Yesterday, I was sitting on my deck on an absolutely gorgeous day doing one of the things I love most in the world, writing. Well, it was actually two things I love, because Little Miss Zoey was spending time with me, enjoying the sun and keeping me company. A sink full of dishes was waiting for me in the kitchen but there’s no way in hell I was letting sunshine go to waste, and even more importantly, as I perused my planner, I saw that writing a draft for this week’s blog post was written under priorities. Hence, the dishes waited. I know we chatted about priorities last week, but I think they are a pretty big deal. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s gab. I’m going to be talking about prioritization over the next few weeks.
Let’s face it, on any given day we are faced with an abundance of tasks that need to be done, and that’s on top of cooking, cleaning, laundry and sustaining the lives of our progeny. Some days we can haul ass and do it all, and other days it is impossible to accomplish that many undertakings in a 18 hour period, and we need to discern where our time and attention will go. That is the lovely skill of prioritization. Sometimes I nail it and sometimes I need to assess at the end of the day what the hell went wrong. But either way, when I’m making sure to prioritize, I am not simply reacting to the day and all that is thrown at me. I’m tackling! When I know what needs to be done and what I really desire to do, then I am more in control of my life, my goals and ultimately, how I feel.
So, each morning I bust out my planner. Check it out. I bought Brendon Burchard planners for Paul as a Christmas present a few years back and he wasn’t digging them. Hence, these babies became mine. Poor Paul. He always gets me the best gifts I never I wanted and I always get him the most meh gifts he never asked for.
But, back to the planner. I think about the upcoming day and what really needs to get done. What task, if not accomplished, will result in a negative consequence? Those are written in the planner for sure.
If I have an abundance of tasks on deck for the day I ask myself what can wait. If the activity in question can easily be done on another day with no repercussions then that item is jotted on a different day.
What activities will bring my family closer together? I want to make sure I’m connecting each day and while it may sound ludicrous to pencil in “bike ride with Karl,” when I see it in there I definitely make time for it. The meaningful items get written down.
What tasks will bring me closer to my goals? As parents, we often make sure that everybody else’s needs, desires and goals are met, taking care of our own selves only if there is time. It is super important that we carve out moments for ourselves, not only focusing on self care, but for our own ambitions and desires, as well. We erroneously believe that suffering, or neglect of ourselves for the benefit of our family, is the sign of a good parent. Seriously, it’s not really that much fun to be a martyr. Google a couple of them…most of them were tortured, beheaded or buried alive in order to achieve martyrdom status. I’m not going to lie, I love me some good validation, but I’m not down with any of those qualifications. And don’t you want your kids to see you work towards your own dreams, have your own hobbies, and stay fit and healthy? Role modeling is the best way to ensure they will eventually do these things for themselves. At least I hope so. As cute as they are, I’d kind of be upset if my kids grew up to be sloth-like.
Anyhoo, to get to my point, generally, my day and its activities are thought out, addressed, and put in my planner. The important things happen, the not so important ones wait, and this can fluidly change daily. Best of all, I am the maestro of my day, composing the music of my endeavors. Sometimes it’s crazy clown music that has me juggling tasks and in and out of cars, and sometimes it’s sanskrit chanting accompanying calming endeavors. The really fun background music would the pub tunes and workout songs. But no matter what the soundtrack of my life may be, if I’m prioritizing, I’m making the decisions and I know I’ll have less stress, more productivity, and time for the things I love. I bet Zoey put lie in the sun in her planner today 😉