduces risk for heart disease and diabetes
  • Releases Endorphin's
  • Increases Testosterone
  • Eliminates or reduces fat
  • Keeps you healthy
  • Relieves stress
  • Makes you feel good
  • Sense of accomplishment

There isn't much else you can do that will give you both internal and external results, there may be some outliers, but exercise is the best choice.

The real question you have to ask yourself

Is this a priority or not?

If exercising isn't a priority, you wont ever do it, you will most likely gain weight, feel lethargic, hate yourself, have low self-esteem, eating disorders, and die because of your unhealthy choices.

If mowing the lawn isn't a priority, it will get shaggy and your neighbors might get pissed.

If you don't spend time with the kids and are attached to your phone. Your kids will be attention starved, act out, and do anything to get attention. They might even resent you. More than likely though, they will grow up to be just like you. This one goes for me too.

I'm already learning a lot about my behaviors. If you are with with me, don't forget to get your spreadsheet and keep track of what you do when you are prompted.

- Stephen