Blogging Challenge Day 2: Prioritizing Work

Today is day 2 of my blogging challenge and while my schedule is pretty full today, I’m fitting this in.

Given that I’m pretty insanely busy this week, I thought a post about prioritizing would be appropriate. I was pretty much feeling like a failure last night because I didn’t get everything crossed off of my to-do list and I’m chronically behind with work and cleaning.

So I looked at my planner this morning – REALLY looked at it and I realized something: there’s no way a single person can get all of this done. I actually would need 3 people to do everything on my list, so leaving 3 or 4 items undone at the end of the day isn’t that bad.

Instead of focusing on getting it all done, I need to prioritize so I get the bigger, more important things done and can feel accomplished. I’m not the best at scanning through a list and picking out what’s important every time I glance at it. The list itself seems to fluster me because it’s so long and there’s so many things unchecked on it.

So, I bought a package of highlighters in 3 colors. Yellow for priority work assignments, blue for priority volunteer work and pink for priority personal/home/cleaning tasks (this is how I divide my planner – work, home and volunteer).

I’ll highlight 1 item per day and as long as that 1 item is done, I’ll call it a win. If I have 2 priority items in 1 category, I will have to choose which one is the most important.

I tried this tactic today and… failed miserably. I didn’t do the “priority” task first like I’d been planning. Mostly because the priority task for work will take me about 8 hours and requires my son to be napping so I can focus on it.

So I’m curious – how do you stay focused? How do you keep everything on track? I tried the household binder and found it was too bulky to be useful. I’d love something that I can hang in the hallway or carry with me. A 5×7 planner is the perfect size for portability, but doesn’t have enough room each day for everything that needs to get done. I also hate having multiple lists… paper clutter irritates me. I have tried various planner apps (free ones, of course) and found them all lacking.

I’m open to anything – so let me know what works for you!

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