How to Start Prioritizing Your Time

I kicked off this week by writing about procrastination and how to combat it. Then, on Tuesday, I experienced about half a day of that. I skipped my workout, layed around in my pajamas, watched Ricky and Morty, did a sink load of dishes, and chipped away at relentless loads of laundry. Although important to get the laundry and dishes taken care of, I could’ve spent the in-between time writing more articles, creating more content, or watching some tutorials on branding.

Ahh, but alas, we are merely mortal works in progress.

So, I forgave myself for the lazy day (deeming it self-care) and decided to share a little bit about prioritizing our time and how to start implementing a plan for success.

The first thing I’ve realized is that it’s best to create a few categories for your tasks, ie. urgent, important, not important. There’s actually a chart you can make and put on any visible surface that you can access here. I find it incredibly helpful when I’m trying to choose which category my projects or chores fit into. Emily at Loved for Always shared this chart below on her site and it offers a preview of its practical application:

 

quadrant-one.jpg

 

So figuring out what your most pressing tasks and deadlines are (ie. things will go terribly wrong if you don’t do this) is the priority. Then you work from there. Consider what things will have consequences for not doing, such as replying to work emails or setting up a dentist appointment for that cavity you discovered, then move onto what will bring you closer to success and a sense of accomplishment in reaching your goals.

Admittedly, I don’t use the chart the way it is shown above, but I do apply the same ideas. I make a to-do list that I rank by numbers, one being the most important and pressing task that I MUST GET DONE TODAY, NO EXCUSES – all the way to the most menial, around fifteen or twenty. That way, I can get all of my projects, ideas, and tasks down on paper so they aren’t floating around in my head distracting me. It takes some effort, but I find that if I do it the night before, I get a better quality of sleep because I don’t have 50 different things running through my brain. You can always add to the list, and having a to-do list filled with crossed off tasks is just so satisfying.

Play around with it and do what works for you. Maybe you’re already a master prioritizer, in which case, my hat’s off to you. If not, explore different ways of approaching your to-do list and feel free to share which approach kept you productive.

 

 

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