In the food pyramid, old or new, we can see the larger areas are more important than the smaller ones.
Easy enough, right? The above image (courtesy of good old paint) is a general pyramid anyone can use.
"But how Niel?!?? Damn you! Give us answers!"
We see Roman numerals under each section, which are:
I. - Primary importanceTo break it down, one to six are things most important in your life to the things that aren't helping you.
II. - Secondary
III. - Third
IV. - Fourth
V. - Rest & relaxation
VI. - Mistakes/Unproductive
I'll use myself as an example.
I. - Doing well in schoolThe first thing is most important in my life.
II. - Reading books, articles, and anything that makes me smarter
III. - Exercising and taking care of my health
IV. - Keeping my stuff neat and tidy, laptop running well cause I didn't renew warranty, etc.
V. - Listen to music, nap, write blog posts
VI. - Oversleeping in the morning, being late to class, browsing random sites online
Two is a big hobby of mine because I enjoy educating myself through those items.
Three is also important, but if exams are coming up, I need to buckle down and can only exercise 1-2 times a week. Sometimes I may go longer between meals than normal, it varies.
Fourth is not essential, but it does help to keep me organized and having the previous things run smoothly.
Five, burning out is a big problem when becoming overzealous. Taking a moment to gather my energy through various activities I enjoy keeps me refreshed for working hard.
Lastly, six, those trivial matters that aren't helping me the least bit in #'s 1 through 4.
It's essential to minimize that small sliver that is #6. When it becomes too large, we have no time for 5 because we're too busy trying to get everything else done.
Likewise, the same can be said for all the points, except #1. If one step grows too large, it endangers the preceding commitments.
Spend too much time on one, you overlook the other things and don't have enough time to give them your attention. If I spend too much time reading books that aren't for class, then I won't have time to read my course textbooks.
I used myself as an example, but this changes person-to-person.
A recovering cancer patient would have rest as #1 as opposed to me or a parent at risk losing their job would be trying to find another job, take care of bills, and try balancing their life at home.
I could blab on forever, but I don't want to bore everyone. So, I'll end this with something for you to take and print out.
The following is a download of a Word file. In it, you'll find the diagram and the Roman numerals with a line between each. There's a dash for you to write in one or two sentences on how you're going to stick to your goals.
With that said, print it out, fill it out, and stick it somewhere you frequent often, like your desk.