Lately I feel like I am being pulled 100 different directions and am struggling to find the balance. Everyone needs something from me and it’s something that needs to be done right then. As someone who doesn’t like to do a half a** job I am having a really hard time doing quality work in a small amount of time and it’s starting to take a toll on me. Between a full time job, being an editor, my personal blog, and my family/social life prioritizing is challenging! The last couple of weeks I have had project after project and all of them are so important that they just can’t be at the bottom of my list. So how do I prioritize when everything is a priority?
 
 

Make a to-do list
Lists are a huge part of my life! I always have my planner and notebook with me because you never know when you need to schedule something, write down an idea, or remember an important even coming up. Lists help keep me grounded because sometimes it feels like I have a million things to do when in reality I only have 3. Seeing my list of things to get done helps me visualize how I can plan my day and make the most out of each task. For example if I need to run to the post office and the bank I can remember that the two buildings are right next to each other and kill two birds with one stone on my lunch break! It seems pretty silly but when I get stressed out I forget things like the bank and the post office are right next to each other so I think I don’t have enough time during my lunch break to run those errands when I really do.

Lists are not only good for visualizing but they also make you feel accomplished. I don’t know about you guys but there is nothing more satisfying than crossing off something on  your to-do list. We are in such a visual age now so seeing your list and seeing your completed list actually makes you happier. Most of us probably have day planners or notebooks but do you actually use it as much as you should? I have been an organized planner/note taker for as long as I can remember! You know how some people can’t leave their house without their phone? Yeah well I can’t leave my house without my planner! It is color coordinated and I make sure to get the planners with a monthly overview and a day by day section. It’s perfect for looking ahead but also getting down to the details!

Delegate or say no
This is honestly the thing I struggle with the most. I have some controlling tendencies about me and I would much rather have something be done right the first time and the way I envision it and sometimes letting someone else take the reigns is scary. What if they don’t understand what I told them to do? What if they totally fail and I have to fix it? Here’s the thing; those things are bound to happen. No two people can perfectly envision the same concept the same and sometimes people make mistakes! Delegating doesn’t have to be a negative thing. You can create learning opportunities for other people and it totally creates less stress for you.

Sometimes we don’t always have someone who can help us with tasks and if we can’t find someone to help us then why should we agree to it at all? I’ve noticed that people who are stressed out the most are three things: 1) Really great at what they do so people trust them with tasks 2) Very creative and organized and 3) Have a hard time saying no or making realistic timelines for themselves. Obviously being a “stressed out” person isn’t a bad thing but when you start to see yourself burnt out take a step back and look at the bigger picture. I promise no one will be mad at you if you say that you just can’t take on one more thing at the moment. Something I try to do when I say no is think of other people who might be able to help them. This way I feel like I still helped a little.

 
Communicate

This is another one that can be a huge help if you allow it! Sometimes just talking about how overwhelmed you are can really relieve you. Getting support from someone and having them tell you that you are strong and can get it done works wonders! Often we feel like if we talk about our struggles and insecurities it is a sign of weakness. We are naturally a competitive race so showing “weakness” seems crazy at times but honestly that is just ridiculous. Talking about how you feel is powerful and courageous! Nothing is too small or a burden on others if it is strongly effecting your quality of life. You become close to people that you trust with those emotions and know they won’t be judgmental so use them to help you.

On the other hand, talking to your employer about where you are at in your projects and being realistic with your goals goes a huge way. It shows them that you are actively working on the assignment and you are creating boundaries with them. By communicating your needs and your timeline they can get a better understanding of how you work and what you need for future assignments. Build a relationship with your colleagues so that you are more comfortable saying no or asking for help in the future.

Get inspired
There are so many different ways that I can get jazzed for the day and they are all so simple! The two biggest motivators for me to have a great day are 1) Dress how I want to feel and 2) Get a rocking playlist. I have been doing the first one since as early as 7th grade and it still works to this day. I could tell you countless stories of how I woke up just dreading the day because I wasn’t feeling good, had a million things to do, etc. but I decided to do my hair/makeup and put on a nice outfit anyway and had an amazing day! When you feel your best you do your best and others will notice as well.

The power of music is so real and I can’t imagine my life without. I’m currently listening to the “Productive Morning” playlist on Spotify as I write this post and it is amazing! I have been “working” on this post for three days now and this is the first morning I have actually collected my thoughts and been able to write. It’s a softer mix but it is just what I need to tune out and stay focused. Hardly any lyrics so I don’t get distracted and the music is soothing and inspiring at the same time. When I really need something to get my body moving (for cleaning or running errands) I turn on “my jam song” (currently My House be Flo Rida) and just get pumped! Then I either listen to my “Favorites” playlist or “Songs to Sing in the Shower” playlist on Spotify.

 

Take time to reflect
Reflection has always been a big part of my life. I truly believe that we can’t grow or see the positives in life if we don’t take time to notice them. People often think that reflection is a time consuming “hippie” task but it’s far from that. My understanding of reflection is taking the time to look from the outside and get out of my head. One way we can do this is to take time to recognize what you did great and what you would like to work on after you complete a task. This will help you see improvements for future tasks and help you recognize how much great work you did! Another way to reflect is during a project. You only need to take a couple of minutes throughout your day to step back and ask yourself if you need help or see that you are ahead of schedule. Take this time during your lunch break or on your drive home from work. We often forget to take care of ourselves when we are busy so reflecting on our hard work a couple times a day can help with that!

Even though I don’t always have my life together and sometimes I neglect this blog I really do love my life! I love being busy and feeling important. I love that I’m only taking on tasks that I believe in and want to do. I love that I have amazing support systems and influencers to seek advice and help from and I love that I have a creative outlet to help me stay grounded when times get tough.

What helps you stay organized when your life is crazy?

0 thoughts on “How to prioritize when everything is a priority”

  1. I always make lists to help keep organized…otherwise I will forget! I also have to learn to delegate, something I hope to accomplish in the next 3 months (for work). 🙂

  2. SAME! If I don't write something down I am so screwed! Or if I write something down and it's wrong, I am still screwed. I rely probably a little too much on my planner and lists but hey it works!

  3. I don't even know!! I know bloggers with full time demanding jobs and still post like 2-3 posts a week! And I'm over here like, WOO I GOT ONE! haha

    Hope they help 🙂

  4. Delegating is HUGE and saying no might be even more huge! I love taking a list and then writing down what to do right NOW, then later today (in time blocks!), then tomorrow, and so on. It helps make the huge to-do list more actionable and easier to look at, plus provides good direction in terms of priorities!

    Coming Up Roses

  5. To-do lists are super helpful! Communicating and figuring out what's REALLY the top priority is super important too. It's tough when you're being pulled in a million different directions!

  6. This is perfect, Chandler. I love the quote that “you can do anything but not everything.” I'm going to print it out and pin it on my wall right now! Keep the good work up, girl.