Monday, February 15, 2010

Time Management Junkie--Skill #1--The Priority List

A couple of years ago I took on too much at once.  Ever do that?  Anyhow, I ended up doing  a lot of stuff halfway.  I didn’t do a terrible job but I didn’t do any of it with excellence.   That is so not me.  One day when I was crying venting to Matt, he suggested I pull out of some of my obligations.  My initial thought--what?!?!  His stance: Better to give the work to someone who would do a great job than to rely on someone who didn’t have the energy to do her best.  This was my, “Aha, I need a priority list” moment.  Ever have one of those?

If you are feeling overwhelmed, busy, or stressed for time, might I suggest that you step inside yourself and inventory your priority list?  Here’s some truth. 

If everything is important, than nothing is.

What matters to you and what doesn’t?  I literally won’t sleep if the dishes aren’t done; that’s a hill I’ll die on.  Does is matter if I don’t know what I’m wearing tomorrow?  Not so much.  My day will be a disaster if I don’t know by 10 am what we are having for dinner.  Do I care if we have hot dogs for lunch?  Nope.  I will play with my children.  Period.  Do I care if the laundry is done?  It is preferable, but not mandatory.

Here’s my top 10 (in no specific order):
  • Good night’s rest
  • Quiet time for prayer, devotions, etc.
  • Solid, healthy breakfast (really, if I don't get some good protein in the a.m. I am NOT a pretty sight)
  • Dinner planned
  • Time to play with my children
  • Alone time with Matt
  • A hot shower
  • Dinner as a family around the table
  • A clean (looking) house (this is where the dishes come in).
  • A chance to visit with an adult

I’m not overly precise and picky about how these are done (meaning my quiet time could be at 6 am one morning and 9 pm the next day. Sometimes alone time and prayer time are done in the hot shower). The point is I have priorities but, though more solid than some of my negotiables, they are still kind-of negotiable.

Are you wondering why a list helps?  Well, if you are running out of time,  you do your priorities, not the negotiable but you can't do that until you know which are which.

So make a list right now of 10 things that HAVE to get done every day for your day to run smoothly.  Think on this; mull it over with your husband.  Maybe each write a list and compare them. Create a couples list--what needs do you both have and how can you help one another.

Make your list and then come back here and share it.


  1. I can so relate to the comment about the dishes. I also canot sleep if there is a sink full that need to be washed. But I also have a problem sleeping when there are numerous other things that need to be be done as well. I think I will be making a list for myself!

  2. Amy--I'm so grateful someone else is neurotic as me when it comes to dishes? Do you have to have a SUPER shiny sink , too?

    If you make a list, please come back and share it!

  3. What a great idea! I'm so bogged down all the time - I ought to give this a go.

  4. Thanks Jessica. If you do it, please come back and share your list!

  5. Yes I prefer a shiny sink, I usually scrub down the sink after the dishes are done! :)

    Here is my list for this week. I did not not make a Top 10 list, but it's a start. It's a list of things that I can't seem to ever make time for.

    1.) Create a food log (to help with my weight loss) and STICK to it!

    2.) Wake up early to spend extra quality time with my family everyday this week.

    3.) Color with Ava (Her request)

    4.) Stick to P90X everyday this week.

    5.) Run and or cycle at least 5 days this week

    6.) Get paperwork ready for this weekend to file our taxes.

    This is a small list, I know. I am going to see how well having a list works for me and go from there.


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