How can I possibly prioritize?

But everything I need to do is important! How can I possibly prioritize?

How do I easily start keeping track of my to do’s when I haven’t been for a while?

I’ve read both these things over the past week in various places (or versions of them).

Let me share a story about a woman named Anne with you.

She wanted to have a successful business, be involved in organizations she believed in, and spend time with her family.

And she believed that it was super important to be super productive. How much could she get done in a day?!

She worked in her business during the day, attended various committee meetings in the evening, and spent the remaining evenings with her husband.

Anne productively drove herself right into the ground.

She started to dread going out at night to any committee meeting. And anything that needed to be done for those committees? She complained to herself all the way through it. They were cutting into her family and business time! How dare they!

But it was all so important. And they were counting on her. And she secretly felt that no one could do the job as well as she could, so it was important for her to continue – despite how frustrated she was with it all.

And it got to the point where she realized something needed to change.

So, Anne looked at everything she was doing and realized that she wanted to be doing a better job. But her heart wasn’t in it. Slowly, Anne stepped down from various committees and commitments. Keeping only the ones she was most passionate about.

Anne looked forward to the free time that would now appear in her schedule, but it never appeared. She still was super busy and everything was still important.

And she was spending more time procrastinating, and then beating herself up for procrastinating when there was so much to do! And she was so very tired.

Again, she realized something had to change – and she had a strange thought – What if instead of asking, what’s the next thing to do, she asked, what will support my productivity? And when she did that, sometimes she was surprised that the answer wasn’t the next thing on her to-do list, but getting a glass of water, going for a quick walk or meditating.

My point? Sometimes we make it so much more difficult than it has to be. We think we have to do it all and we don’t. And if we try to, we’ll end up frustrated, overworked, and oh-so-tired.

So, a quick answer to the questions we started with:

  1. But everything I need to do is important! How can I possibly prioritize?
    What on your list will bring you income? This includes tasks 2 or 3 steps away from generating income.
    What on your list has to be done in the next 24 to 48 hours?
    Tasks that meet both of those criteria are your highest priority tasks.

  2. How do I easily start keeping track of my to do’s when I haven’t been for a while?
    What are your three most important tasks to complete this week? Write those down.
    At the beginning of each day write down what your most important task is and a task to be completed after that one.
    This will keep you moving forward and making progress.
    And keep a blank piece of paper under your daily list. On that piece of paper write down things that need to be done as they pop into your head. Keep it under your daily list so you’re not looking at a long list of things to do.

These are quick ways to start to get a handle on everything we have to do.

You can watch the Live Stream I did on this topic here.

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