Real Talk : Priorities and Prioritizing

Whether you are a Stay At Home Mom, a Student, a Business Owner, or the Head of a Corporation, we all have a running to do list. A list of things that we have to accomplish or we will not reach our goals. Sometimes that list grows longer and longer and it starts to feel never ending. Some days we feel like we don’t cross anything off, or like there is no way to get it all done. Some days we experience that self doubt of “Can I really do/handle it all?”.

As I said on Monday, there is no such thing as “doing it all”. It is simply not realistic. You can come close, but there is always a sacrifice somewhere. If we can’t “do it all” we have to know what we want to do. What is most important in our day to day. So how do we do that?

The first step is figuring out what is important to you and in what order do those items fall into. For me, being a Wife and then a Mom are my top two most important things. I will choose those two over anything else. Example, if my children are sick and they need my full attention, everything gets shelved for that day. Same with my Husband. The rest of the list falls into line with my business/blog, my job, then myself. I put myself towards the bottom of the list only because I know that if I start to feel burnt out or need a little breather I will take that. Once you have this narrowed down, it is easier to look at your day to day to do list and see what you will need to prioritize for the day.

The second step of prioritizing is saying No. Prioritizing gives you is an easier way to say “NO”. Sometimes we simply cannot do something, but we feel like we have to say yes. There is such a pressure put on us, especially women and especially mothers, that we have to say yes to everything, do everything, and look good doing it (although that’s certainly a topic for another post). I will repeat myself, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time doing things and being with people that are important to you, rather than giving an attempt at balancing a whole bunch of other things that you don’t really truly care about? Say no. If it is going to throw your priority list out of whack, or it doesn’t fit in with your list, and you don’t absolutely have to do it (i.e. a job or task for work), say no.

What are your priorities and how do you prioritize to make sure you feel like you are handling everything you want to handle?

How Do I Do It All?

I get asked quite frequently how I manage to do everything. I am definitely not the busiest person out there, but I do juggle several different things between family, work, business, and personal goals. With all of this, it means that my time can, at times, be very “tied up”. A lot of times, people take one look at what I do, or my to do list, and look at me like I’ve lost my mind. Cue: “How do you do it all?”

Here’s the grand secret for you: I don’t.

There comes a time where we all realize that we cannot “do it all”. Anyone who tells you that they are, is more than likely either lying, or very very stressed out and tired. **I want to say, there may be a point where you realize that things you thought you wanted are either not what you want or not possible at this time of your life. In this case, you may feel like you are “doing it all” and in that case it may be accurate for you.** If I ever say I “do it all”, if those words are ever uttered out of my mouth, I need to be put back in my place.

First off, I have help. I have an incredible husband who does more than he sometimes gets credit for and is such a help. He will help clean up the kitchen after dinner, does bath time and bed time with the kids and most evenings will take over the bulk of playing with them, so I can get a bit of peace. Weekends are time for all four of us to be together and get some family time in and our weeks are structured so that we can successfully do that. Responsibilities are no joke.

Second, is a thing called prioritizing. I will be going more into this later this week, but it is a big part of getting close to “doing it all”. Every day I have to look through what I want to accomplish and be realistic. Some days I don’t manage to cross everything off, other days I do. At the start of the day, I write down everything on my to do list. Once my list is down on paper, I am able to pinpoint what my most important items are. What are the “emergency” must do things, and what can wait another day. This is ESSENTIAL.

If we look at our days in a realistic sense, there is only so much that we can do. We HAVE to be able to “give up” things, say no when we can’t give our all to something. It is better to do only a couple of things a day, but to do them well, rather than try and cross everything off, but only doing those things half way. I’ll be talking more about prioritizing on Wednesday.

Basically at the end of the day- I don’t do it all. I prioritize, schedule, and say no when I simply cannot do something.

“Do It All and Look Good Doing It”

**I don’t honestly know if I’ve done a post on this before, but I feel like it really feels right to talk about right now***

***Oh, also I feel like the next few posts are going to all basically be somewhat of the same message, phrased differently. Maybe. Just a possibility. So, there’s that heads up for you***

Ah fall. The best time of year. September. Busy times are ahead for everyone. I feel like as much as well all LOVE fall, it’s also one of the busiest times of year in any life. Whether you are a mom with kids going back to school, an employee, business owner, student, whatever it is- fall can be hectic. We find ourselves ending any summer holidays, trying to get into that routine again and before too long the winter holidays come and it’s time to start that holiday shopping. Yes, it goes by that fast!

With all of the things going on, it is super easy to fall into the trap of feeling that “do it all & look good” feeling. There is such a pressure, on really anyone, but I find it mostly applies to women and mothers, of needing to be able to do everything with a smile on your face and heels on your feet. Not only are we pressured to be able to do everything, but also to keep ourselves looking in tip top shape. To be quite blunt…eff that.

We cannot do everything, and yet we sacrifice things to still try and do that. WHY?! Why can we not take a step back and really look at what we are missing out on? What are we actually missing out on? Why do we have such a hard time saying no? Why are we constantly pushing ourselves past our limits? For what? We get such a pressure, both from ourselves and from others (who may not even realize they are doing it) and it can make things so much harder.

Life is short and we only get one chance to really live it. Do we want to spend our lives running in a race against ourselves to get to the next thing, to cross all the t’s and dot all the I’s? OR do we want to stop every once in a while and enjoy what we have. Enjoy time with those who are in our lives. It is up to us to make that determination and up to us to put our feet down and say I don’t want to “do it all”. I don’t want to live my life this way. In this endless cycle.

I will say, I take the time to make myself look good in the mornings because it makes me feel good. I take the time to spend time with my husband and children because I love them and I cherish our times together. I take the time to write, to read, to enjoy my cup of tea. I take the time because that is what is important to me. That’s not to say that I don’t fall into that trap of “I need to be doing all of the things”. When I feel that start to happen I take a second to kind of check myself. To remind myself what is important to me. My husband. My family. What do I want and what do I find important right now.

In the next week or so, I am going to talk about the burning question that I get from everyone, as well as how I handle this pressure of checking off every item of my to do list. As well as the constant need to just be doing all of the things all of the time and look good while doing them.