I love nothing more than crossing something off a list. It feels so good – an accomplishment. Until you look at the length of the rest of your to do list. Overwhelm and stress sets in again. Honey, you’ve made your list wrong.
I will be the first to admit I used to be the proud owner of a mile long to do list. I say proud because although it sucked, it kinda felt nice to have a lot of responsibilities and opportunities. In our society today we wear the “busy badge” with honor. We’re needed. There are things only we can do. That’s awesome. Until I realized I can’t do it all and I would go to bed every night feeling like I worked hard all day, but didn’t get a dang thing done.
So why did I feel that way? How would I be busy all day long yet not feel like I accomplished anything?
It came down to my priorities. I wasn’t taking care of them. I wasn’t being proactive. I would just react to whatever the day threw at me. Have you been there? Are you there right now? Just moving through your day without and clear set goals? I feel you.
Although there’s always a million more things I could be doing, these days I’m feeling at peace when I lay my head down for bed. I’ve shifted my focus and I didn’t have to overhaul my life. I just had to get real with myself and adjust.
What are your top 5 priorities? I took time during my lunch break one day and reflected on that. Mine look like this:
- Self care
- Coaching business
Once you’ve identified yours, take it one step further. For each priority, what does it mean to be taking care of them? For example, I listed my relationship with God as my #1. This means I spend time with Him daily through quiet time in the Word and prayer. List these 1-3 actions out for each.
Next, grab your planner. How do your priorities and schedule align? Mine were really out of alignment – if you’re feeling overwhelmed and unproductive, I would guess yours is too. Make an adjustment in your schedule to build in these action items from your priorities in your daily routine. My advice, don’t lump all those actions into the end of your day. If they’re priority, they should come first. These things should be done before you’re trying to add extra things to your list. This may mean you start saying “no” more often and that is okay! You don’t need to feel guilty.
Being accomplished in the areas that mean the most to you will allow you to feel like you’ve won the day! You’ve taken care of the first things first. Let go of that mile long to do list and focus on what matters! We can talk about that list another day…