I bet you have a lot on your platter today, it seems as though all women have an innate sense of keeping 500 things afloat while they go about their day. And I bet you are no different. Although we may be able to hold all of these cards, the real challenge lies behind our ability to manage them well.
Have you ever reached the point where you felt so overwhelmed with what you had to do that day that you simply didn’t get anything done at all? That has happened to me more times than I can count, and I thought it would be helpful to give you some tips on how to truly prioritize your day, and in the process, make the most of it!
At the end of today, I want you to say to yourself, “Wow, I accomplished everything I had on that list” or, “I’m at peace with this state that I’m in, let’s do this tomorrow!”
God has given us responsibilities as singles, wives, and moms so that we can achieve great things for His purposes. It’s our job not to take those responsibilities lightly, but rather, to seize the moment, to go after those responsibilities, and to excel all the more.
Proverbs 22:29 tells us,
“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.”
With whatever the Lord has set our for you to do today, I pray that you will be worthy to stand before kings. Give the Lord your best in all that you do, and don’t be afraid or shy of achieving true excellence in that task.
Here are 5 very practical tips for you to truly prioritize your day:
1. Make More than One List
Sure, we all do it, we have that one huge “to-do” list that takes up our entire refrigerator. But I want you to try something a little different today. Start out by making a few lists. Title the first list “Today“, the second list “This Week” and the third list “This Month“. Put your to-dos in the proper perspective, and don’t put something on your immediate today list that you know will take you some real time and effort to accomplish. Carefully and realistically make these lists with your time in mind, and don’t be afraid to put something on the “this month” list that would take a normal person without your priorities just one day!
2.Starting is Better than Not Starting at All
Seems like a simple concept I know, but how many times have we looked at that list and said to ourselves, “There is no way I can do that today, I’ll just start it on Saturday when I have time”.
The truth is, if you simply start a task that may seem impossible, you will make much more progress on it than you originally had hoped for. And by the way, this concept never fails.
Even if you give up right in the middle of the task, you are all the more closer to finishing it before Saturday, then leaving that whole day to do that one task.
I’ll give you a good example. Last night, I was staring at all the dishes that piled up from a long day. You know what was running through my head don’t you? There is absolutely NO way I can finish these tonight.
All I wanted to do was sit on the couch and read a book, but I knew that if I didn’t start these dishes tonight, tomorrow was going to be an even LONGER day than the day that just ended. So…I started.
Before I knew it, 20 minutes had gone by, and guess what?? Dishes that seemed completely impossible at first: DONE.
All it took in that moment was the willpower to start the task, not the actual strength to complete it.
3. Give Yourself a Specific Time Frame
So back to my dishes story, which I know is just so interesting, but hey, it gives you the picture of what I’m talking about!
I said to myself last night, “I am going to stop this task in one hour and rest.”
By stating the specific time frame I would be working in, I was only committing to doing that, and that alone. I think this helps with the mental processes in getting jobs done. Sometimes when we think of what we have to do that day, we automatically assume that it will take us the entire day to accomplish even one thing. I think the more you practice this “specific time frame” concept, the more you will see that it doesn’t really take that long to get those things done.
So what happens if you never finish what you were doing in the first place? Let it be.
Like I said earlier, it is much better that you started than if you never started at all! Which brings me to the next point…
4. Space Out Times of Reward and Rest
This can be very helpful if you are involved in a bible study, or have a special routine where you spend specific times with God throughout the day. Usually, when you are feeling completely stressed and overwhelmed, He is the only one that can really make you feel better.
Come back to His throne for a moment, spend a couple minutes in prayer, you will be AMAZED to see how this will heal your heart.
There are other ways to reward yourself too. Pick up a good book for a few minutes, set aside a 1/2 hour where you will get out of the house and go for a walk, or even just run out to have coffee with a girlfriend you really want to see.
Prioritizing your day does not always mean running yourself to the ground, but instead, it means taking the time to get your tasks done, while also recharging throughout to keep you healthy and sane!
5.Do Fewer Things Well, Rather than More Things Poorly
When you are making your lists, be mindful of the fact that in order to do some of those things well, you may need to spend a little more time doing it.
At the end of the day, it may seem great to have checked off 10 different things on the list, but if you did all of them half-way, you will end up having to go back and do those things over again! That sounds like a nightmare doesn’t it?
When you start something on your list, think to yourself, “How can I do this task as though I were doing it for the Lord“?
If you only crossed of one or two things on the to-do list, but you did them for Him, you will be much better off than if you did a thousand things just for the benefit of yourself.
It also helps to put a few things on your list that are specifically for others. Look for ways to serve people in your family and your friends too. These things will not only be a motivation to do them for the Lord, but will also give you peace and joy as you go about your busy day.
Now, get back to work, but always remember, the Lord loves you and meets you right where you are, no matter what kind of things you might have piling up on that list today!
By: Erika Pizzo