Do you have a really long list of things you have to do this week? Me too! When we look at all the things that need to be done in one week we can feel overwhelmed.
So what do we do? How do we cope?
Here are a few things I have learned that have really helped me when I feel overwhelmed. I’ve gleaned them from wise people who write about time management, and from trial and error in my own life.
Setting priorities helps me cope with a busy life. It’s a habit that I have used for a few years and it works.
Here’s the process I use to help me set those priorities.
First, decide what really matters. What is important?
I carve out a little bit of quiet uninterrupted time and sit with my journal and think about what is really important to me and make a list.
I think about my own physical and mental well-being and what helps me cope with life.
I think about my home and managing those tasks. I think about relationships with the people I care about.
I think about my spiritual well being, because that impacts all my other tasks.
I think about my community and my involvement in my Church and neighbourhood.
Over the years I have realized that there are some things that are really worth my time and energy.
Time is so precious these days and I want to use it well.
(I don’t like that feeling after I have scrolled through Facebook and realize that I spent ½ an hour of my precious time and I didn’t even leave one comment!)
Some things on my list are standards that I have set. That standard dictates how I will use my time.
It may mean I get up earlier than I would like so that the standard can be met.
Others are how I will use my time related to tasks.
Still others are a frame of mind that requires that I adjust my schedule to focus on that need.
Here’s what I have decided is important to me
- Clean clothes available – preferably put away
- Time to read my Bible and pray before the day gets busy
- Daily good grooming – showering, doing my hair and make up
- Eating nutrient rich food
- Exercising my body and keeping it strong and fit
- A tidy home, with order, but not spotlessly clean
- Time for long conversations – at the dinner table, phone calls and visits with family and friends
- Caring for aging parents
- Playing with my granddaughter
- Communicating with my blog readers, regularly-preferably weekly
- Caring for people through my Church
My stage of life as an empty nester, a full time homemaker and a Grandma changes how I use my time and what is important to me. Your list will probably look very different from mine.
Once I have decided what things are important to me that helps me set some priorities for the day.
I try to pick 4 true priorities.
Yup, just 4 important tasks.
The urgent will always get done, but sometimes at the expense of the important.
Here’s a sample of 4 priorities set for today
1. do the laundry and PUT IT AWAY
2. write a blog post
3. call my Mom with lots of time to chat
4. do a strength training workout
The regular tasks of running my little household and caring for my people get done.
But I have learned that if I don’t set priorities the urgent will almost always crowd out the important!
It also helps me not to procrastinate on tasks I don’t really like to do.
When I set 4 tasks as priorities they almost always get done!
Today’s little step: Take some time to make your list of what is important to you. Then set 4 true priorities per day. It works for me!
Remember every little step makes a difference!
Peace be with you,