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How To Prioritize So That What Matters To You Actually Makes It Into Your Day

How To Prioritize So That What Matters To You Actually Makes It Into Your Day

We’ve all been there.

You get to the end of the day and you’ve not done any of the things you wanted to do. Instead, you’ve spent the day distracted, running from appointment to appointment, doing everything for everyone else, attending to the urgent.

You’re spent. You’ve been going all day. Yet you don’t really feel like anything got done.

The only way to make sure that what matters to you actually makes it into your day is to make sure it makes it into your day.

If you wait for the space to open up in your schedule so that suddenly there will be space for what matters most to you, you will be waiting forever.

Space doesn’t open up itself. You must create the spacetwitter-logo

How To Prioritize So That What Matters To You Actually Makes It Into Your Day

Making sure what matters gets on the schedule (and actually happens) requires you to identify what matters to you.

For me it’s my family, doing my part to change the world for the better, my own well-being, writing/creating content, and my friends.

What is it for you? Write it down. I’m serious.

When you’re vague about what matters you’re vague about your priorities. And what matters won’t happentwitter-logo

Be sure this is what’s most important for you, not for your family, for your mother, for society, or for your friends. Just because someone else thinks something should be important to you doesn’t mean it should.

Once you have clarity there, identify the specific tasks and activities that relate to the areas you’ve identified as your priorities.

For me these include writing my blog every week, spending time with Penelope, Ruby, Mike, and my extended family, moving my body and taking my vitamins, talking to my girlfriends, and reading books that inspire me.

Then, block the time off in your calendar for the things that matter.

Look at your schedule at the beginning of the week and put the time in for the activities that are related to your priorities.

Then schedule everything else around those things.

This seems obvious, I know, but are you really doing it? I found that I often wasn’t. The week would end and I would be like: Wait a second. How has it been 7 days since I moved my body? Why am I trying to squeeze writing a blog into the 20 minutes before our team needs it to get it out to our community?

Left to the default, your time will never be your own. The only way to make your time your own is to own it.

As a recap:

1. Decide what matters.
2. Identify what daily/weekly activities relate to what matters.
3. Block the time out for those things and schedule everything else around them.

Might you get less done from a traditional “productivity” perspective? Maybe. Might you disappoint some people? Almost definitely.

But your life will be filled with what matters. So how much you did or how many people you pleased won’t feel like it matters as much.

A life filled with what matters is a life well lived. And the only way to make sure you have a life like this is to do it on purpose.

OVER TO YOU:

What are your top priorities? What are the activities associated with those things? How do you make sure they get on your daily calendar? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

  • Amanda says:

    The problem for me is when I get to the details portion. There is so much that falls under family/creativity/work/school that I start to panic. Family: pay off debt so that we can enjoy trips together>get through money love course>figure out system to manage it all.
    That is one tiny section of the mind map that develops when I start this exercise.
    I constantly feel like I am running out of time.

  • Ryan says:

    My top priorities are: having a strong spiritual connection to the Divine/God; spending time with my baby; seeing my family more often and talking to them on the phone often; doing work in the world that actually helps someone’s life be better; my health; and expressing myself creatively which right now means blogging. I totally agree with everything in this post, you are so right. If you don’t schedule it, you are not making it a priority.

  • It’s so refreshing to read this! I read a blog post the other day with jewellery designer I admire. She is all about slow living but like you Kate wants to make a difference in the fashion industry. She said she has had the least stressful 6 months because she decided to only prioritise her career and being with her baby, everything else is secondary. It was so refreshing like it was refreshing to read this. (Check the post out here – it’s in Swedish but you can translate it: https://www.slowfashion.nu/blogg/saker-jag-inte-gor-om-mitt-senaste-halvar-som-ostressad)

    I think I have had so much pressure on myself to ‘do it all’ and then not feeling like I get anywhere. It allowed me to right now also focus on starting up my business, staying healthy and my marriage. Everything else is also secondary things I do when I have energy and time.

    What I really liked with this woman’s post was that she wrote the list of what she is NOT doing. It is easy through social media to think everyone else is also doing everything that you do not have time to do. As such I think it’s important to share what we are not doing.

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