The Secret to Owning your To-Do List
To do lists can be so overwhelming. There's just so much to do, and sometimes it's hard to know where to start.
I used to struggle with this. There was always too much to do, all of it mattered, and I'd be floundering - running from task to task, trying to figure out what was more important, where to spend my time and what to do first. And really, I got very little done.
I mean obviously some stuff was more important; spending 20 minutes on Missy's reading is super important, spending that time organizing my baking drawer... yeah, not so much.
But other things sat in that murky grey area in between - go to the gym for an hour, or keep working to hit that deadline?
We've all got a massive list of things we should be doing. And we've all got the same number of hours in every day. But there's one little secret that'll take you from being bogged down in endless to dos, to actually owning them - and achieving what you want and loving it.
And the secret is, sorting out your priorities.
Ok, so perhaps it's not a huge secret - but how to actually do it is. If you've ever read anything on getting organized, 'prioritizing your to-do list' comes up a lot - but it's rare for anyone to explain how to do it.
And not many people actually know what their priorities are - they've never really thought about it. Of course kids and work and your relationship are - but in what order? And how about the other stuff you love? Also, many people have never truly set their priorities because they have to make choices - 'I want this, more than I want this.' And making decisions is hard.
Now, priorities aren't goals. Goals are something you'll achieve in the future like getting that job, losing 10kg or renovating the house. Priorities are in the present tense - they're what you can do and be today. This blog is a priority for me. And being a great mum and wife. But my blog comes second to Dan and Missy. Always. Because those guys are more important to me.
In a nutshell, your priorities come down to what you care about most, in order of importance.
But they aren't set in stone! Your priorities will change as major pieces of your life change - Missy started school this year, so all of a sudden her reading and routines are hugely important to me, where as last year our routine was pretty non-existant and revolved around Dan's hours at the office. Dan's priorities have changed this year too - he can't get home at 9pm if he wants to see his daughter - so now, those late nights at work are less of a priority than playing with Missy.
The order of your priorities will change from week to week too. Last week, my first priority was coping with the crazy at the office until Wednesday, and Missy's birthday party after that. Apologies to everyone emailing me about when the 2018 planners are coming, but her party and friends came first, and I spent two days preparing and baking, and gladly stayed up until 4am both days. And it was lovely - she and her friends had an awesome time, and she'll always remember it. This week though, it's all about the blog, and I've pushed back everything that's not urgent to focus. I've even cleared my social calendar for the next month to concentrate on the blog - because I want my blog stuff more than I want to go to those events.
Ok, so I'm going to stop rambling and give you a quick 7 steps to sorting out your priorities and owning your to do list.
Seven Steps to Owning Your
Grab a piece of paper and write down what you want. Don't think, just write down what you think your priorities are. Write what you want - not your husband, friends, mother or mother-in-law. Just brain dump everything that's important. It might be that you want to spend more time relaxing, or giving more back to the community, or repairing your marriage if it's gone a little off, working on a hobby or building your business. Your priorities will be unique to you.
Take a look down your list, and whittle them down to just five. It's ok to have more, but try to keep it short. Then put them in order of importance. Yours will look something like this... (yep, these are actually mine at the moment).
1. I want to be a great mum to Missy.