What you should know about priorities

Time management for life

Priorites help to motivate

Photo: Adesigna CC-By-2.0

You may have read in a number of books that in order to get anything accomplished, we have to prioritize. This is true in all aspects of life.

Earlier this year, I was inundated with about a dozen things that needed to be done. Some needed to get done ASAP, while others could wait. Frankly, I was having trouble keeping it all straight.

Then at the end of January, I read a post by Ali Hale over at Aliventures, titled “How to Handle Having Lots of Projects“. Being a fan of Ali’s work, and knowing how many irons in the fire that she has, I figured it was worth a read.

This lit the proverbial fire under my ass. I dug out the old whiteboard, and jotted down all of the items that I had to do. This was then followed up by numbering each item by what absolutely needed my attention right away. I also marked the things that could be done quickly. I covered personal items, and a lot of things for the blog.

Determine your priorities and focus on them. – Eileen McDargh

By going after some of the low hanging fruit, I was able to cross some items off. This gave me a sense of accomplishment, and motivated me further.

That whiteboard sits next to our couch, where I see it everyday. I add new items, and cross off those that are completed. Some of the low priority stuff is still there. They get worked on as I get time. When, or if, they become a higher priority, they’ll get erased from the board faster.

Slow down

One of the items that Ali listed at the end of her post was to get enough down time. When it comes to exercise, it’s a good idea to take some time off now and again. We schedule a one week break every twelve weeks, giving our bodies a chance to recuperate.

How do you prioritize your life?


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10 Responses to “What you should know about priorities”

  1. Ali Hale says:

    Just wanted to say a huge thanks for the link! :-) And really glad I could provide a dose of inspiration.

    Actually, your post is a good reminder for me that exercise is often the first thing to slip … my gym membership has lapsed, and I’m not even doing much walking at the moment (it’s been horrid weather here). The sun was shining today though and I got out for a brisk half-hour walk, and am determined to make more effort this week!

  2. Todd says:

    @Ali You’re welcome for the link, and thank you for your inspiration.

    Now, go get that walk in. The sun doesn’t shine much there (so I here), so you’d better make use of it. :)

  3. I would be lost without my Franklin Planner. I use the system religiously, sitting down every Sunday to plan out what I need to do for myself and others. While I still get overwhelmed sometimes, I do get a sense of satisfaction each day seeing all the things I was able to accomplish despite everything going on around me.

  4. Todd says:

    Ah, the Franklin planners. Great suggestion! I think I have one in a box somewhere that I may have to dig out.

  5. Shane Arthur says:

    In college i used to write everything down and take great joy when I was able to highlight the task with a highlighter. The unfinished items sat there unhighlighted and willed me to get bleep done.

    I’ve since forgotten this with kids and all, but I guess now is as good a time to dust off the highlighters and notebook and get busy. Thanks.

  6. Todd says:

    Shane, I used to make my lists also, and got away from doing so. I’m not sure why I got away from doing them, but I’m okay blaming the kids. :)

  7. Katherine says:

    I write lots of lists and then proceed to lose them. I really like your white board idea… but it would HAVE to be somewhere I would see it every day. Of course then I might see it so much I wouldn’t notice it LOL… excuses excuses.

  8. You’re exactly right. I have so much going on, I have to make a list for everything. It’s gotten to where I just use the voice function for quick reminders.

  9. Todd says:

    Awesome idea about the recorder function. Most cell phones have that. And, you can send it to email, because frankly, I read my email, but ignore the recorded messages on my phone. :)

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