How to Tell the Difference between Priorities and Commitments (and Why it Matters)

September 21, 2022

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Understanding the difference between priorities and commitments is a total game changer when it comes to managing your time. Let’s get into why in today’s podcast episode!

I was on a coaching call with a client a while back and she was asking my advice on staying true to her priorities when new, time sensitive opportunities come her way. Through the coaching session, we were able to get at the heart of what was really going on- she didn’t fully understand the difference between priorities and commitments.

The conversation we had on that call was so illuminating, that I decided to turn it into today’s podcast episode.

Have you ever looked at your calendar to see what’s coming up only to realize that it’s full of commitments you’ve made that have NOTHING to do with the current priorities that you’ve set? 

You’re left thinking:

How did this happen (again?!)

I thought I was getting better at saying no to things!

I can’t back out now or I’ll upset people and look flaky, so I guess I just have to suck it up.

It’s easy for me to describe this scene because before I truly understood the difference between priorities and commitments, it happened to me all. the. freaking. Time.

To avoid this happening to you (again), there are a couple of things you’ll want to understand.

The Difference Between Priorities and Commitments

PRIORITIES are areas of your life that you’re choosing to give your attention to for an extended amount of time in order for them to expand and develop.

They also require you to protect them by saying NO to things that start to pull your attention away from them so that they REMAIN priorities.

Typically a priority is also going to be something that holds great meaning for you and/or will create momentum in other areas of your life. 

For example, a current priority of mine is recording season 2 of my podcast. It’s important to me, I want to see it grow and expand, and it helps me gain meaningful momentum in my business.

I protect this priority by making sure that I have time each week to record, saying NO to things that would get in the way of that time, and having systems in place to make everything involved in keeping the podcast running easy and enjoyable.

On other hand, a COMMITMENT  is something that you’ve agreed to dedicate your time to (whether it’s a priority or not).

A commitment could look like hosting a bake sale for your kid’s class, house-sitting for your neighbor, or taking on a freelance gig for some extra cash.

None of these need to be major priorities in your life in order for you to commit to them, and THAT is the most important thing to note- which brings us to our next point.

Other people’s priorities can become your commitments

Let’s say you’ve taken on a freelance gig where the client is requesting a 2-day turnaround.

Instead of telling them that you’re going to need more time because you have other commitments to fulfill (the ones that are actually aligned with YOUR priorities), you agree, sign the contract, and get to work.

Now THEIR urgency has caused you to make the project one of YOUR priorities.

Don’t let this happen to you!

When you choose to prioritize something in your life, whether it’s a project in your business or your personal life, hold it to a high standard.

As you begin to field opportunities that come your way- remember to prioritize the commitments that align with the projects that are at the top of YOUR list first.

If you have extra time (or let’s be real, if you need the extra cash) you can begin to commit to other opportunities that may come your way- but do NOT allow these to come before your commitment to the priorities that you’ve set for yourself in your life.

Is this easier said than done at times? Yes.

Is it a life-skill that will serve you deeply once you fully embrace it? Double yes.

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • SUBSCRIBE TO THE THRIVE GUIDE: A FREE 10-part digital magazine delivered to your inbox each month to help you THRIVE as a multi-passionate. Subscribe here!

  • Ready to FINALLY break free from the pressure of doing “all the things” at once? Check out my group coaching program HERE.

Access the automated transcript HERE.


Understanding the difference between priorities and commitments is a total game changer when it comes to managing your time. Here’s why…podcast for multi-passionates, multi-passionate mastery


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